How To Kill Dandelions In Your Lawn With Vinegar
Another method you may want to take when getting rid of weeds is using a dandelion killer like vinegar. The acetic acid found in vinegar is a great way to kill crabgrass naturally, as the younger, less developed annuals are more susceptible to the acid.
However, vinegar also works on perennial weeds like dandelions, especially to stop the spread of weed seeds before extracting the plant roots from the soil. Target plants individually or in groups, as needed.
- ½ gallon of white vinegar
- 2 tbsp of dish soap
- ½ cup of salt
When killing dandelions in your lawn with vinegar, use a spray bottle to soak the flower in vinegar. In most cases, the plant will brown and wither within a day, especially if you choose a particularly hot time of the afternoon to spray them.
Spraying them with vinegar will not kill the plant down to the root but will kill the dandelion flowers and seed heads, making it easier to extract them later.Keep in mind that spraying other plants in the area will also cause them harm.
One of the best ways to use vinegar without killing surrounding grass or plants is by hand-pulling the weeds first, then pouring pure vinegar down into the hole left behind afterward. Doing this will kill the taproot, especially in older plants that have grown too deep down into the soil for you to reach by hand.
Where Do Dandelions Come From
Dandelions are native to Europe and Asia and have been used as an herb and for medicinal purposes since the Roman Empire. Its rumored that European settlers intentionally introduced them to the new world for medicinal purposes and to remind them of home. Once introduced to foreign lands, there werent the pests and diseases that would normally keep them in check, giving them an unfair advantage over native species.
How To Get Rid Of Dandelions Naturally
If youre not keen on using chemical sprays, or youve tried the organic mixture without the desired results, there are other natural ways to tackle dandelions. Removing dandelions naturally will take more time than spraying them with chemicals. However, youll feel safe in the knowledge that your grass, pets, and children wont be harmed.
Here I have listed the 5 best natural methods to get rid of dandelions in lawn:
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Tip : Use Corn Gluten Meal
Use an organic fertilizer that feeds the soil and may help minimize new weed germination, like Corn Gluten Meal. Corn Gluten Meal is an excellent slow-release natural fertilizer that contains about 9% Nitrogen as a protein. In addition, Corn Gluten Meal has been shown to suppress new seed germination to some degree. That means that it will help minimize new seeds from turning into plants. Your soil has thousands of weed seeds just waiting for an opportunity to sprout and Corn Gluten Meal can help reduce their chances of sprouting. Note: If you have a lot of dandelions one year, and then you apply Corn Gluten Meal the next Spring, it will NOT prevent dandelions from returning because for the most part dandelions are perennial plants and are regrowing from underground parts, not from seed. If you already have a lot of dandelions and are trying to reduce the number, you’ll have to do more than just apply Corn Gluten Meal, but it’s a good start. Good Nature’sEarth Turf Organic Fertilizers contain Corn Gluten Meal.
How To Prevent Dandelions From Coming Back
Getting rid of your dandelion plants is only half the battle. They will come back if the entire root system isnt removed or killed. And because youre dealing with a perennial, you can expect the same plants to pop up year after year until you use the correct lawn management strategy. Experts recommend this three-point dandelion-prevention strategy:
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Hand Digging For Dandelion Removal
The most effective, but also the most time consuming, method for dandelion control is hand digging them. Hand digging should be done in the spring, right when the first dandelion seedlings appear. Special dandelion pullers or similar tools can be bought to help with hand digging.
When hand digging as a way of how to kill dandelions, it is important to remember that you must remove the entire taproot of the dandelion. Dandelion taproots can run deep.
Because dandelion taproots grow deep, it is unlikely that you will kill every dandelion in your yard during the first round of hand digging. Every few weeks, hand dig any dandelions that re-emerge from their taproots.
How To Kill Dandelions In Your Lawn
By Joan Clark
As children, we associate the white, fluffy seeds of dandelions with wishes waiting to be fulfilled with one powerful puff of breath. As adults, however, those white puffballs scattering on the wind become the stuff of nightmares. Instead, youre left wondering how to kill dandelions in your lawn and whether youll truly ever be rid of them for good.
While killing dandelions in lawn without killing grass seems like an impossibility at times, especially once those fluffy white seed heads begin to sprout, there are numerous measures you can take to stop the spread of these yellow flowers before they completely overtake your yard. The best way to kill dandelions is to know that its more than a quick-fix solution.
Getting rid of these lawn weeds takes time, and multiple techniques before youve eradicated all the dandelion seeds from your yard once and for all. The good news is, we have everything you need to get started right here. So, grab a small shovel and some gardening supplies, and get ready to dig right in.
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How To Kill Dandelionswithout Chemicals
There are lots of more eco-friendly options to choose from, too. Boiling water, vinegar, salt, and even cornmeal can be used as natural weed killers. BobVila.com recommends the following method: Fill a watering can and moisten the area around each dandelion well to loosen the soil. Dig as deep as you can with a weeding tool, then gently pull the plant and as much of the root out of the ground as you are able. Then, carefully apply the herbicide of your choice at the bottom of the hole, to kill any remaining taproot.
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Why Dandelions Are Persistent Weeds
Dandelions present challenges for lawn owners on several fronts. These pesky broadleaf weeds are perennials that survive winters to come back larger and more resilient year after year. Survival gets a boost from strong, sturdy taproots that can grow 10 feet deep or morewell out of the reach of dandelion diggers or shovels. As little as an inch of root left behind can generate a new plant.1 If cut off at ground level, dandelions quickly regrow from the crown.
These tenacious weeds also produce large amounts of fluffy, wind-borne seed capable of traveling long distances. An average dandelion plant produces around 15,000 seeds per year.2 Depending on your climate, these weeds may bloom and produce seed year-round. The seeds can germinate without a waiting period and start producing new plants immediately.2
Weeding usually leaves small pieces of dandelion-producing roots behind.
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Dandelion Removal Solutions That Dont Work
Be careful what advice you follow for getting rid of dandelions. There are some solutions that experts say just dont work for eliminating dandelions. These solutions make it on to various websites as methods that work, but dont be fooled, they can be damaging not only for your lawn but for the environment at large! Be careful.
Dont Let Seeds Sprout
Killing actual dandelion plants is one tactic in the war on this weed. Another is creating an environment where dandelion seeds cant successfully germinate. To do this, use a pre-emergent herbicide like corn gluten meal or Preen. This type of weedkiller interferes with seed germination, which means seeds cant produce a plant. Use corn gluten meal in fall and early spring . Another technique to make your yard unfriendly to dandelion seeds is to mulch planting beds, and dont cut your lawn shorter than 2 to 3 inches. Taller grass grows thicker, shading soil so dandelion seeds cant sprout.
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Can You Eat Dandelions
Again, the answer is yes! Dandelions have long been used for food, the flowers fermented for wine and various parts harvested for medicinal purposes.
Dandelions have low toxicity and are likely safe for most people to eat, says Holmes. Yellow dandelion flower petals and greens can be eaten cooked or raw and serve as an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.
They also contain vitamin E, folate and small amounts of other B vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium. They are a rich source of beta-carotene and polyphenolic compounds, both of which have strong antioxidant abilities that can prevent aging and certain diseases.
Holmes adds dandelions can cause allergic reactions in some and may interact negatively with certain medications, particularly diuretics and antibiotics. Check with your doctor before ingesting. And never eat plants that have been treated with chemical fertilizers or herbicides.
How To Treat Dandelions During The Spring And Summer
Spring means leaves on the trees, grass that greens up with rain showers . . . and endless dandelions. Theyre a favorite of flower-picking kids and the bane of adults who want to keep their lawn maintained. While most of us have tried to pick up a dandelion or two to get them out of our yard, its difficult to get rid of them all, and youll probably be looking at a new field of yellow in a day or two. Thats because these weeds are notoriously difficult to control, they spread easily, and you have to eliminate the roots to ensure they wont grow back.
Why Is It Difficult to Eliminate Dandelions from Your Yard?
Dandelions are known as broadleaf weeds, and they grow in both cool and warm weather. They can grow for years, and their root system is tough and very longsometimes several feet long. If you grab a dandelion from the ground, and remove some of the root, chances are you havent come close to getting the whole plant and that dandelion will keep growing.
The seeds disperse quickly and over hundreds of feet. Once the yellow blooms turn into a whitish puffball, the seeds can easily spread on the wind. The result is that youll soon have dandelions sprouting all over your lawn and taking away from your propertys curb appeal.
So, How Do You Keep Dandelions Away?
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How To Kill Weeds And Dandelions In Your Lawn
Before you learn how to kill dandelions, you should know that theyre not entirely unwanted. Certain weeds like dandelions are a beneficial food source for domestic and wild species of bees, primarily because they bloom so early in the spring. However, these blooms dont belong on your lawn. Theyre not as noxious as other weeds, but they do have a tendency of taking over space and resources other plants need.
Weeds and dandelions germinate quickly, and they spread faster than other plants. Every year, the lush, velvety lawns of homeowners across the U.S. develop these yellow flower heads. Despite the culinary or pollination benefits of some weeds and dandelion, homeowners know that they must stop these prolific seed producers before they choke out other crops.
How To Use Dandelions
Other than watching out for the rare allergy, “dandelions are safe to eat, use in medicine making, or for external applications,” assures Wiles. She explains that all parts of the dandelionfrom the roots to the flowering topsare high in minerals, essential nutrients, and vitamins. The most common preparations are making dandelion greens or adding the young, raw leaves into salad blends, but other culinary uses include adding them to baked goods, using the unbloomed flower heads like capers and then frying, pickling, brining, or fermenting them for a tangy pop in dishes like puttanesca.
Dandelion leaf or root tea is also said to have benefits for liver, bladder, kidney and gut health. “The bitter taste helps to trigger digestion and breakdown of foods, which leads to better absorption of the nutrients you are putting in your body at meal time,” says Wiles. She adds that the tea can be used to sooth urinary tract infections while the leaf can tame allergies by helping to dry up the mucous membranes. A good source of vitamins C and D, and beta-carotene , dandelions have also been used historically as a mild pain killer and to treat heartburn, bruises, joint pain, and skin problems. For this reason, dandelions are a great ingredient in creating soaps, salves, and, as Wiles suggests, topical oils.
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S To Get Rid Of Dandelions Organically Or Using A Weed
- The Organic way digging the weed out by hand, following up using common-sense methods of preventative garden maintenance.
- The weed killer method that completely kills the whole plant and root in one go.
I was going to promise a way to eradicate them, but here are two reasons I can’t.
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Dig Up The Dandelions
Plants are more easily dug up if the ground is moist. Use the watering can to moisten the ground around the dandelions. Allow a few minutes for the moisture to set in then, gripping the root closest to the ground, try to pull the whole root up with the plant.
Use the weed knife to assist you, working it along the base in two or three places and pushing the soil away from the root by wiggling the knife. Once the root is looser in the soil, pull gently at the base of the plant. If it still feels stuck, work the weed knife down even further and try to get the entire taproot out.
Killing Dandelions In Lawn With Vinegar
Youll often hear that vinegar is the number 1 enemy of weeds. Yes, its true that weeds, including dandelions, dont like the acetic acid in vinegar as it damages their leaves and flowers.
Butyes there is a but, household vinegar isnt strong enough to kill dandelions as it only contains 5% acetic acid. The stronger type of vinegar used in horticultural applications contains 20% acetic acid, which is more effective in killing the leaves of dandelions. I dont recommend this option as you may risk burning your skin.
For a more effective and safer solution, mix ¼ cup of lemon juice with 1 cup of household vinegar and 1 tablespoon of dish soap. The lemon juice will make the solution sticky for better results. Spray the sticky mixture thoroughly on the leaves of the dandelions and give it time to work its way against the weed. Within three hours or so, the sprayed dandelions will start withering before your eyes.
Keep reading as I will reveal some great tips on how to prevent dandelions from coming back to your lawn by the end of the article.
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Coarse Salt As Natural Anti Dandelion
It is also possible to use coarse salt to kill dandelions. For this anti-dandelion treatment it is necessary:
The coarse salt is an excellent natural weed killer to eradicate dandelions and other weeds. Let me know if you test on your lawn at home. How was the result?
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Broadleaf Herbicides: Best Way To Kill Dandelions
When it comes to using a chemical herbicide on weeds, the best dandelion killer spray for lawns is a broadleaf herbicide. Using an herbicide specifically designed for broadleaf weeds allows you to spray areas of your yard without worrying about killing your grass.
Popular name brands like Roundup have a separate product from their weed and grass formulas, which are much more selective in the types of weeds they target than the all-encompassing plant killer of their more traditional herbicides.
The best time to use a broadleaf weed killer on dandelions is in the early fall. At this point in the year, the weeds are storing nutrients and food in their roots and stem to help them survive the winter. Having all those nutrients concentrated in a small area allows the herbicide to efficiently kill the plant by eliminating its food source in a few easy sprays.