How to Manage Dandelions In Your Lawn

Dandelions can grow in poor soil conditions and survive periods of drought and can quickly overtake your yard, preventing water and nutrients from reaching your grass and landscaping plants.

Dandelion pollen is a common trigger for people with allergies as dandelions produce around 2,500 seeds each year.

This article offers helpful information about dandelions, the type of products to get rid of them, and tips to prevent them from coming back.

How to Identify Dandelions

Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) can grow near the ground or stretch out as high as 70 cm. The strong taproot, the central root of the dandelion, extends 60 cm into the ground. The dandelion's green stem holds a natural latex that oozes out if broken. A bright yellow flower head, up to 5 cm in diameter, sits atop the stem.

By the time you see their yellow flowers, dandelions have already done most of the work to become firmly established in your yard. The weeds usually appear in the springtime, but another round may show up in the fall. Their sturdy taproots survive through the winter months, so they can flower every spring for 5 – 10 years.

Getting Rid of Dandelions

Using Herbicide

Fall is usually the best time for dandelion control because it's when they pull nutrients down to the taproot. They will pull down the herbicide, too.

The fastest way to kill the dandelions in your yard is by spraying them with herbicides, such as weed control spray products (Restricted use. Check provincial and municipal regulations.).Here are a few tips on how to manage spray products to get the best results:

Apply the product when the forecast looks sunny for the week. This gives the herbicide time to dry and control the dandelions.

  • Wear protective gloves and clothing when you apply the herbicide.
  • Carefully follow the directions and safety instructions on the product label.
  • Do not water within 24 hours after application. Do not apply when rain is expected.
  • Once the dandelions are dead, pull them out of your yard.

Preventing Dandelions From Coming Back

Once you kill off the dandelions, you want to prevent them from coming back. Due to their deep roots which can go 2-3 feet deep into the ground, dandelions come back when you least expect them. Learn how to prevent dandelions from coming back with these two recommendations.

Use Corn Gluten Meal

Dandelion plants naturally drop seeds in your lawn which can germinate, multiplying the number of weeds in your lawn over time. Corn gluten meal is a natural way to prevent all seeds from germinating. When applied, it smuthers the seed, preventing it from germinating. Apply it to your yard in the spring and/or fall, but do not do it at the same time you overseed your yard. (Corn gluten meal keeps grass seeds from germinating, too.).Here are a few more tips for applying corn gluten for dandelion prevention.

  • Choose a product that is 100% corn gluten.
  • Look for pellet form for easy application.
  • Apply on a day when rain is in the forecast within the next two days.
  • Make sure the soil is moist by watering the yard or waiting for a rainy day.
  • Use your broadcast, rotary, or drop spreader to apply the corn gluten.
  • Push the spreader in rows no more than 1.5 meters apart to ensure an overlap.

Continue to Maintain Your Lawn

When the grass in your yard is thick and lush, there is no room for dandelions to creep in.

Make sure your grass gets 2.5 cm of water each week. (Find more lawn watering tips here.)

  • Apply
  • When you mow, cut no more than one-third of the blade.