Ahh… Spring has finally arrived. I know this because I have a sea of yellow in my yard. What I once thought of as a pretty flower as a child has now become a “issue” in my yard. Dandelions are taking over! My challenge this year is to attempt to control the sea of dandelions!
Dandelions are difficult to permanently remove because of their long tap root. Here are some alternative methods to get rid of dandelions without the use of pesticides:
The Hard Way: by hand, pull up each dandelion from the root. Make sure to get the entire root or the dandelion will come back. There is a tool at your hardware store just for this job. It looks similar to a screw driver but has a hook on the end to remove the weed and root.
Mow them: remove the heads from the dandelions while they are still yellow flowers; preventing them from getting to the germination phase (a puffball of a thousand seeds) can slow dandelion spreading.
Corn Gluten: apply corn gluten to your lawn each year and it will suppress dandelion growth as well as the growth of other weeds; you can order your non-toxic, weed killing corn gluten in a 6 lb or 20 lb bag on-line. I’m going to check locally too, I will get back to you on that with the price and location.
Vinegar: use vinegar that is at least 15-25% acetic, household vinegar will not work. It is not strong enough, it is 5-10% acetic.
Using Weed Sprays
Honestly, this is my preferred method. I’m working on being more “green”, so this year I’m using a combination of the two approaches.
Many herbicides (especially 2,4,D) have been shown to be both effective and safe when used properly.
Using not so harmful herbicides: either spray on a little 2,4,D or use “weed-n-feed” or it’s equivalent on your lawn. The 2,4,D is an herbicide that kills broad leafed plants which of course includes dandelions. The 2,4,D breaks down within a relatively short period of time and there is no residual effect, but there are those who oppose 2,4,D. This can be found at any hardware, or lawn & garden store.
Good luck! I’ll let you know how my battle goes. I’m just excited that the weather is warm and the sun is shinning. I’m ready for a beautiful yard and garden this year!