You work hard in your yard, so it’s frustrating to look out and see those pesky, persistent dandelions. No sooner than you cut your grass, they pop their little yellow heads right back up as if they are mocking you!
It’s hard to kick back, fire up the gas grill, and chill out on a Sunday afternoon when you just know that these little guys are still out there, just waiting to make their reappearance! This weekend will be your weekend! You will be armed with these 5 tips that will help you rid your yard of these foul weeds once and for all!
TIP 1: Cut Your Grass High!
You may think that cutting your grass low will cut dandelions down and damage them. While that sounds good, it’s actually not true! When you lower your mower deck too low, you indiscriminately cut down both the weeds and the grass.
Here’s the problem. Dandelions prey on weak lawns and take over areas where the grass is weak. So when you cut the grass too low and damage it, that creates an optimal growing condition for the dandelions to creep in and take over!
On the other hand, healthy grass with dense roots will be resistant to those yellow pests. So cut your grass on a higher setting and allow your grass to establish strong and healthy roots to help prevent those dandelions from rooting in your yard to begin with!
TIP 2: Organic Weed And Feed
Some homeowners don’t like weed and feed products due to the ingredients being toxic to their pets. And rightfully so! Organic weed and feed products can keep both your lawn and your pets safe!
Organic weed and feed products are available in your garden centers. They offer a two-prong approach to eliminating dandelions (and other weeds) from your yard.
First, they seek out and destroy weeds and their seeds so that their growth cycles stop. Second, they “feed” the lawn helping to keep the grass strong enough to resist the ambush of weeds.
Weed and feed is recommended for both spring and fall in most areas. They can be spread using a regular fertilizer spreader, no special equipment is required.
TIP 3: Pull Them Up!
Like many children, I used to get embarrassed by some of my mother’s antics. While the mothers of my friends had hobbies like sunbathing or baking cupcakes, my mother enjoyed eradicating our entire yard of dandelions, one at a time.
She would take her weed-pulling fork outside with her, dig gently around the dandelion so that she wouldn’t damage the grass, and pull out the dandelions by the root. She spent hours on end doing this. Seriously. She would start pulling weeds out of the lawn before I left for school and sometimes still be outside doing this when I got home!
But our yard was always green, luscious, and the envy of the neighbors. Over time, the grass became stronger and the dandelions stopped re-appearing.
When removing dandelions, be sure to remove them by the whole root. If you break them off, they will come back within a day or two. The only permanent way to make one disappear immediately is to pull out the entire root structure with the rest of the plant. Also, do this before they form those white, puffy seeds…if you shake those seeds loose, you will cause them to multiply!
TIP 4: Infrequent Watering Of Your Lawn
Another way to slow the growth of dandelions is to change up your watering habits. Instead of watering your yard a little bit each day, do a deep watering every few days.
Why does this matter? Dandelion seeds thrive in a constantly moist environment. Watering your lawn daily creates the perfect amount of moisture that will make the seeds germinate and take root in your lawn.
TIP 5: Pass The Salt!
If you have dandelions cropping up out of bricks or in cracks of pavement, you can consider killing it with salt. Dandelions seem to be able to grow out of rocks, pavement, gravel, bricks, and other unnatural spaces!
Form a tight circle of Epsom salt around the base of the dandelion. The salinity of the Epsom salt is absorbed by the roots which in turn kills the dandelion. In addition, it changes the pH balance of the soil so that it can’t grow back for several months.
It will take a few days, but that hardy dandelion will wither over time and can then be plucked away. It won’t be able to return again anytime soon!
There’s a big catch with this method of dandelion exterminating. The Epsom salt will kill most flowers…and grass…indiscriminately. Therefore, only use this technique in spaces where you don’t intend to grow anything. Like that concrete crack in the driveway I mentioned!
To be sure, dandelions are pests. They can, and will, ruin the appearance of your lawn if you let them take over! Follow these 5 tips and you can get back to enjoying your yard and spend your time entertaining your guests outdoors without needing to look at those unsightly weeds!
AUTHOR BIO: Deborah Tayloe is a freelance writer and editor with Home Tip Top. She loves DIY projects, landscaping, and gardening. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and an energetic toy fox terrier
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