The Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)
is a hearty broadleaf weed that grows very, very easily. It's named for it's
sharp, serrated leaves that resemble lion's teeth.Too bad we don't want it in our lawns. Ouch. How crazy is
Dandelions are super easy to grow and spread like wildfire. Once dandelions get started, they blow apart, sending those fine little flying filaments as far as several miles. Everywhere they land, they start a new colony of dandelions. Getting rid of them, once they're settled into your lawn, is an annual ritual. Hopefully I can share of couple of things to make this an easier task for you.
Dandelions were brought to the United States from Europe for use as a medicinal plant. In this regard it works astonishingly well. It can be used as a diuretic. It's also a good source of vitamins, and can be made into a delightful wine. The Whole Foods Market near me actually has them in stock and sells them! While this may be great for your health, it can ruin the looks and health of your lawn.
One of the best ways to deal with dandelions is to hand-pull them (or use a special dandelion weeding tool) from your lawn before they morph into seed umbrellas.
Grab them at the base and make sure you yank out the taproots. You might be fighting a losing battle if your dandelion crop grows from the same root base every spring. In this case, you'll need to dig them out completely--tap roots can descend as deep as 15 feet depending on your soil.
Treat Dandelions below the Lawn
Once dandelions get a solid footing in your lawn, they form a dense matting. This is typically in a circular pattern. Once the roots are down deep, pulling or digging may not work any more.
In this case, spot spraying your lawn with Glyphosate can kill off the weeds. The problem with this is it can also leave dead patches of grass.
Another option is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Isoxaben. This can be effective if you water it in your lawn before the temperature reaches a constant 77 degrees. The reason for this is once it's pretty much 77 or hotter, the seeds begin to germinate.
Using herbicides too soon will burn off dandelion leaves, but the roots will send out fresh shoots come summertime.
Ouch. How crazy is