Dandelions germinate and grow fast, so it’s not uncommon to see blooming dandelions all over the lawns. In this article, we will consider all the ways to get rid of dandelions. Keep reading to learn how to kill them naturally and when it’s time for herbicide treatment.
Dandelions (or Taraxacum) are small yellow flowers with fluffy heads that spread their seeds in the wind. When the wind catches up the tiny “umbrellas” attached to the seeds, it carries them for many miles until eventually, they land on the soil. Dandelions germinate and grow fast, so it’s not uncommon to see blooming dandelions throughout the growing season.
Just like other weeds, dandelions “eat away” the cultivated turf, so the sooner you take control, the better for your site. In this article, we will consider all the ways to get rid of dandelions. Keep reading to learn other life hacks: for example, how to kill dandelions in the lawn naturally and when it’s time for herbicide treatment.
How to Kill Dandelions in the Lawn
There are two ways of dandelion removal: using dandelion herbicide or weeding the territory. Although the second option requires manual labor, it is eco-friendly and relatively cheap.
Here are some efficient ways to answer your main question: how to get rid of dandelions in the yard.
1. Removing Them Manually
Removing dandelions manually is the cheapest, and although it requires more fuss, it’s just as effective as herbicides. It may take 2-3 seasons of weeding before your lawn remains completely weed-free. Still, if you are planning to manage your household responsibly in terms of environmental protection, then it is the best way to get rid of dandelions.
Before embarking on your weeding expedition, water the area that’s supposed to be treated. It is much easier to remove dandelions from damp soil. Let the moisture soak into the ground and, after 30 minutes, start pulling the unwanted dandelions out. Use a garden spade (trowel) to dig into the soil, and make cuts on both sides of the taproot. Take hold of the stem and leaves of the plant and pull it until it comes out.
If the Taraxacum does not cooperate, make a few deeper cuts around the root.
❗ ATTENTION: Keep in mind that if a piece of root remains in the ground, the herb will regrow, which will make for further weeding in the following year.
2. Using a Herbicide
Another option to control dandelion infestations is using herbicides. Herbicides can be toxic and dangerous to your pets and children, so try your best with restricting to eco-friendly methods only. However, if your lawn or yard has been weeded incorrectly during the manual treatment, the dandelion roots and seeds are still present in the soil. So if you notice a new generation of weeds growing, herbicides are your next option – and a very effective one.
To treat the yard, wait for warm, sunny weather. Put on suitable clothing and gloves to prevent toxic substances from getting on your skin. Dilute the dandelion weed killer with water according to the instructions and spray it onto the lawn or yard using a spraying bottle. Apply the solution to the herb and let it dry before allowing pets and children on the lawn.
After a few days, remove dry dandelions from the ground and reseed the spot with grass.
❗ ATTENTION: Before purchasing a herbicide, read all the labels on the package. It shouldn’t be too toxic, or you can burn your grass.
How to Kill Dandelions Naturally
There are several organic (eco-friendly) ways to kill dandelions naturally. One of the ways involves using white or apple cider vinegar. You can pour vinegar into the sprayer and apply it to dandelions, and after a few hours, they should be dead. But be careful: vinegar is strong enough to kill the turf and other cultivated plants.
Another method of how to get rid of dandelions in lawn naturally involves weeding the lawn. However, be careful as their taproots go deep into the soil: you can accidentally leave a few pieces in the ground, and the Taraxacum will grow out of them again. It is recommended that you pour vinegar into the hole that remains after you pluck out the dandelion. As a natural dandelion killer, it will affect the roots and leave your yard dandelion-free.
Best Time to Spray Dandelions with Herbicide
Most often, homeowners use best dandelion killer for lawns in the early spring, when a field of bright yellow flowers appears on their lawn. But it’s too late – and ineffective as well! The best way to kill dandelions is when they are still not fully grown. Otherwise, there is a risk they’ll succeed in spreading the seeds, and the Taraxacum field will meet you again the next spring.
Therefore, it is recommended that a herbicide treatment is repeated in late autumn. At this time, the dandelion’s growth already slows down: they concentrate nutrients in their roots to survive the upcoming winter cold. This makes them vulnerable enough to not be able to reduplicate after treatment.
❗ ATTENTION: If you use a herbicide or vinegar after your autumn weeding, you will significantly reduce the possibility of their re-growth.
One thing is clear: taking preventative measures is better than waiting until your yard is full of weeds. Begin treating your site right now, and you won’t ever have to look up what kills dandelions. That’s why it’s useful to take action beforehand.
When experiencing problems with dandelions, check the calcium levels in the soil. If it’s low, try composting your grass in the fall. The lack of calcium leads to a lack of microbes, and this hampers the decomposition process of organic materials. Such soil attracts dandelions. The good news is, if you boost the level of your soil nutrients, you’ll keep dandelions at bay.
Remember to mow the lawn regularly, especially when you notice weeds surfacing. If you can remove dandelions before they have time to spread their seeds, this will help your fight greatly.
Conclusion on how to kill dandelions effectively
Overall, when trying to get rid of dandelions, the most important thing is to act consistently without giving up halfway. Do everything step by step: explore the Internet in search of the best solutions; consult with experts, and after a few seasons, your lawn will be completely dandelion-free.