You spend a lot of time making sure your yard looks amazing. You feed your grass when you’re supposed to, water often, and mow to the perfect height. But if there’s one thing that quickly can ruin the look of your yard and cause tons of frustration, it’s dandelions.
The minute you spot one, you know that it has to be taken care of. Otherwise, it won’t be long before this yellow nuisance completely takes over your yard. They spread very aggressively, so act fast.
When it comes to getting rid of dandelions, the two easiest ways are to either pull them out manually or use herbicides. Read on to decide which method will work best for you.
Method 1: Pull Them Up Manually
When taking on this task, you need to make sure that you remove the root. If you don’t, the dandelions will grow back.
This may sound simple enough, but dandelion roots can extend up to 10 inches into your soil. Thus, it’s helpful if you have the right tool for the job. Using weed removal tools could help with this process.
Typically, these tools come equipped with claws or spikes on the end that are driven into the ground. These are supposed to get under the root and pull the entire dandelion out of your yard. Here are the steps to achieve manual dandelion removal:
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Before heading out into your yard, make sure you have whatever weed puller you want to use. It’s also beneficial to have a wheelbarrow or basket to dispose of the dandelions.
You might also consider wearing gloves. This can ensure that your hands don’t slip while using weed removal tools and protect them from callouses. If you are using short, handheld tools that require you to be on your knees, you should consider wearing knee pads or using a portable knee pad as you move around your yard.
Should you be using a weed removal tool that can be used while standing, this could save you from back pain as you get rid of dandelions from your yard.
Make sure you wear a hat to protect yourself from the sun and clothing that keeps you cool and dry while you work in your yard.
Step 2: Find a Dandelion Patch
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to head out into your yard. Most people find it easiest to work in sections, as this will allow you to see the progress you make as you remove dandelions.
Step 3: Remove the Dandelions
If you’re using a handheld weed remover, make sure you get down far enough into the ground to pull out the root. Once you have the tool in place, you should then be able to use leverage and pop the dandelion right out of the ground.
If you’re using a tool that allows you to stand upright, you’ll need to place the spikes around the plant and then drive them into the ground.
Depending on the type of tool you are using, you may have to turn the handle a few times to loosen the dandelion from the ground. You should then be able to pull upwards, and the dandelion will be removed from your yard along with some dirt.
Step 4: Dispose of the Dandelions
Once you have removed all of the dandelions from your yard and placed them in the wheelbarrow or basket, you can then add them to your garden waste bag. Dispose of them as you would any other vegetation from your yard.
Method 2: Use Herbicide
If pulling dandelions out of your yard seems like a monumental task, you might consider using herbicides instead. If you have pets or children who enjoy playing in your yard, make sure to use a less toxic herbicide. There are some natural options you can make at home.
There are a variety of items you have in your home that can help you in the fight against dandelions. These include the following:
- Boiling Water: After boiling water in a kettle or pot on the stove, pour it directly onto the dandelion. In a few hours, you should see the leaves turn brown. You’ll then have to pull it out of the ground, but boiling water can make the process much easier.
- Vinegar: You can spray either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar directly onto dandelions to kill them. Add the vinegar to a spray bottle and make sure to coat all of the leaves. It should only take a few hours for the leaves to turn brown, and then you should be able to pull them out of the ground.
- Rubbing Alcohol: To use rubbing alcohol, mix 2 tablespoons into one quart of water. Place this in a spray bottle and spray it directly onto the dandelion, making sure to coat all of the leaves. Again, it should only take a few hours for the leaves to turn brown. If they don’t, spray them again.
In addition to using products from your home, it’s also possible to get chemicals from the store to help you get rid of dandelions.
There’s a wide variety of options to choose from, including weed-and-feed fertilizers that will feed your grass while also getting rid of dandelions. Typically, these are most effective when spread evenly across your entire yard.
There are also sprays that can be applied directly to the plant to kill it. You have the option of getting one specifically designed for dandelions or one for weeds in general. When taking this route, make sure you look for an option that will keep your grass safe. Otherwise, you’ll be killing your lawn along with the dandelions.
How to Prevent Dandelions From Growing Again
After spending the time to get rid of dandelions in your yard, you’ll want to do what you can to keep them from coming back. Keep in mind that it’s not realistic to think that you can prevent all dandelions from growing in your yard. The seeds float chaotically in the wind, so there’s a chance one or two may still pop up.
However, taking care of one or two is much easier than removing a ton of them from your yard.
Thus, to reduce the chances of dandelions from taking over your property, it’s beneficial to add a weed-and-feed fertilizer to your yard in the spring. If you keep your grass thick and lush, this will make it harder for dandelions to thrive. Thus, focusing on maintaining a healthy yard can help prevent dandelions from growing again.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Dandelions So Hard to Get Rid Of?
Dandelions are tough to get rid of because they were built for survival. They have the ability to push out grass and other plants by taking water and nutrients out of the soil. Their roots also penetrate deeply into the ground, making it difficult to get rid of the entire plant.
In addition, their seeds can float far and wide, and wherever they land, they can make it home. The methods listed above can help you fight against dandelions, but mowing them down before they have a chance to go to seed can also help reduce their numbers in your yard.
Can I Use Roundup to Get Rid of Dandelions?
Roundup isn’t the best option to kill dandelions for a couple of different reasons. The first is that it can also kill your lawn. Since you probably don’t want that to happen, using another herbicide or natural method that protects your grass is advised.
It can also take up to 10 days before Roundup is successful at killing dandelions. If it rains at all during that time, it’s possible that the chemicals will get rinsed off and not impact the weeds at all. Roundup also has to be applied during optimum conditions.
Due to this, using the other methods to get rid of dandelions might be in your best interest.