Other Names: Lion’s tooth
Appearance: Dandelions have very small flowers that collect together to form a flower head, called a floret. In the beginning of the season, the floret is a bright yellow color and it closes at night. The flower heads mature into spherical seed heads called blowballs or clocks, which is when the weed gets that iconic, wispy look.
Risk: You don’t just have to worry about your own lawn! If your neighbor has dandelions, you will likely get them, too, because this durable plant spreads through seed and taproot.
Timing: Dandelions bloom in the spring and fall.
Outlook: This weed is perennial, meaning it will come back year after year, spreading year after year it’s not managed.
How to Control Dandelions
Maintaining a healthy lawn is one of the easiest ways to prevent dandelions from growing in your yard. You can get your grass in tip-top, dandelion-fighting shape by:
- Watering Well: Your grass needs adequate water to thrive. It prefers long soakings about two to three times weekly instead of daily watering, depending on the rain levels from the week.
- Reseeding patchy spots: Grass roots go deep into the ground and take up a lot of space, taking away the valuable real estate weeds need to thrive.
- Aerating Your Soil: Soil compaction keeps air and water from reaching the deeper levels of soil where grass roots grow, so only plants that grow nearer to the surface, like weeds, can thrive.
- Checking Your Lawn’s pH Level: If your soil’s pH level isn’t neutral (about 7.0), your grass doesn’t have the right environment to thrive, but weeds might. To balance the pH level, your soil may also need applications of lime.
No matter how tempting, do not make a wish with dandelions! If anything, you are granting the weed’s wish of spreading seed around.
Dandelions are tough to treat because they can spread via seed or through root. If you pull the weed up, make sure you get the entire root system, because any fraction of the taproot that remains will regenerate. To weed by manually, use these steps:
- Water the grass first to wet the soil
- Make an incision into the soil using a garden spade. There are even tools created specifically for dandelion removal!)
- Wiggle the tool to loosen the taproot and give the weed a gentle tug to see if the roots are loosened.
- If the root comes up easily, pull the weed all the way out. If you still get a little pull-back, make your incision wider.
Herbicides can also be used to kill dandelions. While choosing the manual option is the safest for your grass, dandelions are resilient and multiply easily, taking a chemical approach gives you more reliable results.
Shades of Green Lawn & Landscape knows just what your lawn needs. We used science-based practices to ensure your yard is as healthy as can be and can fend off dandelions. Our lawn care packages offer all-around care for your yard. Call us today at 765-771-9998 for a free quote and more information.
Need Help with Dandelions?
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