Dandelions are the king of the lawn jungle. The name dandelion means, “Tooth of the lion” referring to the tooth-like leaves on the base of the plant. Dandelions are the most recognized lawn weed because they are so easy to find with their bright yellow flower and grey puffballs, and they seem to be all over the place! Remember, April showers bring May flowers, yes a bunch of dandelions. What can we do to get rid of “the king” of lawn weeds?
The best way to control dandelions is to understand their life cycle. Dandelions are perennial plants that belong to the sunflower family. They do look somewhat similar but what a difference, low growing dandelions versus a tall growing sunflower! They were introduced from Europe and love sunny, moist areas of the lawn. Dandelions continually bloom and reseed themselves so they are a constant threat to a great looking lawn. Their roots can grow up to 18 inches deep to help ensure long-term survival. After blooming, the grey puffballs appear in late spring, each puffball can contain over 200 seeds! The dandelion plant grows low to avoid mowing, but the puffball stems grow high between mowings to spread their seeds for miles. I’ve heard many times, “I have a great lawn but my neighbor; his dandelions invade my lawn every year!”
How do we get rid of dandelions? Children may like to pick them and collect them but the plant will still live from its strong roots. You can try to pull them out, but most likely some root mass may remain and the plant rejuvenates themselves. You can dig them out; this can be effective provided you get the whole root. If you have 200+ dandelions in your lawn, is it practical to dig them all out? Sometimes when dandelions get out of control you need a little help.
Green Up Weed & Feed feeds the good grass and can control dandelions and other broadleaf weeds at the same time. The beauty of Green Up Weed & Feed is that it is “selective” meaning it can kill many weeds and not your lawn. Dandelions and other broadleaf weeds are best controlled when they are actively growing, not when temperatures are less than 50 degrees. Of course, follow label directions for best control. Here are the 3 tips for best control: do not mow your grass for 2 days before or after application, apply to a moist dew-like lawn, do not water in or expect rainfall for 2 days after application. By following these 3 golden rules your weed control will be greatly enhanced. Do not apply broadleaf weed controls if the weather is hot and humid with temperatures over 85 degrees. Dandelions can take 3-4 weeks for complete kill down to the root, be patient. Note, Green Up Weed and Feed will not control crabgrass!
If you do not want dandelions, why do you not have a better growing, healthy lawn? This brings us back to how to grow a great lawn. Proper feeding, mowing, weed controls and watering play a factor in the quality of your lawn. Organic Weed Preventer when put down in early spring before dandelion seeds germinate can control them over time if you wish to go organic. However, Organic Weed Preventer will not control existing weeds.
Early fall is also a good time to control dandelions even though the bright yellow flower is not as prominent. Monitor your lawn and consider a Lawn Weed Control application if plants are present. If you follow a sound lawn care program you can eliminate dandelions over time. Good luck fighting the dreaded dandelion!