For many homeowners, it feels as though dandelions start to take over your yard almost every spring. One day, you’re enjoying a vibrant green lawn; the next, it’s overrun with those identifiable yellow flowers.
At this point, it may be tempting to add chemicals to your yard. But don’t worry! With some tips from Organic Lawns by Lunseth, you can learn how to control dandelions naturally.
How Fast Do Dandelions Grow?
On average, dandelion plants appear during the spring. First, you’ll see greens; then, yellow flowers; then the puffy white “helicopters” that spread the seeds.
Each plant can produce up to 12 flowers throughout the season, and each flower can produce around 175 seeds. That’s over 2,000 seeds each year, and many of which can travel up to five miles.
And guess what? They’re perennials, too! So, they’re going to return next year – unless you use these natural ways to kill dandelions.
How to Get Rid of Dandelions
To help rid your lawn of dandelion plants, you must remove the entire roots, which can reach between 6 and 18 inches deep. If the root stays in place, it will eventually regrow. That’s why most gardeners default to using harsh chemicals.
But chemicals have their own issues. They don’t prevent germination, so you’ll have to re-spray as new dandelions grow. And each time you do this, you’re adding chemicals to the soil and potentially surrounding water reserves, as well as endangering pets, other animals, and children. That’s why we recommend getting rid of dandelions naturally.
How to Remove Existing Plants Naturally
There are several natural ways to get rid of dandelions, including pouring vinegar on them, but the best way to kill dandelions naturally is to dig up the roots with a spade or a specialized dandelion digger. Then, pour white vinegar into the hole so the acid kills any leftover root.
After you’ve finished this task, don’t toss the weeds into the trash. Dandelion greens are better for you than spinach, with a host of minerals and high amounts of vitamins A and C. This makes them great for salads or for feeding chickens, rabbits, or other pets. They’re also great for composting to help build up the soil’s health.
How To Stop the Seeds
To prevent new plants from forming, stop the flowers from producing seeds. Pop off the blossoms (you can also have your kids do it), or simply mow them off. This won’t kill the plant, but it will prevent more plants from taking over your yard while you’re taking care of existing plants.
Another option is to use corn-gluten meal, which is a pre-emergent, meaning it will stop seeds from germinating. Along with corn-gluten meal, chelated iron is a great way to eradicate dandelions after they emerge. Do this in early spring, but feel free to reapply, as not all seeds germinate at the same time.
Enrich Your Soil
Weeds thrive in soil that is poor or acidic, so having healthy soil is the best way to prevent dandelions and other weeds. Dandelions also prefer soils that are low in calcium and low in organic matter, so proper soil nutrition and improved organic content will naturally help.
At Organic Lawns by Lunseth, we specialize in creating organically healthy, strong lawns that naturally deter weeds. Request a quote today to get started!