Dandelions can be described as a perennial weed, known to be very persistent and difficult to control. While they may look pretty due to their ethereal yellow flowers, they are not meant to be found in carefully maintained gardens and lawns. Though a few dandelions are desirable in the spring season, in the rest of the year, they can stand out and ruin the look of your beautiful lawn. What comes as a relief here is that it is easy to root out the dandelions and you can do that without using toxic herbicides as well, in case your garden area is not too large. If you want to know more on how to get rid of dandelions the easy way, follow the tips given in the lines below.
Tips To Remove Dandelions
Root Them Out
Dandelion plants can be easily dug out by hand. There is a specialized tool called dandelion digger that can be used to remove a wide variety of weeds and their roots, without causing much soil disturbance. The tool resembles a large screwdriver, with the ‘business end’ looking like a fish tale. It maneuvers itself into the soil, at a parallel level to the tap root. The entire plant can be then lifted out, using a small pivot.
Pouring boiling water over the dandelion plants will work well as a low-tech weed control. In 2-3 days time, the plants will die on their own and then you can lift them out, if you want. This method is also known to be effective against orange hawkweed. However, in a large area, the best way to control them is to do sheet mulching and smother them.
Try Mulch Method
Smothering dandelion plants with mulch will kill them, as they need sunlight for photosynthesis and the light also facilitates the process of seed germination. You can also cover the dandelions with cardboard or black plastic to block the sunlight and weigh them down. In a few days, the weeds will be forced to death.
Vinegar can prove to be effective against the dandelions and even other weeds. A 5 percent concentration of Vinegar (household vinegar will do!) can effectively work as a weed killer and neutralize annual and perennial weeds, such as dandelions, foxtail, velvetleaf, smooth pigweed and thistle. This technique will work well in a garden or greenhouse. When applied to weed foliage, the acid in the vinegar kills the plants, but doesn’t cause soil or water pollution. However, you will need to apply vinegar more than one time, for rooting out older perennial weeds.
Apply Corn Gluten Meal
Corn Gluten Meal (CGM) is a yellow powder that is created as a by-product of milling corn and is basically used in farm animal feeds and dog food. During the process of seed germination, Corn Gluten Meal prevents the formation of weed roots. It doesn’t allow the root to grow and thus, the seedling is unable to obtain nourishment from the soil, which causes it to dry up and die. CGM should be applied to the lawn 4-6 weeks before the weeds germinate.