Is there a way to get rid of dandelions without killing the other flowers in the flower bed? They’ve taken over my whole yard and all the flower beds.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Scotty: Dandelions are a true sign that spring has arrived. These weeds can become prolific in no time and be a challenge to get under control. Dandelions have deep tap roots so hand pulling is not a good option. This method only removes the foliage but will not pull up the root, so the weed will grow again in no time. Using a tool known as a dandelion weeder is much more effective in removing the tap root as well as the foliage. This is time-consuming but safe and nontoxic. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the late winter/early spring will help prevent the seeds from germinating. Corn gluten is a good organic pre-emergent herbicide. At this time of the season, a post-emergent herbicide is necessary. Spraying is another option: choose a broad leaf herbicide with the active ingredient 2,4-D such as Weed-B-Gone. This will not damage your grass or the plants in your garden. Spraying with a nonselective herbicide such as Round-Up will be harmful to both your grass and anything else it comes into contact with. Not allowing the dandelions to flower will keep the numbers down in the future. Removing the blooms before they have time to produce seed is essential since this is the only way they can spread. Dandelion greens are actually edible and a great source of vitamin A and C! Patience is necessary and you will not have a dandelion-free lawn or garden in one season, but keep after them and you will see the numbers drastically reduce from year to year.