Spring has come and summer is near. Both of these seasons bring so many wonderful things after being cooped up all winter but, they also bring some not so fun things: like dandelions. Those pesky dandelions seem to be everywhere. It doesn’t matter how much you try to get rid of them they just keep coming back. Not everyone wants to use chemical sprays on their law. It isn’t good for the kids, pets or the environment. Here are some natural ways to get rid of the dandelions in your yard.
Why Are Dandelions so Hard to Get Rid of?
Dandelions have a very long root. That makes it very difficult to get rid of the entire root when pulling the dandelion out. Typically when the weed is pulled out, it doesn’t come out by the roots. It is because of this that the dandelion can easily grow back.
How Can I Get Rid of The Dandelions?
Get Them Before It’s Too Late
The best thing to do is to pick (or dig up) the dandelions before they go to seed. When the dandelions die and turn white, they have gone to seed.
I would recommend just getting the head off of the dandelions so you can see where all the roots are.
Mowing your lawn more frequently will help the current round of dandelions in your yard not come back as prominent. Mow the lawn while the dandelions are still yellow. Mowing the yellow dandelions will keep them from dying and going to seed.
The Root Needs to Go
The only way to completely get rid of the dandelions in your yard is to dig them out. You will need to dig very deep to get the as much of the root of the dandelion out. Using a spade to dig it out is your best option. A spade will give you the best chance at getting as much of the roots as possible but, it will leave a pretty good sized hole in your yard though.
Even when it looks like you have managed to get the whole root ball out, it is very likely that there are some roots left behind. Because of this, be sure to use one of the other methods along with this one.
There Are Just a Few, Thank Goodness
This isn’t the best option if you have a ton of them as you will go through quite a lot of water. That is why I only recommend this method if you only have a few dandelions growing in your yard. Believe it or not, you can kill the dandelions with boiling water. Yes, it seems odd but, it works. This takes a couple of days to work it’s magic but, the leaves will wilt so they can no longer absorb the sun’s rays. The boiling water will also soak into the soil and can be soaked up by the roots as well. This will cause the roots that come into contact with the boiling water to be burned. Once the roots are burned, they can no longer take in any nutrients from the soil.
There Are So Many, Now What?
If your yard is plastered with dandelions as most yards are, it will take a while. Yes, it could take days to completely get rid of them but, just be patient.
Don’t try to tackle it all at once. Measure out a small area and work just in that area. Once that area is done, you are done for the day. Work in sections throughout the whole yard one day at a time.
How Can I Make Sure The Dandelions Don’t Come Back?
If your dandelions happened to go to seed don’t panic. Still go through and pick the heads off and dig up the roots.
It is likely while picking the heads that some of the seeds will fall into the yard and possibly into the holes. Not to mention the lovely seeds blowing over from the neighbors house.
Thankfully, it’s not a lost cause. Once all of the dandelions are gone, sprinkle the yard with corn gluten. By doing this you will discourage the leftover and drop in seeds from taking to the soil and growing.
Putting a mixture of salt and water (1:1 ratio) on the ground around the dandelions will allow the salt to seep into the soil killing the dandelions. This method is great because the salt will stay in the area for years to come which will keep the dandelions away for years.
The only problem with this method is it also kills everything else in the area as well. That means that the grass in the area will not grow back for years too.
I only really recommend this method for places like sidewalk cracks, driveway cracks or under your deck. Places where you wouldn’t typically want any plants growing at all.
Vinegar can be used by itself or, after you have dug the dandelion out of the ground. The acidity of the vinegar will kill the dandelion. I suggest combining this method with digging the roots out but, it truly can be used on its own. Just be very careful where you are pouring or spraying the vinegar because it will also kill the grass or other plants it comes into contact with.
When is it Best to Get Rid of Dandelions?
The best time is early in the Spring right as the dandelions start growing but, anytime is fine. If you are applying the boiling water, salt or vinegar, make sure that there will be no chance of rain for at least two whole days. The rain will cause these things to spread to other areas and you will unintentionally kill other plants or grass.
It Didn’t Work, Now What?
Dandelions are stubborn plants. They have managed to hang on for hundreds of years. What does that mean? Well, it means that it may actually take a few applications of your natural herbicide to completely get rid of the dandelions.
If your first round didn’t give you your preferred results, wait two days and apply it again. Keep this pattern going until you reach your desired results.
Can I Mix These Options Together?
The simple answer is yes, you can mix these options together. The best mixtures would be boiling water with the salt, or, you can choose to mix your vinegar with boiling water. Again, just be careful as these items will run and can kill or damage other plants (or your grass).
Truthfully, dandelions might not look the best in our yards but, they are great for the environment. However, if you really want to get rid your yard of dandelions then it is best to use a natural solution versus a chemical laden solution. The chemicals may work faster but, they do harm the environment. If you do want to rid your yard of dandelions, I hope you found a natural solution to help you get that lush green grass you are looking for.