man in coveralls and red jacket with professional brush cutter mowing grass in the park. green lawn with yellow dandelions. bench in the background. sunny springtime weather

How to Get Rid of Dandelions: Bests Ways To Remove & Prevent

By Britt Olizarowicz

Although we often think of flowers as being attractive, this is typically not when they are sprouting from your lawn. Dandelions can be quite annoying to have in your turf, but there are ways to remove them and get rid of weeds like these for good. In our guide on how to get rid of dandelions, we will provide:

  • How to remove dandelions manually
  • Tips for getting rid of dandelions for good
  • Why you have dandelions in your yard, to begin with

Manually Removing Dandelions: How To Steps

There are several ways to get rid of dandelion plants, but one of those is to remove them by hand. It would be great if you could just walk over and pull these yellow flowers out of the ground, but removing these dandelion plants may take a little more prep and effort.

Materials and Tools Required

You will need a small weed remover and a little spray bottle of water. When the plant and the area surrounding it is wet, the weed becomes much easier to remove. Once you have your supplies, you can follow these steps to remove the dandelion.

Steps for Easy Dandelion Removal

  • Wet the soil around the plant so that it is moist and easy to dig
  • Insert your weed remover tool down below the dandelion roots
  • At the same time that you pull up on the stem and flower of the plant, put up with the weed remover tool
  • As you do this, you should feel the entire plant become loose, and you will help prevent more dandelion seeds from germinating by removing the whole plant
  • Ensure that the entire taproot is out and if you have any doubts, apply a herbicide in the area where the hand pulling took place

Spot Spray Treatment: How To Steps

Although manual removal is an effective way to remove dandelion plans, there are sometimes issues with not getting all of the seed heads or the fact that these broadleaf weeds may have taken over a large portion of your lawn. If that is the case, you can spray your lawn with a herbicide that will kill the dandelions.

Materials and Tools Required

To spot spray your lawn for dandelions, you will not need a post-emergent herbicide. Although it is always best to treat with a pre-emergent herbicide, if these quick-growing lawn weeds are already apparent, chances are you will need the post-emergent.

The most crucial factor here is choosing a herbicide that will not impact your lawn. Natural herbicides are non-selective and will kill any grass in the area. However, for typical dandelion control, you should be able to use a post-emergent broadleaf herbicide that is selective.

You will also need a sprayer or spreader to apply the weed killer as well as a watering source to ensure this process is completed properly.

Steps to Spot Spray for Dandelion Flowers

Here are the basic steps to apply weed killer to your grass and spot spray for dandelions. However, to maintain a healthy lawn, it’s an excellent idea to read the packaging of the weed killer you purchased.

  • Purchase a broadleaf weed control that specifically states it is suitable for dandelions and will also handle other perennial weeds like crabgrass
  • Ensure this is not a non-selective herbicide that will also kill your turfgrass
  • Follow the package directions for application rates and instructions
  • Most of the time, broadleaf perennials are impacted after just a few days of being exposed to the weed killer
  • Take a look at the weeds that have died and make sure the dandelion taproots are dead as well
  • Be very careful as to the timing of application; it can be considered poor lawn care to apply herbicides during certain times of the year (mostly mid-summer when it is very hot)

What Kills Dandelions?

Dandelions are killed by quite a few things; however, some of these things are also going to kill nearby plants and grass. When choosing a dandelion killer, make sure that you are carefully considering the impact that it has on the surrounding area. Here are the most common dandelion killers:

  • Corn Gluten
  • White Vinegar
  • Boiling Water
  • Acetic acid
  • Roundup
  • Broadleaf Herbicides
  • A Manual dandelion puller

The Best Time to Spray Dandelions

Typically speaking, it’s best to handle these bright yellow flowers in the fall so that by the early spring, your grass can be dandelion free. However, sometimes this window of opportunity is missed, and a dandelion will make it through the cold season and take over in the spring.

Make sure that the outdoor temperature is above 60 degrees. Also, take a look at the weather and ensure that the conditions are not going to bring a large storm in the next day. Applying spray just before a storm will be a waste of your chemical.

Tips

One of the great things to know about dandelions is that if you properly maintain your lawn and surrounding flower beds, the chance of these weed seeds popping up and spreading over your lawn is quite slim. Here are some additional tips to ensure that the next new plant in your yard is not an invasive one.

How to Kill Dandelions Naturally

One of the best ways to kill dandelions naturally is to use boiling water or vinegar to kill the plants. If a weeder and weeding knife sound like a nightmare to you, these natural weed-killing methods can help. The only problem with this is that any nearby grass seed or grass shoots will also die, so you have to be precise when applying any of the natural herbicides.

How to Kill Dandelions Without Killing Grass

There are only two ways to kill dandelions without killing grass. The first is to use a selective herbicide or broadleaf weed killer. The second is to pull them by hand. Remember, when removing them by hand, you can’t just pull the fluffy seed head out of the ground; the entire tap root needs to come along.

Know Your Grass Type

When using a herbicide, you will need to know the type of grass you have. If you choose the wrong herbicide, your grass will die along with the dandelions, and this is detrimental.

How to Permanently Get Rid of and Prevent Dandelions

Getting rid of dandelions permanently is going to take some good preventative measures. Here are some steps to take to ensure you are not dealing with this problem season after season.

  • Mow your grass by taking just 1/3 off the top, do not wait for it to get incredibly long as it will stress the current grass and make it difficult for it to recover, and dandelion seeds will sprout.
  • Treat your lawn with a pre-emergent herbicide to ensure there are no issues with dandelions even coming up.
  • Water for long periods but less frequently
  • Leave clippings in the turf as a form of mulch; the organic matter can be good for the soil
  • Do a soil test and ensure that it is adequately prepared for any season
  • Fertilize your lawn on a regular schedule to maintain its overall health

Hire a Professional

If dandelions have genuinely taken over your property and you feel there is no other way to treat the issue, hiring a professional is always possible. A professional will come in and assess the damage and come up with a plan that will work for your specific property.

The best professional service for dandelion removal is TruGreen. TruGreen has spent more than 15 years in the industry, and they can handle everything from mowing and trimming to fertilization and weed control.

Best Overall

  • Large variety of plan options tailored to homeowners wants and needs
  • All services are backed and performed by TruExpert℠ Certified Specialists
  • Services provided in 49 states

FAQ and Other Considerations

Can You Eat Dandelions?

Dandelions are edible and can be used in salads or eaten on their own. Make sure that when eating dandelions, you wash them first, and you ensure they have not been sprayed with any broadleaf herbicides.

Are Dandelions Poisonous?

Dandelions are not poisonous to humans or animals and, in fact, can bring many health benefits. Dandelions have quite a few natural vitamins in them; if you find that you enjoy eating them, they will not harm you.

Are Dandelions Weeds?

Dandelions are perennial broadleaf weeds. They spread quickly but respond well to traditional broadleaf weed killers.

Are Dandelions Poisonous to Dogs?

Dandelions are not poisonous to dogs. If your curious pet eats a few dandelions on your next walk, don’t be concerned about any lasting effects, there should be no issues with consuming a few dandelions. Of course, any animal or human can have food sensitivities, but this is typically not the case with dandelions.

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