Thursday, 9 May 2013

How to get rid of dandelions in the lawn

Dandelions everywhere!

Well this month May bought the sun and along with it, the dandelions! 
I don't know about your area, but just driving through Crawley all the grass areas are speckled with the delightful yellow weeds. By many they are considered a pest, but to our 3 year old we can't go for a walk without stopping: if he sees a 'dandelion clock' he just has to stop to pick it and blow it! But then, didn't we all at that age? 

dandelions in the lawn
Firstly, what kind of lawn are you aiming for? A lawn with no daisies or weeds of any kind will take a lot of time and maintenance and lawn care in general will be covered on another blog post coming soon.

In this blog, we are talking about the kind of lawn that has many dandelions- more than you would care to have anyway! 

So, if your garden lawn is plagued with these tap rooted weeds- we have some tips to help you eradicate them or at least minimise them.

1. Mow regularly - when they appear- but not too short. Longer grass will stop them getting the sunlight so mow on a higher setting. What you are trying to do here is prevent the flowers turning to seeds.

2. Let your rabbits loose on them! (if you have them) Our rabbits love dandelions. They will eat them as soon as they start appearing. This has been the most effective way for us. Apparently chickens love dandelions too!

3. Dig them out at the root- there are some quite effective tools for just this job at the local garden centre- 'dandelions weeders or diggers' 
Water the ground to make the soil softer- then using a fork or dandelion digger, dig round the dandelion, loosen the root, wiggle it and then lift it out.

4. Boiling water or vinegar - some gardeners recommend pouring boiling water on them a few times a day which makes them eventually wilt. Horticultural vinegar (not domestic) can be sprayed on the leaves- but be careful as the vinegar can also kill surrounding greenery.

There are more tips than this - but these are the ones we have tried so we wanted to share those with you. You may have also noticed that we haven't mentioned chemicals here- this is because we are an eco-friendly gardening business.

Don't forget dandelions are very nutritious. The whole plant is edible, so providing they have been taken up organically and after washing of course, why not add them to a salad!


  1. Don't forget that dandelions are some of the earliest foods for native bees, and that there is a serious shortage of bees and other pollinators. We need pollinators to maintain our food supply, so be judicious in ridding your property of dandelions. Do you really need to get rid of them at all? Could you provide the bees with an alternative early food source?

  2. Hi David,
    Excellent points made there! Last night on Sussexhour on twitter there was a split between loving them and hating them! Bit like marmite! Personally as well as the food supply they provide for bees I think they do have quite a sunny disposition. We have recently been learning a lot about bees. We mentioned them in our eco-friendly blog -
    It's nice to have a balanced view of the issue- so thank you for your comments. Susan