The dandelion, the puffball, the lion’s head the thorn in your side, the irritation that never leaves, the classic flower picked by every toddler for his mom. It is perhaps the most well-known (and also the most irritating) weed in almost every area across the country.
Dandelions commonly grow in the middle of your lawn leaving a bright yellow eyesore anywhere it pleases. It’s an aggressive weed that can sprout out as much as ten inches and controlling it is a never-ending challenge.
Until this year.
This is your year, the battle against the yellow coats is coming to an end. We’re going to wage this war and give you every secret you need to know how to prevent dandelions this year once and for all. Dandelions are one of those things you have to get a head of, or they will dominate your turf!
Remember picking up that white-cotton like puff ball as a child and blowing hard so it spreads everywhere? Well, those cotton flowers are dried up dandelions, and those fine hairs each hold a seed that carry new dandelions into the air and spread seeds over hundreds of yards.
Seeds germinate easily on or just below the surface of moist soil when temperatures remain consistently over fifty degrees (aka: all summer long) While children everywhere love to pick and carry and blow dandelions all summer long, it will always lead to more and more dandelions.
Of course, we can’t blame innocent children for the entire problem. Dandelion seeds remain viable for decades, and will pop up when you least expect them.
The best way to prevent the spread of dandelions can be reduced through regular lawn maintenance. Grass should be mowed regularly to destroying developing flowers before they are able to mature into seed distributors.
When mowing a lawn prone to weed issues, let the grass clippings act as mulch to promote grass health and also inhibit the germination of dandelion seeds on the soil surface.
Of course, you can always remove dandelions by hand, ensuring you get the entire root by using a screwdriver or garden fork. Keep in mind, dandelions often have long roots, sometimes over 12 inches in length, so digging them out might cause more damage than you’re willing to put up with.
For a persistent or extreme dandelion infestation, use an herbicide applied in spring or fall when conditions are dry. When using any chemical on your lawn consult with a local nursery to determine what type of fertilizer you need and how to apply it correctly.
Dandelions are a nuisance, but you don’t have to succumb to their terror. The best antidote for dandelions is a lush, thick lawn of beautiful green grass. Focus on that goal, and the dandelions will disappear in the process.