What makes dandelion removal from lawns so difficult ? Well, dandelions enjoy the best of both worlds. Above-ground, their seeds ride the wind currents, poised to drop into the slightest opening in your lawn to propagate the species. Meanwhile, below- ground, they strike down a taproot up to 10 inches long. Pulling the taproot easily fractures and any fraction of the taproot that remains in the ground will regenerate.
Getting rid of dandelions the smart ways : Harvesting Dandelion greens
You’ve probably heard of dandelion wine but dud you know the whole plant is edible? The green are, in fact, quite nutritious. Dandelion root can b roasted as coffee substitute, or boiled and stir-fried as a cooked vegetable. The flower can be made into wine or boiled and stir-fried. Dandelion greens(i.e…, the leaves ) can be boiled, as you would spinach, and used as a cooked vegetable, in sandwiches or as a salad green with someone “bite”. Consult recipes for dandelion greens for ideas.
They’re high in vitamin A, C and iron. Just avoid harvesting near roads, since road salt or other toxins maybe present. Likewise, you obviously shouldn’t harvest from a lawn where herbicides have been used. But what about the taste, you ask? Dandelion greens taste like other salad greens like chicory and escarole.
How you go about harvesting and cooking them also spring before the flowers appear. That’s when they’re the tenderest and least bitter. After the first frost in fall is another time when dandelion greens aren’t the tenderest and least bitter. After the first frost in fall is another time when dandelion greens aren’t so bitter. Boiling them will further reduce their bitterness.
Preventive Dandelion control
Promoting lawn health is the best method of dandelion control. Don’t think of your lawn grass as a passive partner, which has to be rescued from weeds after the fact. If managed properly, your lawn can compete effectively against weeds, obviating the need for laborious dandelion removal. Follow these lawn care tips :
– Leave grass clipping on your lawn. They will act as a mulch to prevent weed seeds from germinating. The benefits of grass clippings to your lawn, under the right conditions, are numerous.
– Mow “high”, leaving the lawn grass at a height of 2 to 3 inches. This will allow the lawn grass to ” protect its own turf” better, depriving weeds of the light they need.
– Don’t let bare spots remain uncovered for long, or you’re just inviting the invasion of opportunistic weeds. In the fall, fill in those bare spots by overseeding.
All of the foregoing remarks assume that your approach to dandelions will be hostile. But that needn’t be the case.
When to apply herbicides on Dandelions
Early fall is the best time ti kill dandelions with herbicides. Dandelions are broadleaf, herbaceous perennial. Since their leaves die back in winter, it is through their roots that the plants live on.In early fall, nutrients are transferred from the leaves down to the roots. This transfer, which continues until the first killing frost, present you with an opportunity to hit them where it hurts ! Herbicides applied during this time are absorbed by the leaves and passed on to the roots, following the same path down as the nutrients.
For at least two or three days to applying herbicides, don’t mow the lawn. The bigger the surface are of the dandelion leaves, the more effective your application can be. Likewise, following the application of herbicide, wait at least two or three days before mowing, to allow time for the herbicide to be transferred to the roots.
How to kill Dandelions :
If you want to try to pull these weeds, despite the difficulty just mentions, here’s how ti proceed :
– To facilitate weeding, water the lawn first ( weeds are more easily extricated from wet soil ).
– Make an incision into the soil, down along the side of the taproot, using a garden spade or similar tool. If you’re really serious, you can even buy a tool designed specifically for dandelion removal.
– Wiggle the tool to loosen the taproot.
– Using the ground as a fulcrum, try to pry up the weed. Get a good trip on the leaves and use them as your ” handle” on which to tug.
– Give the weed a gentle tug to see if the taproot is yielding.
– If the taproot is yielding, remove the dandelion weed from the soil. Otherwise, make further incisions around taproot and continue to tug gently at the leaves.
I am not a proponent of using herbicides when an alternative exits that works just as well.
But killing dandelions is a case where one might consider breaking out the big guns. As mentioned earlier, all it takes is leaving a fraction of the root behind, and your efforts at pulling dandelions will be for nothing. Furthermore, there are some herbicide options which are less toxic.