How to Weed Dandelions on Your Lawn
Everyone wants a nice lawn, right? The ideal front lawn has grass that is healthy, lush, green and dandelion free. You can achieve this kind of lawn without resorting to harmful chemicals and pesticides. If you want a dandelion free lawn, but you do not want to poison your grass with harmful chemicals, then this hub is for you. There are ways to kill dandelions without poisoning your lawn. Here are my organic lawn care tips for getting rid of dandelions:
Did you know dandelions are good for your garden?
Before you decide to rid your lawn of dandelions, ask yourself if you really need to kill them all. It's not a bad looking little flower. And they are useful, especially near a vegetable garden. If you have dandelions, you also have nice, deep soil that many other plants love to grow in. A dandelion's taproot can grow up to three feet deep. These roots loosen up the soil. They help to bring minerals, especially calcium, to the soil for other plants to use. This plant also exhales ethylene gas, which causes the flowers and fruits of nearby plants to mature earlier. And dandelions attract earthworms, too.
Still can't stand dandelions?
I know, they are not too pretty on your lawn. Especially once they go to seed.
There are ways to kill dandelions without using harmful chemicals. Picking them by hand is one option. It's pretty easy do. Just poke a dandelion picker into the ground, near the plant's roots, and pull up. If you have done it correctly you will hear a popping noise. Be sure to get all of the taproot as it will grow back from any little piece that remains. And do it early for best results, before the plant goes to seed.
I have tried many dandelion pickers in my day and have found these two to be the best:
This inexpensive little hand weeder works well for picking out dandelions.The only downside to it is you have to get on your hands and knees to use it.
The Vinegar Solution
Vinegar works well for killing weeds. Actually it will kill any plant it touches, so be very careful if you are using it on your lawn, or your grass will die too. Just pour some into a spray bottle, add a little dish soap and spray on the plant. It works best on small weeds. I like to use vinegar in combination with the hand pulling of the weeds. I pull them out, then spray a little into the hole to be sure the root is dead.
If you are weeding in an area where you want to kill the weeds for good, add some salt to the vinegar. Beware though, this will kill any plant it touches and the salt will ensure that it won't grow back. This works well for sidewalk cracks or any area you want weed-free forever.
Corn Gluten- An Organic All Natural Weed and Feed
Corn gluten is a nearly harmless herbicide that you can use as a lawn fertilizer and a weed suppressant. It is both a child friendly and pet friendly weed killer. The downside is that it takes a few years of applications before it really works to kill most of the weeds off of your lawn. It also doesn't smell very nice.
Corn gluten is a good source of nitrogen for your grass. It works as a weed killer by preventing plant seeds from germinating. It does little to established weed plants, however, so you must apply it before new weeds have sprouted. The best time to apply it is early spring or late fall. It needs to be watered in really well so sprinkle it all over your grass before a rainfall, or water well with a sprinkler.
Overseeding Your Lawn
Once you have removed the dandelions, you will be left with bald patches on your grass. Be sure to fill these in with grass seed, or the weeds will just take over again.
These are the techniques I have found to be useful in reducing dandelions on my lawn. My personal routine is to apply corn gluten in the spring, before the weeds sprout. Then I hand pick ones that pop out through the year. Finally in the fall, I throw grass seed on the lawn to fill in any bare patches. It is a little more work than just applying a chemical weed and feed, but it is cheaper and it does work eventually if you stick to it. My front lawn was a carpet of yellow flowers when we first moved in 15 years ago, but now I barely get any dandelions at all.