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How to Rid Lawn of Dandelions?

By: Dr Gareth Evans - Updated: 27 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Dandelions Weeds Weeding Weed-killers

Q.

My Garden lawn is inundated with dandelion weeds. Although it is not immaculate, the weeds are very unsightly and have spread across from a neighbour's garden. Can you tell me the best way to remove them quickly and how I can maintain the lawn in future?

(M.A, 15 May 2009)

A.

Dandelions are an unwanted sight in any cultivated lawn and they are one of the most persistent of weeds; leave even the smallest bit of their root behind and it won’t be long before you’ve a whole new plant to deal with, all over again. You have to take your hat off to them, between their remarkable ability to regenerate from below ground and their widely-spreading airborne parachute seeds, they’re a remarkably successful – if often unwelcome – plant.

Sadly, the situation you describe is an all too familiar one. With a ready reservoir of new colonists sitting just over your garden fence, it’s likely to be a battle that will be long fought and possibly never conclusively won – unless, of course, you can recruit your neighbour to the cause!

Fortunately, however, although you may never be able to eradicate them entirely, there are ways you can control them.

Weeding

The quickest way to stop dandelions disfiguring your lawn is to hand weed them – but as I mentioned before, unless you get all of the root out, which isn’t the easiest of jobs, they will return, sooner or later. It’s clearly not a perfect solution, but it does offer an almost instant fix for the immediate problem, though you will need to keep on top of any new arrivals as they appear.

Pulling them up by hand is a laborious process, but there’s a range of modern rapid weeding tools available at surprisingly low prices which make the job a whole lot easier and having recently tried one out, I have to admit I’ve become a big fan. You might even want to consider giving one to your dandelion-infested neighbour as a Christmas present, in the hopes that he or she will get the message and put it to good use!

Chemical Control

Chemical spot treatment, using one or two applications of the latest generation of selective weed-killers, also offers a good way to manage dandelion infestations. Although it’s not an instant fix – sprayed weeds take a few days to die – it does kill the plant right down to its roots, so there’s little danger of it reappearing, though new arrivals will need to be treated as they occur. From what you describe, you’ll probably have to repeat the treatment every 6 or 8 weeks over the season to stay on top of the problem.

Whether you choose hand weeding or weed-killers, I’m afraid you are probably facing an ongoing struggle, but with a bit of work, you should be able to produce a lawn that’s largely dandelion-free. Add a bit of diplomacy with your next-door neighbour and you might be able to do even better!

Good luck.

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