dandelion spreader at work

12 must do’s

to get rid of dandelions

Dandelion Plague

Dandelions (a.k.a. puffballs, blow balls, lion’s tooth, monks head or buttercups) are a lawn and garden pest that hit the top of the pest list. Dandelions are also known as the Yellow Plague because lawns up and down the street shine yellow all at the same time. Millions of dollars are spent nation wide as homeowners learn how to get rid of dandelions and spread weed and feed fertilizers on their lawns.

At the same time, millions of kids are having a blast blowing the hair like seeds of the dandelions into the air so they can land and grow again (in your lawn and on your neighbor’s lawn).

little girl picking dandelions

How to stop dandelions

There are 12 things you must do to stop dandelions in your garden and on your lawn.

They are:

1. Kill the seeds in September: Reduce the number that can grow in your lawn the next spring by killing the seeds. There are a number of pre-emergent pesticides available to the homeowner for purchase and several additional that are only available to licensed applicators. So calling in a professional to get the them out of your lawn must be considered if you really have to rid your lawn of every dandelion as far as you can see.

2. Dig them out: A natural and organic pest control technique that works well on a lawn, sidewalk, or garden. Dig them when the ground under the lawn is soft after a rainstorm. You can buy a dandelion knife for that purpose and other specialized tools sold for the home owner to attack the pest this way. If you pick the head and leaves repeatedly as they regrow, eventually the tap-root will die as it will not be able to sustain itself.

3. Spray the lawn in the spring: Use a broad leaf weed killer on a calm day with no rain forecast for at least 24 hours afterward.

4. Use a landscape fabric: Fabric mulching around the lawn and garden edges is effective if covered with ornamental mulch such as wood chips to a depth of 3 inches.

5. Keep a healthy lawn: A really thick healthy lawn resists new dandelions. A weak shallow lawn will sponsor a greater number of new dandelion plants.

6. Spread corn gluten meal on the lawn: Spread each year, the meal will kill the dandelion seeds eventually and you will do your pest control in a natural organic way.

Other “dandelions die” techniques include:

7. torches to burn the dandelions out,

8. unique pullers, designed for homeowner use

9. digging your heel and twisting into the plant to expose it to fungi and microbial agents,

10. plastic on top of weeds and soil to let the sun super heat the area and burn them up,

11. spraying dandelions with vinegar and soaps with fatty acid components.

12. there is one last alternative, cement your yard or cover it with rocks and paint it green.

Need help? You are losing the war? Call a pest control expert.