Lush Green Yard Care Blog

All About Dandelions!

Dandelion overhead

If you’ve ever seen a bright yellow flower growing in your lawn, chances are it was a dandelion. As a lawn care company, we at Lush Green Services know how pesky and unsightly these weeds can be. That’s why we’re talking all about dandelions! We’ll tell you what they look like, where they grow, how to prevent them from taking over your lawn, and more! Let’s dig in!

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Identifying Dandelions

roots of weeds

Everyone knows a dandelion when they see one. These plants produce the same yellow flowers and fluffy seed heads we all played with as children. The cheerful little flowers bloom for only about 2 weeks before they mature into a troublesome seed head. The leaves of the dandelion are famously serrated in a rosette pattern around the base of the plant. In ideal conditions, the stem of a dandelion can grow up to 2 feet tall.

The central, deep taproot (up to 20 inches deep) of dandelions makes them quite undesirable to have in your lawn, especially if your grass is already struggling to get adequate nutrients and water. This root system is notoriously invasive, and it will steal nutrients and water from the surrounding turfgrass, leading to ugly patches of thin and dying grass.

Look For These:

  • Single yellow flower
  • Delicate, fluffy seed head
  • Stems up to 2 feet tall
  • Deeply lobed & serrated leaves
  • Low-growing leaves
  • Deep taproot

Are Dandelions Weeds, Flowers, Or Food?

dog eating dandelion

Yes, they are! Dandelions are an incredibly versatile plant, as they can be a weed or flower depending on who you ask! The leaves and flowers of the dandelion are even edible, and they have been commonly used in salads, teas, medicine, beer, wine and many more culinary creations for centuries. Dandelions actually hold great nutritional value to both humans and dogs, providing vitamin A, vitamin C, and even potassium. Because of these uses, as well as the bright addition dandelion flowers add to a lawn, some people may allow them to grow.

However, when it comes to lawn care and maintenance, dandelions should definitely be considered weeds. They take away from the aesthetic appeal and uniformity of your lawn, and their deep roots actually weaken your lawn as the weed grows stronger.

When & Where Do Dandelions Grow?

Weed control for dandelions

These weeds bloom mostly in spring and fall, usually about 8-15 weeks after germination. Though these are the seasons during which you will see the most dandelions, some will bloom all the way through summer, until your lawn’s growing season is over. With over 250 species of dandelions worldwide, you will encounter these weeds anywhere in the word, at almost any time of year.

Dandelions love direct sunlight and will grow best when they get at least 6 hours each day. That said, dandelions are capable of surviving in partial shade as well, making them even harder to try to control. They can even grow in concrete cracks and areas where other plants would not be able to survive. This is one of the reasons why they are often considered to be pesky weeds rather than pretty flowers. Once established, a mature dandelion plant will be able to survive even harsh winter weather, making them a true perennial problem.

How Dandelions Spread

dandelion weed control

Dandelions do spread by shoots that sprout from the taproot, but the vast majority of dandelions are created by seed dispersal. Dandelion seeds are incredibly resilient and easily dispersed by the wind thanks to their fluffy “parachutes” that help carry them away. On average, an individual plant can produce up to 2,000 seeds at a time. In addition to wind dispersal, something as simple as a shoe brushing against a seed head or even critters running across your lawn can send hundreds or thousands of seeds off into wind currents, where they will be carried to a new lawn to ravage.

  • OFF WITH THEIR HEADS! Since dandelions spread mainly by seed dispersal, simply plucking the yellow flower off the stem is a quick way to temporarily prevent the spread. However, this is not a long-term solution, as the plant will simply regenerate a new flower and seed head.

Preventing & Removing Dandelions

the importance of weed control

Having a weed-free lawn is a top priority for most homeowners, but dandelions can be especially challenging to get rid of. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to prevent and remove these pesky weeds from your lawn. Here are some of the best ways to keep dandelions away:

  • Regularly mow your grass at 3 inches or higher to help prevent dandelion seeds from getting enough sunlight needed for germination.
  • Fertilize properly to ensure a healthy, thick lawn that will be able to withstand a dandelion invasion and even suffocate germinating seeds.
  • Avoid hand-pulling because the taproot of the dandelion is often too deep and has fibrous shoots, making it unlikely you will pull up the entire weed.
  • Dig out the root system with a spade or gardening tool to ensure that the weed will not have any material from which to regenerate.
  • Apply a selective weed killer designed for broadleaf weeds. Spray/apply the product directly to an emerged dandelion, but be sure not to cover your grass.
  • Call Lush Green Services for the very best weed control in Colorado! We have the knowledge and experience needed to apply any kind of treatment necessary, and we will give you a lush, green lawn in no time!
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