Despite looking aesthetically pleasing, dandelions can be a huge hindrance for someone looking to shape up their lawn. While the fuzzy-headed plant gives children a playful experience, it also threatens any lawn enthusiast’s dream lawn. With their deep-rooted taproots, dandelions can be very tedious to remove if the proper method is not used. After reading this article, you will leave with the knowledge of the methods of avoiding dandelions in the first place and how to remove them.
Why Say No to Dandelions?
Before we discuss the methods of killing dandelions, we’ll look at why we do not want them in the first place. Dandelions will essentially overpower the other plants and the grass that it sits beside, as it sucks up the water and nutrients from its surroundings, leaving little for its neighbors. In addition to this, once a dandelion has established itself in your lawn, fully removing it is a tall order to fill because the taproot, which extends down 2-3 feet into the ground, is essential to complete eradication. Another drawback of growing dandelions that helps advocate for the plant’s removal is that dandelion control is an annoying task due to its fuzzy seeds that float quite a distance away from the plant.
The best thing to do to avoid dandelions is to prevent them from growing in the first place. Effectively, nipping the problem in the bud, if you excuse the expression. We have some great pointers for you to follow so you won’t have to deal with dandelions coming out on your lawn in the first place
Regular Feeding of the Lawn
A weak and unhealthy lawn is at more of a threat than one that is treated with love. Be sure to invest in a high-quality fertilizer and feed your lawn regularly (say every two months) during growing season. This helps your lawn stay weighty and full, leaving little space for weeds like dandelions, meaning a lack of direct sunlight for the pesky little plants to grow, giving you a happy garden.
Mowing on a higher setting
Similar to what we did in the previous point, we want to drown out the weeds, depriving them of sunlight, so they cannot grow. Another way to ensure this happens is to mow your lawn a little higher than you usually do. Doing this causes the grass to tower over the weeds, hence stealing their sun time. As your grass grows thick, the dandelions will perish due to a lack of nutrients.
Check Your Soil
It is important to note that dandelions do well in soil with high acidity on the pH scale. You should conduct a soil test (the average cost for a soil test lies around $15) to check the pH of your soil. The preferred pH for well-conditioned soil is a low acidity one, i.e., near 6 or 7. This works perfectly not only for the grass but also other plants on your lawn as the soil helps boost the health of the plants, but it has the added benefit of being a low enough pH where dandelions will not thrive.
How to Kill Dandelions in your Lawn
So you have unfortunately been hit with the rolling growth of dandelions in your lawn and are looking for a way to kill and remove them permanently. Here are a few tips that will take you the distance.
Dandelion Control through Chemicals
Suppose you are not too worried about the possible repercussions of using herbicides to kill dandelions in your lawn. In that case, you can use one, or both, of the following two herbicides (if you would rather go the natural route or are concerned for your pets, then we’ve got you covered too).
If you are looking to eradicate the few dandelions growing in your lawn, you should opt for the selective broadleaf herbicide as it is made specifically to kill broadleaf weeds (such as dandelions) without damaging the grass around them.
If you instead have a larger dandelion problem where the weeds are growing in copious amounts, we’d suggest using the non-selective herbicide, which kills any plant it comes in contact with. This is essentially used for spot removal.
Natural Dandelion Control
Boiling water can be poured directly onto dandelions to kill them. This causes them to yellow up and curl up as the leaves of the weed burn. The hot water seeps through the soil and down into the roots of the weed, which connect to its taproots. With a destroyed taproot and no leaves to soak the sunlight, the dandelion will die out.
Pouring vinegar directly onto a dandelion will cause the soil’s pH level below to change for long enough that the weed dies. Taking from our first tip, boiling water can be mixed with vinegar in an equal ratio to serve as a stronger natural herbicide. It is best to use vinegar if rain is not anticipated within the next two days as rain may deter the process and cause runoff into other plants’ roots, causing them damage.