How To Get Rid of Dandelions in Your Yard (4 Expert Tips)
A weed is just a plant in the wrong place. And, for many of us, that describes dandelions on our lawns, in the flowerbeds, and even growing out of the driveway and path. They are one of the most common plants in the world, and while they do have a number of health benefits when prepared and consumed, they can be a gardener’s worst nightmare, especially as they have a knack of taking root time and time again and returning year after year.
But there is hope for you to rid your yard, garden, and walkways of this blight without causing the death of other plants or damage to your lawn, by following the four tips below.
What Are Dandelions?
The dandelion is a wild-growing herb that is actually part of the same family as the sunflower. It has yellow flowers and is perhaps best known for the puffball that the flower turns into. The puffball consists of many small fruits. These are carried in the wind and by insects and animals, eventually germinating in the ground and growing new dandelions. It is a very efficient means of pollination and the reason that when dandelions start to take over, they can be very difficult to control.
Although they are considered a pest by many a gardener, dandelions are actually quite beneficial and have been used as a medicinal plant for millennia. Although touching the plant, and especially its sap, can lead to allergic reactions, the plant has been used to treat liver conditions and infections. Dandelion tea is also used as a means to promote and encourage urine production.
The 4 For Getting Rid of Dandelions in Your Yard
As beneficial as dandelions can be, they are not a welcome sight in most yards. And no matter how diligently you pull the weeds up, they can return in even greater numbers if you don’t get the whole plant out. The following tips can help you become dandelion-free, without causing damage to other plants or your lawn.
1. Dig Them Up Completely
If dandelions have taken root in your garden or flowerbed, the most effective way to get rid of them is to dig them up completely. You need to ensure that you get the whole plant, including all of its roots, and a hand trowel or weeding knife will enable you to get every last bit of the yellow-headed nuisance. If you don’t remove the entire root, the plant will likely grow back again in a few weeks. This process will need repeating every few weeks until there are no more signs of dandelions.
2. Kill Them with a Vinegar Solution
If the dandelion isn’t surrounded by plants that you want to keep, you can use a solution consisting of boiling water with some vinegar in it. Pour the solution over the plant, ensuring it gets to the base of the plant so that it will soak down into the roots. And, once the area has cooled, use your trowel to dig down and remove the root. The vinegar will help kill off any remnants that are left while the boiling water will kill the current plant.
3. Use Pre-Emergent Weed Killer
Pre-emergent weed killer kills weed seeds, rather than adult weeds and plants. It prevents germination and this can be an effective means of controlling dandelions in an area surrounded by other plants that you wish to keep. As long as you haven’t planted anything new in the area, a pre-emergent weed killer should discriminately kill weeds before they take root and leave the desirable plants to grow.
4. Carefully Spray Herbicides
Herbicides basically kill any plant or blade of grass that it touches, which makes it very effective for killing dandelions but also means that it poses a threat to the rest of your garden. Spray on a clear day when there is no wind to avoid the spray blowing onto the rest of your garden, and be careful exactly where you spray it to avoid the heartache of decimating your entire flowerbed. Otherwise, follow the instructions on the bottle to ensure that you use the solution at its most effective.
Weeds like dandelions can be a nuisance and once they take hold, they are very difficult to get rid of. They have a very effective means of pollinating and because they attract insects like bees and flies, they have further help in spreading the seed from their white puff balls. They commonly grow in lawns as well as flower beds, but they can even be seen growing in paths and driveways and occasionally even out of walls.
Using the tips above, it should be possible to rid yourself of dandelions while still protecting and preserving the desirable plants that you do want to keep.
Featured Image Credit: JumpStory