Dandelions are the pigeons of weeds. They are everywhere. On the roads, in between the cracks of your driveway, in your flower beds, and overtaking other priority parts of your garden. Dandelions are also extremely difficult to get rid of because of two main reasons. First, their seeds are constantly floating in the wind, which gives them the opportunity to grow their numbers at a very impressive rate. And second, below ground, their roots can reach up to 10 inches in depth, making them almost impossible to pull out.

Worry not, as they are not invincible. In this article, we have compiled the best techniques that will save your garden from the dandelion infestation.

Table of Contents:

Remove dandelions with boiling hot water

Chances are you wouldn’t be very happy if someone decided to pour boiling hot water over you. Well, dandelions feel exactly the same way. Hot water will burn their leaves and turn them yellow, practically killing the weed along with the roots beneath. This way, the plants won’t have any leaves to perform photosynthesis and their roots won’t be able to soak up any water or nutrients. In the end, just make sure to pull out the entire plant.

How to kill dandelions with salt

Salt is used as a weapon mostly against snails and ants, but it’s also very successful in getting rid of dandelions. It will prevent them from coming back to the surface. Mix 1 cup of hot water with 1 cup of salt. Stir the solution well. Apply the mixture evenly throughout the whole dandelion-infested area. The downside of this technique is that it will affect all of the green life in the treated area for a very long time. Our advice is to use it in spaces you wouldn’t want to have any plants, for example, cracks in the driveway, under a deck, or next to the walls of your house.

Vinegar – the ultimate dandelion destroyer

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar have natural acidity, which is one of the main reasons why they are also such an amazing cleaning product. Their acidic properties also have the ability to abolish those cheeky dandelions. You only have to pour the vinegar into a spray bottle and apply it to all of the plants you want to kill. Make sure to spray the weed until it’s completely wet. If you do this on a hot, sunny day, you will enjoy the results even sooner. And the results in question are withered, brown dandelion leaves. A beautiful sight, indeed. Now, the only thing left is to pull them out and rinse the area with cold water.

DIY pesticide for dandelions

Sometimes, the weather is not in your favour and grumpy clouds are slowing down the whole extermination process. Fret not! There is a special home remedy that will give your ordinary vinegar some superpowers.

Mix a quart of white vinegar, ¼ cup of lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of any liquid dish soap. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and apply it to the dandelions. The lemon juice also contains a fair amount of acid, so the combination with the vinegar will only make it stronger. The dish soap is the ingredient that will make this mixture stick to the leaves of the plant.

Kill dandelions with rubbing alcohol

Alcohol. Known mostly for killing our shyness at karaoke nights, it also has the power to get rid of annoying dandelions. But don’t go pouring bottles of whiskey in your garden! We are talking about isopropyl alcohol. The one NOT made for drinking.

Mix 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol with a cup of water, and just like with the vinegar method, pour the liquid in a spray bottle. Apply the solution to the dandelions and just leave them. The alcohol is going to start sucking out the life and moisture from both the leaves and roots of the plants, thus killing them completely. If you don’t see any results in the next couple of hours, spray the weeds again.

Remove the dandelions by hand

If you are not afraid of garden work, then,, this is the method for you. Kill those dandelions with your own bare hands by digging them out from the soil. Keep in mind that one of the reasons why these plants are so hard to get rid of is because of their very long tap root. This means you’ll have to go quite deep when you start digging. Even if you leave a bit of work behind, don’t worry. You can follow up in springtime, or whenever dandelions usually make their yearly appearance. Inspect the area where they’ve always popped up before and dig them out again. You will achieve better results if you use a “forked-tongue” tool.

Now that you have done your best, digging dandelions for hours and hours, you are probably left with a bunch of holes in your garden. Don’t be so fast in sealing them back again. Pour a bit of white vinegar in all of the holes where the dandelions have been. This will destroy any remaining root systems and will make sure that they don’t decide to regenerate. The same will happen to all other plant life in your garden, so be careful when applying the acid.

Improve your soil

Make the life of the pesky plants a living hell. Dandelions, similarly to many other weeds, actually thrive in the worst garden conditions. In order to cut out their food supply and make them regret growing in your lawn, spoil your garden with some alkaline fertilizers, leaf mulch, and nutrient-rich compost. You will not only weaken the dandelions, making them easier to be pulled out but also give a major boost to all the other plants and grass, you actually like and want.

Use chemical herbicides to eliminate dandelions

Chemical herbicides are super effective when it comes to removing any sort of weed, not only dandelions. There are two main types that you can use – selective and non-selective. The first one will affect only broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions and chickweed, leaving your grass and flowers unharmed. The other herbicide is non-selective and will basically demolish any type of green life that it comes in contact with. You can use this one in flower beds, driveways, and walkways.

Takeaways

  • Always use protective gear when dealing with any kind of pesticide, whether it’s chemical-based or DIY. What is dangerous for the weeds could also be dangerous for you.
  • Keep in mind that most of these solutions are not only harmful to the dandelions, but also to any other plant around them, along with the soil. Treat only a specific area, not the whole garden.
  • If you are somehow not annoyed by dandelions and you think that there is no harm in leaving a small area with them, you’re wrong. Dandelions cannot be controlled. They spread out extremely fast and the moment you turn your back and forget about them for one season, they would have already taken over the whole garden. Another reason to get rid of them completely is that dandelion pollen causes many allergic reactions. So leave no weed alive.
Have you ever been in war with dandelions? If yes, what was your weapon of choice? Let us know in the comments below, and if you have found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.

  • Last update: April 15, 2019

Posted in All About the Lawn, Garden Advice

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