How To Remove Dandelions From Your Yard
- Skill Level: Beginner
- Estimated Cost: $0 to 20
Dandelions, with their little yellow flowers and fluffy seed puffs, can be a nuisance to gardeners when they pop up where they’re not wanted. Above ground their seeds ride the wind currents to propagate the species. And below ground the weed sends down a taproot up to 10 inches long that can be difficult to remove in its entirety. Gardeners typically approach dandelion removal in two ways: pulling the plant or spraying it with herbicide.
Best Time To Spray Dandelions
Dandelions are little bright yellow flowers that kids love. However, once they get in your lawn, you find they are one of the worst weeds you can deal with.
The broadleaf weeds can ruin all your hard work and make your lawn all patch as they overpower your grass.
Many of the issues come from the fact you cant control this difficult problem until you see the flower bloom in your lawns.
Luckily, there are ways how to control and kill dandelions in lawns after they flower. In this guide, you can learn a few tips on how to deal with a dandelion, how to get rid of the intrusive little yellow flowers and kill them right down to the taproot for a healthy garden.
Scuff And Spray Works
This dandelion was scuffed just prior to spraying a weedkiller. It died quickly and completely, never to return. The best time to spray dandelions is in the fall, because this is when plants are naturally shifting materials from leaves to roots for winter storage. Weedkiller applied in fall moves directly to roots, which helps get rid of dandelions permanently. Avoid using lawn weed and feed products in fall to kill dandelions, though, because if your lawn goes dormant for winter, it won’t absorb the fertilizer. Instead, any weeds present take up the fertilizer and grow stronger.
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When To Remove Dandelions
Dandelions are broadleaf, herbaceous perennials that die back in the winter, though the plant’s roots live on underground. In the early fall, nutrients are transferred from the leaves to the roots, making this the best time to use herbicide. Chemicals applied during this time will be absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots along with the nutrients.
You can harvest and eat dandelion greens in the spring. The leaves can be boiled or used raw in a salad. This superfood is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, and iron. Moreover, the flower can be used in wine or boiled and stir-fried. And the roots can be dried and steeped for a tea. For the best taste, harvest dandelion greens and dig up their roots before the plant goes to seed.
Plucking Them By The Heads
If you cant be bothered going to the effort of digging down to the roots to remove dandelions permanently from your lawn you can simply focus on the head.
If you only have a few dandelions to deal with this may be all thats required.
You will have to do this once or twice a week though as they will grow back.
You also have to make sure you remove the heads before they get to the puffball stage.
Once theyve had a chance to transform to this stage, they can quickly spread around your lawn.
This can lead to dozens, or even hundreds of dandelions depending on the size of your lawn.
At that stage, simply plucking of the heads will probably be too much work to be practical.
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When Do Dandelions Grow In Lawns
Although dandelions are some of the first flowers to pop up in spring when the soil temperature warms above 50 F, the flower and seed heads can be spotted most of the year, typically in soil temperatures around 75 F. However, the plants go dormant in winter.
Though the above-ground plant may disappear, the taproot will continue to survive and produce new shoots come spring, says Drew Wagner of Sod Solutions.
The Use Of Herbicides
Learn how herbicides work before starting to apply it on your lawn. Knowledge would make your first venture easier, faster, and a lot safer. Some solutions would only prevent the sprouting of new weeds while other formulas will kill the mature weeds on the spot. Check out the differences between variations. You would be able to choose what killer spray you intend to buy for your lawn then.
1. Pre-Plant herbicides
If you are still a newbie with this procedure, pre-plant herbicides may not be suitable for you. Usually, this type applies for agricultural purposes. Farmers spray the product in a certain timeframe before planting season. Mostly, it would be around 30-45 days prior.
Expert farmers know the exact ratio and amount of herbicides to use that will only kill the weeds. They know how to do it properly so not to prevent seeds from growing or damaged. Hence, this type of herbicides are suitable for large-scale turf or farmlands. I do not suggest using this on your garden or home yard.
2. Pre-Emergence Herbicides
This herbicide works best when you need to stop seeds from germinating and stop the chance of sprouting into annoying weeds. However, it cannot take care of existing living weeds. I am quite okay with this herbicide but this does not really work all the time. Besides, some products leaves remnants to the soil that sink far below and contaminate the groundwater. Not very helpful especially for your flower garden.
3. Post-Emergence Herbicides
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How To Control Dandelions
Dandelions and other broad leaf weeds can be controlled by pulling or digging them up or by spraying them with herbicides. If you want to remove them the old fashion way or are concerned about using herbicides, simply pull them or use a weed digger and try to get as much of the root as possible. Even if you do not get the entire root, this will set the dandelion back and your grass can take over and crowd it out. Spot spraying with a broad leaf herbicide is the easiest way to get dandelions out of your yard. Products like Weed-Be-Gone, Trimec and Speedzone do a great job killing dandelions and other broad leaf weeds. I suggest spot spraying just the weeds and not the entire yard. The turf herbicides listed above only kill weeds that are growing so if you see it, spray it. The best time to spray is in the morning when there is no rain in the forecast for 24 hours and no wind. At this time of day, the plant is open and can absorb the weed killers better than when its hot during the middle of the day. Follow the directions on the bottle and do not over spray. If you do not kill the weeds the first time, spray again in 5 to 7 days and they will die off.
How Can I Naturally Kill Dandelions
Is there a solution I can spray on dandelions instead of pulling them up? Not Roundup…. does vinegar, dawn soap and Epson salts work? Or is there a better one?
Dandelion plants are difficult to kill because of the long tap root, small pieces of which can grow again. Dandelions are perennial weeds, living several years. They lose their leaves in the fall, then grow again in the spring.
The best time to control them is in the fall when dandelions are transferring sugars from the leaves down into the roots for winter storage. At this time herbicides will also get taken down into the roots to help kill the dandelion. Triclopyr is effective against dandelions, and does not kill grasses. Be sure and carefully read the instructions on the herbicide container for proper dilution, safety and application rates.
Household vinegar is not strong enough to kill dandelions. Household vinegar is only 5% acetic acid. Horticultural vinegar which is used to kill weeds is 20% acetic acid. That’s a very strong acid and can cause significant injury to you.
Dawn detergent won’t affect the dandelion, and epsom salts are magnesium sulfate. If your soil is deficient in magnesium epsom salts can provide it, acting like a fertilizer.
If you want to control dandelions without herbicides the best way would be to pull the dandelion when the soil is soft and moist and much of the tap root can be removed. You can also cut off the dandelion 4-5 inches below the surface.
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When To Spray In Fall
To be on the safe side as much as possible, wait until after one or two light frosts. Such plants as tomatoes, nasturtiums and garden vegetables will have been hurt by frost. Many are harvested and the garden, in many instances, has been retired for the season.
Plants like roses, grapes, and other fruits and ornamentals have been hurt by the frost, have dropped some of their leaves, or if they retain these leaves, they are no longer very active physiologically. The fruits, ornamentals, and vegetables which are left, are in a hardened condition due to summer heat and drought.
Consequently, injury to all crops is infinitely less in fall than in spring when they are young, succulent and actively growing.
Are Dandelions Gone Forever
Nope! However with a dandelion spray, the plants will die. But remember that for every conscientious home owner there is the proverbial good neighbor who doesnt believe in spraying, who doesnt mind dandelions, who likes these early harbingers of spring, who likes them for greens, who is color blind, in short, one who just doesnt care.
Such a careless individual can supply seed for a whole block of lawns. For that reason, if you want a dandelion-free lawn every spring, you must do a touch up job every fall. Thats especially true if you have had a dry summer and the vigor of the grass has been injured to the extent that dandelion seedlings were able to establish themselves.
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Should I Spray Dandelions Between Or After I Mow
Lawns may become sick or even die if you apply herbicides when they are newly mowed.
A general rule is to wait for one week after mowing before applying weed killers or herbicides to the dandelion in your lawn.
Following this, you need to wait another week before you consider mowing your lawn again.
With this, you need to mow after you apply the herbicide as mowing reduces the weed surface area, and it is this that absorbs the weed killer. After spraying dandelions, only mow after two days minimum, and the best is around five days before your herbicide application.
How To Kill Dandelions With Post
Of course, you probably already knew this but attacking your dandelions with a post-emergent herbicide is way quicker and less stressful. Most dandelions will die very easily when a 2-4D product is spot sprayed directly on their leafs during the growing season.
There are lots of post-emergent products on the market that can be applied to an entire lawn space but I believe its far better to just mix up a concentrate with water in a spot sprayer and apply only to the weeds as they emerge.
You would be surprised at how effective this method is and how easy it is to nearly eliminate dandelions from a lawn in a single season taking this approach.
Remember, most dandelions in the lawn have lived under the soil for multiple seasons. Pulling them often leaves the tap root which can and will likely grow back. By killing the weed with an herbicide the plant will never return and new seeds will never crop up unless they come from your neighbors property.
A single dandelion seed head puff ball can spread over a hundred seeds at once. Stopping this pattern over the course of a single season will make a huge difference in your lawn in subsequent seasons.
If you take this route your next biggest challenge will be in choosing the product to apply and the sprayer to apply it, both of which however should be easy and inexpensive decisions to make.
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Types Of Dandelion Killer
1. Selective Herbicide
A selective herbicide is a weed killer that allows you to choose what weeds you want to kill. It will not destroy all the generic growth in the vicinity. To sight an example, you are looking for a natural dandelion killer without killing grass, you must use a selective weed killer to attack dandelions, and the grass is going to be safest.
2. Non-Selective Herbicide
A non-selective weed killer is capable of killing all the vegetation that comes under its vicinity. Doctor Kirchner, one of the most respected names in organic no hormone-disrupting weed killer, is non-selective. However, good your intention is if you use a nonselective weed killer, you will end up finishing all the waving.
Is It Bad To Pull Dandelions
It may be tempting to pull dandelions out of your lawn, Holmes says, but you are taking away the benefits they bring to the soil and surrounding plants. In addition, dandelion flowers are an essential source of food for bees and other pollinators. So eradicating too many of these nectar-rich flowers can have long-term negative consequences for the environment.
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The Tap Root Is A Big Problem
Dandelions are perennial weeds with fleshy taproots. Typically the taproot is 6 to 18 inches long, but on older plants, it can extend even deeper into soil. When you dig or pull a dandelion, try to get at least 2 to 3 inches of the taproot. It comes up easiest when soil is moist, like after rain or watering. Any part of the taproot left in soil can sprout, growing a whole new plant.
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 Get Rid Of Dandelions With White Vinegar Dish Soap And Salt
Perennial weeds such as dandelion plants are sometimes not easy to defeat. Some homemade weed killers may work initially, but because new seeds get distributed easily, they continuously propagate in a large area.
If vinegar with dish soap is not that effective for your lawn weeds, try to use a stronger natural dandelion killer.
Stronger Homemade Dandelion Killer Recipe
- ½ gallon of white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of dish soap
- ½ cup of salt
Mix all of the ingredients above, get a spray bottle and start spraying in your lawn areas.
Killing dandelion weeds does not necessarily mean using toxic chemicals. A homemade dandelion killer is yet another way for weed control.
Whether dandelions bother you in your lawn or with your hobby in organic gardening, we hope that the tips and recipes we have listed above can help you get rid of dandelions.
Organic And Chemical Dandelion Killers
Based on the ingredients of the dandelion weed killer, you can divide them into organic and chemical weed killers. The all-natural dandelion killer may take longer to begin working and may require to be applied more than once, but it is considered to be a dandelion killer safe for dogs.
On the contrary, a chemical-based weed killer may potentially hurt the children and the kids because of the presence of toxic and heavy chemicals in it. But it is accurate and quick and may begin working in the first application only.
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Utilize White Vinegar For Weed Removal
For those who do not want to utilize dangerous chemicals to kill weeds, you can still make a homemade dandelion killer using vinegar. According to many studies, such as ones conducted by USDA, the benefits of white vinegar are countless.
Vinegar is useful in pest control and removal of unwanted plants. And because white vinegar contains acetic acid, it has natural herbicidal properties. Just get a spray bottle, fill it up with undiluted vinegar, and spray it on the dandelion plants.
You may wonder will vinegar kill grass? Yes, vinegar will kill any plants it touches, so be sure to apply it only to dandelions or other weeds themselves and save your grass.
Spray Under The Right Conditions
Drift from herbicide sprays may damage vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs in your landscape.
Avoid spraying when winds exceed 5 MPH. Avoid spraying when temperatures approach 90 degrees or warmer. Drift may occur under foggy conditions.
When needed, cover or shield your desirable plants from nearby sprays.
Avoid spraying with a fine mist. Heavy droplets are less likely to volatilize.
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