Prepping for the Dandelion Battle

You’ve probably already noticed… it’s dandelion time! Because of the warmer weather, they’ve sprouted a little early. And these hardy guys bounced back just fine after our April frosts, thank you very much.

Dandelion flowers primarily blossom in April and May, but sometimes appear as early as February and as late as June. Plants generally remain vegetative and don’t flower until a satisfactory number of leaves form. One Dandelion plant produces anywhere from 3,00023,000 seeds each year! Yikes! That’s a lot of potential!

I don’t use chemicals in my gardenaside from the fact that they are unhealthy for people, animals, and the planet, they also leave burn marks on your turf. I don’t recommend them to my clients, either. So what can you do to deter dandelions?

Dandelion-Tamers

Dandelion Tamers

  • When it comes to dandelions, the best cure is prevention. A thick turf prevents the seeds from germinating. Here are a few ideas for muscling up your turf.
  • Taller grass = deeper roots and stronger turf. Cut grass regularly with very sharp blades, but keep it 3 inches or higher. Mowing frequently during dandelion season helps keep the seeds from germinating as well.
  • Keep grass hydrated but with deeper, less frequent watering. During hot weather, water in the very early morning.
  • NEVER let the yellow flowers stay on the plant until they turn white and fuzzy. If you don’t have time to remove the whole plant, at least remove the yellow flower heads. This prevents the seeds from forming and creating other plants.

When the yellow flower turns white, the seeds are viable at this point and will spread and germinate additional plants. You may remember as a kid, picking Dandelions when they had a white fuzzy sphere on top of the stem and blowing the fuzz to see it blow away. Well, that is known as seed dispersal in the plant world!

Flowers

Removing dandelions

  • They are perennials, so preventing seeds for germinating isn’t enough. I recommend the old school way of getting rid of existing plantsdigging them up by the roots. It’s easier to do this after a good rain as the soil is loosened.
  • Combat weeds by covering holes and thin areas buy viagra online legally with a mix of grass seed and compost. Be sure to choose the correct grass seed for the area. We recommend Kentucky Blue Grass for sunny areas and Fescue for shade.
  • Poach or pickle some folks swear by pouring boiling water or vinegar (5% concentration) over the plants.

OR… Delight in your Dandelion If you can’t fight them, join them!

Named from the French term “dent de lion” or “lion’s tooth,” referring to the jaggededged leaves, these tenacious fellas have managed to survive all of humanity’s attempts to destroy them. They deserve a little credit. And, it’s not just children who delight in them. Young dandelion leaves can be eaten as salad greens. Flowers can be used to make wine. Dandelion coffee is made from roasted roots.

  • Dandelions are great sources of vitamins A and C.
  • They are impressive sources of iron, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and copper.
  • Dandelions have been prescribed as a mild laxative and is one of the best herbs for enriching blood.
  • During WWII, dandelion roots were used for latex to make rubber.

Once we get past the idea that they are weeds, they are a cheerful pop of spring color, nature’s FREE kitchen and pharmacy, and they’ll survive a zombie apocalypse!