The persistence of dandelions makes them one of the hardest weeds to control. If you’re out of wits in dealing with these ever-growing weeds, we’ll give you some weed control tips to shed some hope and aid your frustration.
In this post, we’ll share the different ways to deal with dandelions. We will also share their plant structure and behavior so you’ll know how to target their weak spots and eliminate them.
11 Effective Home Remedies To Control Dandelions
Here are some tips on how to safely deal with dandelions in your yard.
We’ve included the easiest methods up to the last-resort-type of weed removal to set you free from the invasive dandelions.
Pro tip: The success of the dandelion removal depends on several factors like the span of your yard and the depth of the taproots in your area.
We recommend trying any of the methods listed below to find the best solution for your case.
Your condiments at home can be enough to make a concoction for controlling dandelions. Aside from being cost-efficient, it’s also way less of a hassle to use the items in your kitchen than buying a chemical weed killer.
Here are some of the weed solutions that you can try:
1. Vinegar, Lemon Juice, and Dish Soap Solution
Vinegar is a multipurpose kitchen star. Aside from being a condiment and cleaning agent, you can also use it to kill dandelions.
To add to the strength of the acetic acid in vinegar, you also need the help of lemon juice and dish soap. Here’s how you can mix them:
- 1 tbsp. Dish soap
- 4 tbsps. of lemon juice
- 4 cups of vinegar
- Spray bottle
- In a clean spray bottle, mix all the vinegar dish soap and lemon juice. Shake it well.
- Spray the solution onto the dandelions in your yard and make sure to cover all the areas, even under the leaves.
- The strong acetic acid in the vinegar solution will dissolve the cell membranes and tissues of dandelions. Wait for 3 to 4 hours to see the weed die.
- If the weeds are not showing any signs of wilt, re-apply the solution.
- Pull the wilted dandelion out and make sure to include the taproot that’s around 4 to 6 inches below the surface.
2. Rubbing or Isopropyl Alcohol
Alcohol is not only effective in killing germs but also pesky dandelions. However, many gardeners disagree with the use of alcohol in the garden since it can also kill good plants.
Alcohol is one of the fastest weed killers so, we made some twists to make it more garden-friendly.
- 4 cups of water
- 2 tbsps. of rubbing alcohol
- Spray bottle
- Plastic sheet
- Cut a hole in the plastic sheet that is enough for the dandelion to fit in.
- Place it on the ground to cover other plants.
- Mix the alcohol and water in the spray bottle and shake it well.
- Spray the diluted alcohol to the dandelions. The alcohol will get rid of all the moisture from the leaves of the dandelion that can cause the plant to die.
- Pull it out and make sure to include the taproot that’s around 4 to 6 inches below the surface.
3. Boiling Water
One of the easiest ways to kill a dandelion is to drench it with boiling water on a hot sunny day. Make sure to let the boiling water reach 6 inches below the ground to deal with the taproot.
Once the dandelions start to wilt, pull them out and locate the taproot to prevent it from regenerating new roots and stems.
Another strategy is to cut out the most important energy source of dandelions – the sun.
Just like other plants, dandelions also need sunlight to fuel photosynthesis and other plant systems. By covering your lawn, dandelions will not be able to build energy stores to grow.
Here are some lawn cover ideas that will prevent the dandelions from popping out:
1. Wood Chips, Mulch, or Bark Chips
Lawn covers are suitable for small yards and may not be able to control weeds in larger lawns. You can either use wood chips, mulch, or bark chips to cover the ground from the sun and prevent the weeds from growing. Start by:
- Lawn cover
- Mow your yard and cut all the leaves and stems above the surface.
- Till the ground, so you can uproot or cut the roots and stem of dandelions which is usually at 4 to 6 inches below the surface.
- Cover the yard with a lawn cover of your choice for up to 3 inches thick.
For a more affordable lawn cover, you can use newspapers to cover the ground. Start with the following procedure:
- Cut the dandelions using a lawnmower.
- Cover the area with newspapers. It will limit the sun exposure of the dandelions and allow them to starve from the lack of solar energy.
- Remove the wilted dandelions and try to recover their taproots below the surface.
- Allow it to stay and decompose in the ground to serve as a fertilizer.
3. Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a by-product of corn milling that contains dipeptides that are responsible for its herbicide properties. It can control persistent weeds like dandelions, crabgrass, and chickweed.
To use this method, you’ll need 50 lbs. per 1 square foot of your yard. Apply it before the dandelion seeds germinate.
Manual Weed Removal
If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with going back to the basics. Pulling out dandelions one by one is probably one of the most efficient weed control if they are few.
All you have to do is to locate the taproot to dismantle their energy stores and die underground.
You may also pour a homemade herbicide in the hole where you pulled out the dandelion. To maintain a weed-free lawn, always make sure to mow it frequently to get rid of the dandelion flowers that spread the dandelion seeds.
Getting Some Help From Farm Animals
If you have a considerable lawn to maintain, it can be hard to pull out all the dandelions one by one.
Some friendly animals can do the job for you. If we include dandelion leaves in our salads, the following animals love munching on these pesky weeds:
- Prairie dogs
Chemical Herbicides and Weed Torching
If all else fails, you may use intense weed control techniques for your garden. You can use chemical weed control or burn the entire field of dandelions.
However, some of these methods are high-risk and may affect the ecosystem and health of your soil.
We recommend taking these steps as a last resort and be the last on your list in dealing with dandelions.
You can sprinkle salt on walkways and unplanted areas where most weeds flock during spring. However, you should anticipate that the soil in the area will not be a conducive environment for good plants to grow.
Too much salt or sodium in the soil will retain the moisture underground and rob the moisture needed by plants to grow. So, think twice before trying this method.
2. Chemical Weed Removers
There are also several weed control herbicides in the market that you can use to instantly kill the weeds in your lawn.
However, it may have adverse effects on your lawn. That’s why it is recommended that you should do a patch test before applying them on dandelions. One of the best options in the market are:
- Scotts TouchUp Weed Control for Lawn
- Ortho B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Concentrate
- Roundup Safe Weed Killer For Northern Lawns
Though most of the weed control concentrates in the market promise a non-harmful formula to your sod or grass, they may not be safe to use around kids and pets.
We recommend acknowledging the risks of using these products before you apply them to your lawn.
3. Burning Weeds
Burning or flame weeding is another natural way of controlling the growing dandelions in your yard.
The flowers are responsible for spreading more dandelions in your yard and by getting rid of them, you’ll prevent them from growing elsewhere. Here’s how you can burn the dandelions:
- Butane torch
- Light up the torch and burn all the flowers that can spread the dandelion seeds. They get easily burned by holding the torch near the flowers.
- Once all the flowers are burned, use the spade to uproot them from the ground.
- You may also apply a homemade herbicide to the hole where you removed the dandelions to prevent them from growing again.
Getting To Know Dandelions and Their Weakness
Dandelions are perennial weeds that grow in both dry and moist soil conditions. They’re mostly found in Hardiness zones 3 to 10. These weeds are known for being persistent due to their ability to regenerate even if you cut them down.
Dandelions have a strong taproot where they partially collect their energy stores. The roots usually reach 4 to 6 inches below the soil surface that can even grow for up to 10 feet for the mature dandelions.
These persistent weeds grow buds on top of the roots which produce crowns. Dandelion crowns bear the seeds which can be flown in by the wind.
Once they are scattered by a strong wind, you’ll surely end up having more dandelions growing in your yard.
Even if you cut off the brown it will grow back and until you cut off the taproot, dandelions will keep on growing back in a day or two.
What’s more, they grow in full sun and shade which means they can almost grow anywhere.
With the flowers holding all the seeds and the taproot holding the plant together, you can control dandelions and prevent them from spreading.
They are the weaknesses of dandelions that you can use to control and eliminate them from your yard.
Common Problems Caused By Dandelions
What makes dandelions a nuisance to most gardeners is their effects on the surrounding ecosystem in their yards. These include:
- Invading good plants: Dandelions grow long and deep roots that grow deep and expansive roots. Its roots can invade other plants and even pavements if they are left growing in the yard.
- Competes with the nutrients and water from the soil: It’s relative like any other plant and consumes the nutrients from the soil that is supposed to be for the good plants in your garden.
- Pops out even after mowing the lawn: What makes it more irritating is that dandelions grow back immediately after you mow them. That means any gardener needs to double work to maintain their lawn which can be tedious and impractical.
Controlling dandelions can be a tough task to take especially for huge lawns. With constant mowing and proper lawn care, you can prevent them from pestering your turf.
We hope that any of the methods listed in this post can help you deal with the weeds in your yard.
We recommend the natural methods in controlling weeds since it’s more environment-friendly and safe for you and your kids and pets. The last this, you may want to happen is to solve a problem with another problem.
Ruining your soil for the sake of removing weeds is not worth all the effort. So, we’d like to remind you to think twice before using any harsh method or chemical on treating your lawn.
With the right natural method, execution, and maintenance, a weed-free lawn is possible for any gardener.
If you find this post helpful, please share it with your friends. Also, let us know which method killed the weeds in your yard completely?
Share it in the comments below and let other gardeners learn from your experience.