Pretty hardy dandelions can take root almost anywhere. They prefer places with full sun and a temperate climate. And although they do not pose a danger to the environment, quite the contrary, they provide insects with nectar and pollen.\
If you can put up with their presence on the site, then a population of beneficial insects is maintained. Dandelions are an excellent food source for bees and other pollinators, especially early in the season, before most other flowers have bloomed.
Dandelions can also be used as medicinal herbs and for culinary purposes. Many people eat them, everything from the flower to the root is edible.
In early spring, they wake up among the first plants, and can completely capture the entire area. These perennials come back on their own every year. This means that they sleep during the winter months and reappear in the spring.
Cheerful and annoying yellow dandelions can live from 5 to 10 years. Broadleaf plants grow in any soil, and are most numerous in bright sunlight.
From the tap root, which survives deep in the ground, the cycle begins in early spring. New shoots appear, despite the fact that they disappear in autumn. Yellow flowers appear on them, which, when ripe, turn into white fluffy balls with seeds. They are carried by the wind over lawns and flower beds.
Dandelions can be difficult to control due to their fluffy, far-flying seeds. Since the seeds are dispersed by the wind, no lawn or garden bed is immune from their parachute invasion, and it is difficult to get rid of them permanently.
How to get rid of dandelion weeds
Dandelion weed will crowd out surrounding plants, drawing water and nutrients from them. Their general hardiness and ability to spread large amounts of seeds make them difficult to control.
To prevent dandelions from spreading around the site, you need to kill the root.
Pay attention! There are different ways to get rid of dandelions. To remove them, you need to get to the root. The best way to deal with dandelions is to destroy the entire plant up to the root, and if it is not completely removed, the plant will most likely survive.
Dandelion taproots can go deep into the soil, to a depth of 30 cm. It is very difficult to remove the entire root of an adult plant with bare hands. The single taproot grows deep into the soil, making manual removal difficult.
It is unlikely that after the first round of hand digging, all dandelions will be removed. Every few weeks, you need to manually dig out any dandelions that reappear from the roots.
Pay attention! All weeds have a survival strategy and cannot be completely eradicated. Seeds can lie dormant for years before they germinate, surviving drought and herbicide application. Even if the site is completely cleared of seeds, they can be easily transferred to the site by wind, water, animals or human activities.
Dandelion Control Methods
With some time and effort, you can free your yard from dandelions.
Hand digging to remove dandelion is the most effective, but also the most time-consuming method of control. It should be carried out in the spring, immediately after the appearance of the first shoots, removing the entire main root.
Weeding may not be the most effective way to rid a garden of weeds, but if only a few roots have grown, this is the best option. Since dandelion root is deep and stubborn, using a special tool will help. To facilitate pulling, moisten the soil around the plant,
Mulching. Depriving dandelions of the sunlight they need to thrive is another way to kill the plant. Cut off the stem, and then cover the remaining root in the ground with mulch. This will prevent it from growing.
Using household products. Unfortunately, there are no reliable home remedies for getting rid of dandelions. All remedies that help other weeds, such as salt, boiling water, vinegar, are not good options. They can dry out the leaves, killing other plants in their path, but will not reach the roots.
Empty areas can be protected with covering material: mulch with wood chips, chopped bark or grass mowed in the area. You can also sow green manure, such as rapeseed or mustard. Such crops will crowd out weeds and suppress their growth.
Mowing the lawn frequently and removing clippings will help control the spread of dandelions. When mowing, the flower part of the plant is cut off, which makes it impossible to obtain seeds. Collecting clippings will prevent seeds from falling back onto the lawn.
Pre-emergence herbicides are designed to control the germination of weed seeds. Herbicides are chemicals that kill plants. The pre-emergence preparation is applied before the weed seeds germinate. When germinating seeds encounter a herbicide, cell division is inhibited, resulting in the death of the young seedling.
It is effective only if the dandelion seeds have not had time to germinate. It should be applied at the end of winter to be effective. Seeds can remain dormant and unaffected by pre-emergence herbicide application. This is why weed control is an ongoing process. There will always be seeds below the surface, and a portion will sprout every season.
Spot treatment means spraying each individual plant with a liquid herbicide. There will be no quick results. Weeds can take 1-2 weeks to die back. A second treatment may also be required. The advantage of spot processing is that it is less labor intensive than manual removal.
Important! Herbicide kills any plant that comes into contact with them. With this in mind, use the herbicide carefully.
With all the ways to deal with dandelions, the most important thing is to prevent the formation of seeds. As soon as fluffy seed heads appear, the number of dandelions will increase. Chemical control should only be used as a last resort, as organic approaches are safer for the environment.