Dandelion is a common weed in Maryland with tooth-like leaves and yellow flowers around its hollow step. As they mature, they turn into white puffballs that transport seeds in the wind. If dandelions are taking over your yard, you can follow these tips for removing dandelions from your lawn.
Besides the yellow flowers and white puffballs you may see on your lawn, dandelions come in various shapes, colors and sizes. Some varieties of this weed include the following.
The best time to remove dandelions is when the soil is moist. You’ll want to dig up the roots in the spring before they spread. Besides hiring professional lawn care, you can get rid of dandelions by pulling them by hand. Since they spread quickly, you probably should leave them alone if you only have a few dandelions on your property.
You’ll need to remove the whole taproot to prevent the dandelion from creating new plants. You can use a trowel or a long-handled shovel to protect your back. When you remove the dandelion from your lawn, make sure you fill in the bare spots left behind with topsoil to prevent other weeds from taking over your yard. You can fill in large holes with grass seed.
Dandelions are invasive weeds that can take over a large area in a short period. Explore how dandelions grow and spread.
Perennial dandelions grow when the soil temperature is above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. They spread more quickly when the soil temperature is near 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Since these hardy plants can grow in most climates, they flourish all over the United States and in parts of Canada. They’re resistant to drought, diseases, pests and insufficient soil nutrients. As a result, they’re invasive and challenging to remove from your property. Dandelions continue to grow by hugging the ground and evading your mower blade.
Dandelions grow durable, deep taproots that can be as long as a foot and a half. Once you notice their yellow flowers sprout up from the ground, they’ve already established themselves on your lawn. When left alone, dandelions can live for more than a decade. Even though they prefer moist soil and direct sunlight, they can also grow in shady, dry areas once they’ve taken root. They also take over bare spots on your lawn.
Each dandelion plant makes about 15,000 seeds that spread like parachutes in the wind. These invasive weeds can travel as far as the breeze will take them. Even though dandelion seeds don’t live long in the soil, they don’t get dormant. They can germinate instantly in the same year the plant matures.
The best way to get rid of dandelions is to invest in professional lawn care. If you’re in a pinch and want to try something yourself, you can try the following dandelion control methods.
If you want to pull your dandelions by hand, you’ll need to be persistent. You may have to repeat your efforts for several seasons to eradicate them for good. You also have to make sure you remove the whole plant to prevent the roots from regenerating. Follow these tips for how to pull dandelions.
It’s easier to pull dandelions when the soil is moist. Water the part of the lawn where you have dandelions and wait for the ground to soak up the water.
Use a pitchfork or garden spade to dig around the taproot and loosen it from the soil.
Take hold of the leaves and pull the weed gently out of the ground until the taproot comes out. If you need to loosen the soil more, dig deeper until you get the taproot.
Fill in bare spots by reseeding the area with grass seed.
Herbicides should be a last resort when removing dandelions from your lawn because of their danger to the rest of your property. You can try to use post-emergent herbicides and general weed control methods such as burning the area or dousing it with boiling water, but these methods also kill the grass.
Other eco-friendly techniques — such as spraying dandelions with vinegar — may only be effective at getting rid of the foliage, so the roots could create new plants. If you have to use herbicides, it’s best to contact a professional lawn care provider.
The most effective way to control dandelions is proper lawn care. Follow these tips to create a lush, healthy lawn.
Mow your lawn at the best height for your grass type. Instead of mowing too short, provide shade for the soil with thick grass to prevent dandelions from growing and taking root.
Prevent dandelions from spreading by running your lawn mower before they germinate. Even though it might not stop them from growing, it’ll prohibit them from spreading their seed onto your or your neighbor’s yard.
Prevent dandelions from growing in your garden by applying mulch to a depth of at least a few inches. You can easily pick out the weeds by hand if they grow on the mulch.
Dandelions favor soil with higher alkaline levels, while lawn grasses prefer neutral soil. Conduct a soil test to measure its pH and adjust it as necessary.
The best way to control and prevent dandelions is ongoing care from a lawn professional. As a locally owned company, we specialize in managing the weeds in Maryland so you can have a healthy, luscious lawn. Reach out to us online or call 410.536.5800 for more information about our services.