These small but mighty plants flourish in temperate climates and their love for full sunlight makes them grow on lawns like, well... weeds. We’ll walk you through the basics of why dandelions pop up on your lawn and what to do (or not do) about them!
Dandelions love thin, sunny lawns. They are most likely to pop up in bare spots and nutrient deficient soil. To some extent, dandelion growth is natural and unavoidable; but, with the proper education and products, you, too, can prevent a full blown dandelion takeover.
To reduce the number of dandelions in your yard, we recommend coupling good maintenance practices with one or more of the steps outlined below.
First: Start With Offense
The best defense is a good offense. Here’s three winning moves to dodge dandelion growth:
1. Keep Your Lawn Thick:
Mow at a high setting (2-3 inches)
Keep your lawn well fed
2. Fill In Bare Patches
Fill and heal bare patches in your lawn before they’ve been uncovered for too long
3.Leave Your Clippings
Bonus Points: this also reduces your lawn’s nutrient requirement!
Option 1: Pull Them Up
It’s a lot of work, but it’s also really satisfying! Here are a few tips for making the most of your weeding:
1. Water Before You Weed – Wet soil makes weed removal way easier, and we love easy.
2. Grab Dandelion Remover or Garden Spade – This is a great option
3. Harvest – Bring the root with you! The taproot is thick but brittle, grab as much of it as you can.
Option 2: Natural Weed Killers
There are effective iron-based products that are considered reduce risk herbicides. The iron is toxic to the weeds and not to your grass. This approach gives you the convenience of not having pull weeds while avoiding harsh synthetic pesticides.
Option 3: Synthetic Chemicals
While there’s no silver bullet, there are a huge variety of synthetic chemicals that can reduce the number of dandelions in your lawn. The most common compounds are 24D and Glyphosate.
If you do choose to use a chemical weed killer, only apply what is needed and apply at the right time of year to make the most of it.
Knowing is Half The Battle
Bees need dandelions: they’re the honey bee’s most important food source in early spring, they even promote hive health and give the bees an early season energy boost.
Harvest your dandelions: greens can be used in salads (they’re already in your mesclun mix), ground roots can be made into a coffee substitute, heck, you can even make wine!
Oui, oui: “dandelion” is really an English mispronunciation of the French phrase “dent de lion” or “lion’s tooth”.