How to get rid of dandelions
Before we get the juicy part of this how-to on ridding your lawn from dandelion infestation, let’s hear about some interesting facts regarding this miraculous flower:
— The dandelion is the only flower that represents the 3 celestial bodies of the sun, moon and stars. The yellow flower resembles the sun, the puff ball resembles the moon and the dispersing seeds resemble the stars.
— The dandelion flower opens to greet the morning and closes in the evening to go to sleep.
— Every part of the dandelion is useful: root, leaves, flower. It can be used for food, medicine and dye for coloring.
— Up until the 1800s people would pull grass out of their lawns to make room for dandelions and other useful "weeds" like chickweed, malva, and chamomile.
— The average American recognizes thousands of logos for commercial products, yet recognizes fewer than five plants that grow in his/her area. Dandelions are most likely one of those familiar plants.
— The name dandelion is taken from the French word "dent de lion" meaning lion’s tooth, referring to the coarsely-toothed leaves.
— Dandelions have one of the longest flowering seasons of any plant.
— Seeds are often carried as many as 5 miles from their origin!
— A not so fun fact: Every year Americans spend millions on lawn pesticides to have uniform lawns of non-native grasses, and we use 30% of the country’s water supply to keep them green.
So, if you must, here are some alternative methods to battle the dandelion flower this Spring without the use of harmful pesticides:
— The Hard Way: by hand, pull up each dandelion from the root. Make sure to get the entire root or the dandelion will come back.
— The Not So Hard Way: Use the Weed Hound to pull dandelions out of the ground without bending over and tweaking your back.
— Decapitation: remove the heads from the dandelions while they are still yellow flowers; preventing them from getting to the germination phase (a puffball of a thousand seeds) can impede dandelion proliferation.
— Corn Gluten: apply corn gluten to your lawn each year and it will suppress dandelion growth as well as the growth of other weeds; You can order your non-toxic, weed killing corn gluten in a 6 lb or 20 lb bag online.
— Vinegar: use a vinegar that is at least 15-25% acetic, your household vinegar is 5-10% acetic and not strong enough for the job. I recommend a vinegar product called Burnout by St. Gabriel Labs. It has specifically been designed for gardeners that wish to kill weeds the non-toxic way.