How to Get Rid of Dandelions in a Few, Easy to Follow Steps
The most immaculately manicured lawns are not immune to them; even the best cared for gardens. Whether your lawn is already taken over, or if dandelions are just starting to grow ever so delicately in your bit of earth, this article is a must read.
Dandelions are a large genus of flowering plants. Native to Eurasia and North America, they are commonly considered as wild flowers. The name dandelion itself is French for “lion’s tooth,” which leads many to joke about the fact that the flower is as difficult to remove as a lion’s tooth. We see them everywhere. But, one thing is for sure, no one is planting dandelions. You see, many garden lovers do not like them, and gardeners wake up every morning reflecting on how to control dandelion infestation. The secret is to understand how the plant survives and adapts.
The species Taraxacum, where dandelions belong, produce seeds asexually; their seeds are produced without pollination; not to mention that the flower’s offspring are also genetically identical to the parent plant. This surely helps dandelions multiply without any assistance from an animal or another plant. Meaning, they do not need animals or other plans to move their seeds around, even insects are not necessary. Another is the flower’s ability to adapt. Flowering plants normally die when mowed down, dandelions do not. Some plants die when their leaves are removed, dandelions can survive without them. Also, dandelions do not die when their flowers are removed. It is able to grow back as soon as it is left alone. Lastly, some plants only make a number of seeds at a time; dandelions make a bunch of them, all the time. So, what is the effective way of killing dandelions?
The problem is that dandelions are difficult to eliminate. The tricky part is, many of us remove only its leaves, stems and flowers, leaving its roots to grow back and flourish. Remember that they are not like other common species of plants. They need to be eliminated completely, that’s how to get rid of dandelions. And by completely, it means the whole plant, from roots to tips. The key is to stop these lion’s teeth in their tracks:
IF YOU DON’T WANT MORE, MO’ IT. If you do not have time, like most people, to get on your knees and remove each trace of dandelion roots in your garden, then you need to mow more often. The secret is to make sure that dandelions in your garden do not mature. A mature dandelion is able to produce seeds, and we all know what that means—more dandelions in outdoor areas.
GET TO THE BOTTOM OF IT. If by any chance you have time in your hands, you can use garden tools and start digging out the roots. That’s how to get rid of dandelions in the safest, cheapest and most effective way. Ordinary tools can also work – a large fork, a screwdriver, or anything that can remove weed with the least amount of soil disturbance. Locate its stronghold, its roots, and remove the whole plant.
LET THEM EAT CAKE (DANDELION CAKE.) If you are raising animals like chicken, rabbits, deer or any critters, you are in luck—they love dandelions for lunch. Even American Goldfinch, Wild Turkey and other similar birds cannot resist dandelions. But, here’s the thing, they do not eat the whole plant. They only eat dandelion leaves and flowers. So, this may only be a temporary solution. But hey, no one is arguing. If these animals are helping you, that’s a good thing—not to mention that you are also feeding them.
POACH THAT DANDELION IN THE FACE. Here is how to get rid of dandelions in a very low tech, but very fun process:
1. Go to the kitchen undetected.
2. Fetch that water kettle under the sink (preferably the one with dandelion prints.)
3. Boil some fresh water.
4. Go out to the garden and locate those dandelions.
5. Get on your knees and pour boiling water
You will notice that after 2 to 3 days, those stubborn dandelions will wreck.
Disclaimer: Make sure that no one can see you while you are doing step 5. People will exercise their normal tendency to think that you are crazy when they see you watering your garden with boiling water.
WAIT, WHAT DID YOU SAY? Sunlight helps mature yellow dandelions produce seeds. So, simply prevent dandelions from having access to the sun. Block dandelions by using any material like wood, black garbage bags or thick cloths. Cover the plants and make sure you weigh it down. If you are worried that your neighbors might think that you are leaving behind pieces of wood and plastic in your garden, you can paint them! Make them look like your very own design pieces.
IF YOU CANNOT BEAT THEM, PICKLE THEM. Yup, you heard that one right. Water dandelions using any household vinegar. Again, do not let any neighbor see you. The acid in vinegar will do the trick. Do not worry, this procedure will not cause any soil or water pollution in your garden. You might have to repeat the process for several days, especially if you are dealing with mature dandelions.
How to get rid of dandelions: THE ULTIMATE KILLER. Apply CGM or Corn Gluten Meal to your dandelion infested lawn. Corn Gluten Meal is a byproduct of milled corn. CGM is normally used in farm animal feeds. You can order them online, or you can drop by any local garden supply or nursery. CGM will prevent dandelions from germinating, and in time, they will dry up and die.
Perhaps the best advice is to give it a little attitude and patience, because dandelions are really made to survive. That’s how to get rid of dandelions effectively.