Expert Advice

Dandelion

Problem

Dandelions are weeds with yellow flowers and deep, fleshy roots that can grow 2 to 3 feet into the soil. The stems of a dandelion can grow up to 10 inches above the plants. Their leaves range from 3 to 10 inches long and are lobed on the sides. They grow in any soil and thrive in full sunlight. Dandelions prefer wet soil and are often a sign of high watering frequency.

Life Cycle

Dandelions are active in a lawn from spring to fall and are reproduced by seeds as well as from shoots that grow from the taproot. In early spring, new sprouts emerge from the tap root forming into yellow flowers, which mature into white puff balls containing seeds. The plant tops die in the late fall and the root lives on until spring to start the growing cycle again in the spring.

Solution

The best defence against dandelions is a healthy lawn. If your lawn is fertilized regularly, mowed accurately and irrigated properly it will be able to withstand and choke out a weed invasion. First and foremost, watering deep but less frequent will allow the roots of your grass to deepen and in turn prevent the growth of all kinds of weeds. If we think about how seeds germinate like a newly planted lawn, the more often we water the more likely new grass seeds would germinate. So, anything we can do to avoid providing constant moisture to a weed seed bed by watering deeply enough that the existing plants have water in their root zone and even if a new weed germinated, it wouldn’t be able to source enough water long enough to survive.

Always keep your lawn around 3” long, this will give your soil some shade and will prevent any weeds from germinating, especially along the edges. All seeds regardless of type need sunlight at the soil where the seed is present to germinate, so remembering that like mulch in your gardens, if we can prevent the sunlight from reaching the seed when the conditions are favorable for germination, the seed won’t germinate.

If you do get the occasional weed on your lawn, the best solution would be pulling out the weed with its roots or by applying a selective weed control product that is available at your local retail outlet. If you feel like you’ve tried everything and need professional help, we offer a 6 visit program with weed control to help your lawn withstand weed invasion. If you have any questions about weeds on your lawn, don’t hesitate to give us a call and a lawn care specialist will be happy help.