How To Get Rid Of Dandelions

I love Spring. The sun shines a little stronger, the days are a little longer. The birds are chirping, and warmer weather is right around the corner.

However, this time of year does come with one big drawback...Dandelions! The bright yellow weed that can take over an otherwise magnificent yard. 

Tired of having your yard overrun by dandelions? Don't worry. You can get rid of dandelions fast, and it doesn't have to be hard.

In the article below, we will discuss several ways you can get rid of dandelions without breaking the bank or your back.

Read on to learn how to remove, kill, and prevent dandelions.

Best Dandelion Killer

Get Rid of Those Dandelions

Sure, you could walk around your entire yard on your hands and knees, picking out each dandelion one at a time by hand. But who has the time for that?

Luckily, there are easier ways to get rid of those pesky dandelions so your yard can look it's best. There are some good reasons to leave dandelions alone but let's assume you want to get rid of them.

Between tools, torches, weed killers, and some old fashioned natural dandelion control remedies, there is an option here that will work perfectly for your yard.

Best Dandelion Removal Tool

Dandelion removal tools are great because you can remove the entire dandelion, including the root, without getting on your hands and knees.

They keep you from having sore knees and lower back pain while eradicating the dandelion. Here are three of the best tools to remove dandelions.

The Fiskars 339950-1001 39" 4-Claw Weeder is lightweight, effective, and if you follow the directions, it will last you a long time. With this tool, you will be able to pull out mountains of weeds in a few hours without any pain. 

The 4 claws on this Fiskars are very sharp, and it's easy to insert them into the earth around the center of the weed. 

It's best to use these tools after a couple of days of rain, so the ground is still soft. That's much easier than trying to dig into dry, hard soil. This tool works perfectly with minimal effort.

The TACKLIFE Weeder Tool is also a fantastic dandelion removal tool. No more breaking your back to pull dandelions. 

The Tacklife tool even pulls up the tough, long-rooted dandelions that have secured themselves in your yard.  

We like that it's very lightweight and easy to use. This makes it effortless to remove those pesky weeds from the root so they won't come back. 

What used to take you hours will know only take you minutes because of this weeder tool.

Grampa's Weeder is another excellent dandelion removal tool. The name of this tool tells you everything... it's easy enough for your Grandpa to use without hurting his back or knees.

Grandpa's Weeder has a strange effect on people. It makes pulling weeds fun! The process of yanking out the weed with Grandpa's Weeder is strangely satisfying.

Okay, no one is going to say weeding is fun, but this tool made it as close to fun as you can get.

This dandelion removal tool is heavy-duty, and it seems like it will last a long time.

How To Kill Dandelions

Killing dandelions isn't too hard. Doing it without killing everything else around them is a little more tricky.

Here are your best dandelion control options.

Switching gears a little bit, you can also use a weed burner torch to get rid of your dandelions.

Keep in mind that this is a great tool only if you don't mind scorching the area directly around the dandelion.

Weed burner torches are great for paving or flower beds, but not so great for lawns.

But, if you have a large space of land that needs to be cleared of all the dandelions, and you don't mind a few burnt patches, there's nothing more satisfying than a weed burner torch.

If a weed burner torch sounds like something you could use, the Red Dragon Propane Vapor Torch Kit is just what you need.

The Red Dragon boasts a simple and straightforward design that works well and will ensure reliability over years of use.

Weeds don't stand a chance against this tool. The key to effective and efficient dandelion control is not to burn the weed to ashes. 

All you need to do is just heat it until the leaves "boil" briefly. This pops the cell membranes, and then the water in the plant leaks out and evaporates, from the base and roots up. 

The dandelion plant then dies from dehydration. It takes less than a second of exposure to the full blast from the Weed-Dragon torch to achieve this heat level for most weeds.

Best Dandelion Weed Killer

Next up are the old fashioned herbicides. These are very effective non-selective herbicides.

This means they kill dandelions, but they will also destroy your grass.

Similar to the weed burner torch, these are not ideal for lawns. But if you have an area you need to clear of dandelions, and you aren't worried about any grass, these could be perfect for you.

Roundup Extended Control Weed and Grass Killer is one of the best dandelion killers on the market.  The dual-action formula of Roundup kills existing weeds and prevents new ones from growing for up to 4 months. 

It is guaranteed to kill the dandelion weeds down to the root. This is perfect for use on driveways, sidewalks, and patios.

You can also use it along fences, foundations, curbs, retaining walls, and the edge of lawns, as well as on decorative rock or gravel areas.

Any area where you don't mind killing your grass is a perfect spot to use this weed killer.

And, the best part is that it is rainproof in 10 minutes, so you don't have to worry about it being washed away. It is very poisonous though. Be sure to store it carefully in your garage.

Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer is another excellent option for getting rid of dandelions.

It will kill everything it comes into contact with. Patience is key with this product though.

Your weeds won't wither up and die within the first day or two. After a week, you might be thinking that you will have to reapply in some of the tougher areas.

But, with a little patience, everything that was once green will be gone in another week or so.

Another thing to keep in mind with both of these products is that they both contain Glyphosate. Glyphosate is highly effective, but it is not environmentally or pet-friendly.

If you have any furry friends running around, you need to make sure they don't interact with any areas that have been sprayed.

And, if you prefer going a little easier on the environment then you may want to try a different dandelion removal method.

How To Get Rid Of Dandelions Without Killing Grass

How do you kill dandelions but not your lawn? You're going to need a selective herbicide that only targets certain types of weeds. Here are your best options.

Scotts Turf Builder Weed And Feed 3

One of your best options is to use Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed.  It does an excellent job of killing any weeds while keeping the grass green.

That means it not only saves your grass, but it also makes it healthier. Besides the poison for dandelions, it acts as a fertilizer for your lawn. Thicker, healthier grass crowds out Dandelions so they don't get any sun. Cutting your lawn regularly with a good electric corded lawn mower will help too.

Follow the recommendations on the bag and you'll be very impressed with the results. After just one use your lawn will be free of dandelions.

Another great selective herbicide is Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns. This herbicide kills dandelions without harming grass. It also kills yellow and purple Nutsedge, Kyllinga, and over 50 other tough weeds. 

It's rainproof in two hours, and it is ready to go as soon as you get it. No mixing required.

Spraying it is really easy. You connect your garden hose, turn the faucet on and press the nozzle on the spray bottle.

This is perfect for both northern and southern turf grasses. And the best thing about it is that it kills weeds and not lawns.

How To Get Rid Of Dandelions Naturally Without Poison

Herbicides are really effective but they're not great for the environment. If you want to get rid of Dandelions the natural way you still have a few options besides pulling them out or using poison.

Try one of these effective methods:

This stuff is the best natural way to kill dandelions. It's organic so it contains no Glyphosate, poisons or other harmful chemicals.

It kills 250 different types of weeds including dandelions. Spray it on the weeds and within 24 hours you'll see the effects.

It's safe for your kids and pets and there's no messy mixing or diluting required before use.

This is a non-selective weed killer. That means it's going to kill any plant life it comes into contact, including grass. This means it's ideal for paved areas, around flower beds, driveways, etc...

It's not something you want to spray on your lawn though. We love that you can use it without worrying about harming pets or any birds or other visitors to your garden.

Another way to get rid of dandelions naturally is to pour vinegar on the plants themselves.

Vinegar is extremely acidic and can kill any plant or weed exposed to it. Ordinary household vinegar can be used but is generally not quite acidic enough to do a good job.

However, unique horticultural vinegar is more effective because it is two to four times more acidic than the regular stuff you will find in your cupboard.

Pour the vinegar on your dandelions, and with a few repeated treatments, it can kill the dandelions, but only temporarily.

Very similar to the boiling water technique, using horticultural vinegar isn't the most effective dandelion killer.

The dandelion's taproots, which can extend up to ten inches in length below the surface, won't be damaged by pouring vinegar on the green part above the surface.

So, again, unless you manually pull the dandelion as best you can, it may grow back later.

Using horticultural vinegar as a natural dandelion killer is safer than the boiling water method because the vinegar won't hurt you even if you spill some on yourself.

Use Boiling Water To Kill Dandelions

If you're looking for the absolute most natural way to get rid of your dandelions, then boiling water may be your solution.

Heat up water in a kettle or pot, then carefully and slowly pour it on to the dandelion plant. It's as simple as that.

It's the same idea as the torch, but with scalding hot water instead of fire.

Be careful, though, because you could kill other plants or your grass, or burn yourself either on the hot pot or with the water itself.

Killing dandelions with boiling hot water isn't the most effective, although it is a homemade, all-natural dandelion killer.

It may kill the weed within a few days but it takes a fair amount of water and can kill patches of your lawn too.

And, unless you yank up the dandelion up and pour the water directly on the dandelion's root system, there's a good chance the dandelion could grow back even after its current head dies.

How To Avoid Dandelions In Your Yard

If you want to prevent dandelions from growing then you'll need to use something called a "pre-emergent".  These won't kill dandelion plants but will prevent any dandelion seeds from sprouting.

Andersons Barricade DG Pro

This granular herbicide is effective at preventing dandelions from growing as well as over 30 other broad leaf weeds.

You need to spread it over your lawn towards the end of winter or beginning of spring. 

After spreading it you'll need to water the lawn a little or wait for some rain. Once the soil temperature starts to warm up the herbicide forms a barrier to prevent dandelions from germinating and pushing through to the surface.

Use Corn Gluten Meal To Prevent Dandelions

Espoma organic weed preventer is essentially Corn Gluten Meal. While it doesn't kill dandelions it is a great way to prevent dandelions from growing in your lawn.

It's a proactive attack against dandelions rather than a reactive attack. It's also referred to as a pre-emergent herbicide. That just means that it prevents the dandelion seeds from taking root in your lawn in the first place.

It's not as effective as the Andersons DG Barricade Pro but it's a natural product that doesn't hurt the environment, the kids, or the dog.

You have to use Corn Gluten Meal before the dandelions are an issue because it doesn't do any good if the dandelions are already flowering on your lawn.

It's best to spread some around your lawn during the cold months just before the growing cycle begins. If you time it just right, you won't have to worry about killing or removing any dandelions in the spring.

Corn Gluten Meal is only effective for about 5 or 6 weeks, so you will have to reapply it multiple times throughout the growing season.

If you have the discipline to follow through you should have one of the nicest lawns in the neighborhood.

What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of Dandelions?

Mow Your Dandelions

Most of us already have one of the easiest and most effective dandelion killers sitting in our garages.

I'm talking about your lawnmower or a good cordless string trimmer. Cutting your lawn on a regular basis is a very easy way to eliminate the dandelion problem without any extra work or tools.

Be sure to mow the grass while the dandelions are still in their yellow flowering stage, though.

If you leave them long enough to transform into their puffball stage, all you'll be doing when you cut the lawn is to help spread the seeds around. Especially if you take your string trimmer to them.

Make sure that you don't cut the grass shorter than 2 to 2 ½ inches. Dandelions need lots of sun to grow, and keeping your lawn healthy and long enough will effectively stunt their growth by blocking their access to the sun.

This method comes down to timing, and it's easy to get it wrong if you just don't feel like cutting the grass on a given day.

It takes commitment to a regular cutting schedule, so the dandelions don't have enough time to start seeding.

Block Out The Sun To Kill Dandelions

We just mentioned how much dandelions need the sun to grow. So, anything that blocks their access to its life-giving rays is a great way to keep them off your lawn.

One way to do this is to block their access to the sun by smothering them with a piece of cardboard. Small dark bags that block the sun can also be effective.

The problem with this method is that it's extremely time-consuming, and there's a good chance you'll end up killing the grass around your dandelions as well.

When you smother the dandelions, you may also accidentally cover small patches of your lawn.

If you're going to try this method, you have to be extremely careful, so you don't kill large patches of your grass as well.

Fertilizing your grass and keeping it healthy will make it crowd out the dandelions too. You can also aerate your lawn with a tow behind plug aerator to keep it healthy.

Dandelion Removal FAQ

Is A Dandelion a Weed Or A Flower?

This question really depends on your point of view, but most people view dandelions as a weed.

Not just a weed, but a weed that can be an eyesore in the middle of your otherwise pristine green lawn.

Dandelions do sport yellow flowers when they're growing. At the end of their life cycle, they transition to round seed heads called blowballs, which will help them spread to the rest of your lawn.

Most people agree that dandelions are weeds, which is why so much time and resources are used to figure out the best ways to get rid of them.

When Do Dandelions Bloom?

Dandelions flourish in the spring and fall when the weather is warm enough, but the days offer less than 12 hours of sunlight.

In colder regions, dandelions may grow all summer long.  And in warmer climates, dandelions may grow best in the winter.

How Do Dandelions Spread?

At the end of the lifecycle of a dandelion, their flowers turn into seed spheres called blowballs, which blow away in the wind.

A single dandelion can sprout almost two hundred seedlings, which can create even more dandelions nearby once they scatter.

Those dandelions will, in turn, create even more dandelions. Dandelion seeds are more lightweight than most seedlings so they can travel quite far distances in the wind.

It's believed that dandelions can spread a mile or more on a particularly windy day.

What Are Dandelions Good For?

According to Healthline raw dandelions are edible for humans. Dandelions are safe to eat, and their leaves contain quite a bit of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.

You can eat them in salads or sauté them in oil to eat them cooked.

If you're interested in eating dandelions, make sure you wash the leaves and flowers thoroughly before you consume them.

Where Do Dandelions Come From?

Dandelions come from seeds from other dandelions that are blown in the wind. If your neighbor has dandelions in their yard that are going to seed, they may blow into your yard and start growing in your lawn.

It's in your best interest to get rid of dandelions as soon as they sprout up. The best time to get rid of dandelions is when they have yellow flowers before their flowers have a chance to turn into seed heads.

The seeds can easily blow away in the wind or fall apart while you're trying to pull them.

Where Do Dandelions Grow?

Dandelions are native to Eurasia and North America. There are many types of dandelions, and there are even some plants that look like dandelions that are actually false dandelions.

These are often Hypochaeris Radicata or Catsear, also known as Flatweed. These are dandelion looking plants that get quite a bit taller than an ordinary dandelion does, growing almost 8 inches tall.

Wrapping It All Up

As you can see, there are many different options for getting rid of dandelions from your yard. We've covered a variety of the best way to get rid of them in this article.

There are some great natural and homemade options, but herbicides and chemicals remain the most effective way to kill dandelions and other weeds.

For pure weed-killing power, we believe the Compare-N-Save or Scotts Turf Builder are your best options. All of the weed killers we've covered in this article do a great job though.

Just remember that it will kill everything it touches, and it isn't the best product for your pets or the environment.

As far as an all-natural dandelion removal method we recommend the Grandpa's Weeder dandelion removal tool. It will remove the entire dandelion, including the root system, without the backbreaking pain of crawling around your yard on your knees.

If you follow our tips for getting rid of dandelions permanently you can expect to have one of the nicest lawns on your block this summer.

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    David Miller

    David is a health conscious and houseproud family guy. When he's not being used as a jungle gym by his kids you can find him working on his latest DIY project in the garage.