Dandelions have to be one of the most ubiquitous weeds in America, so you’ve probably got ’em. Here’s how to get rid of dandelions safely.
Unless you’re liberal as I am in your definition of flowers, you’ll probably want to get rid of dandelions when they appear in your yard. Well, you can always hire an expensive lawn care service to take care of that for you, or dowse them with pricy chemicals yourself.
But most savvy consumers aren’t willing to do that, especially those of us who care about adding toxins to the environment. So here are a few ways of killing dandelions that are a lot cheaper and safer for you and the world.
The easiest way to control dandelions is to mow more often, so their flowers won’t go to seed. Of course, this takes a lot of energy (yours and the mower’s), and the results won’t be obvious until next season. You can always pull them up, too, but be sure to get those tenacious roots, or they will come back.
Dousing a dandelion with vinegar or very hot water will also kill it, as will a dose of corn gluten or strategically-applied black plastic. But the last two methods are difficult to target specifically, so you’re likely to kill part of the lawn as well. Not good.
Finally, a reality check: if you have just a few dandelions scattered here and there, don’t freak out. There’s a little concept called biodiversity, which dictates that yards tend to be healthier when more than a single species works together. Even weeds count.
In other words, a dandelion here and a few blades of crabgrass there can be a good thing for your lawn.
One More Interesting Option
Both dandelion greens and flowers are edible, and happen to be high in Vitamins A and C, not to mention other scrumptious nutrients. So there’s one more easy, organic option, if you care to pursue it: you can eat the silly things. They say that one of the surest ways to control a pest is to make it cuisine.
Check the ‘Net, and you’ll find all kinds of dandelion recipes, proving the old adage that a weed’s just a plant that some people haven’t found a use for yet. At this rate, people will soon start planting them deliberately, cultivating hundreds of cutely-named strains, as they have with that former weed known as “the tomato.”
Two more words: dandelion wine.
If you’re going to dig up dandelions anyway, you may as well put them to good use. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve got what looks to be a nice recipe for dandelion fritters. If that fails, there are always jellies, soups, and salads to experiment with. What better way to get rid of dandelions than put ’em on the dinner table?