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Gardeners share ‘only way’ to remove lawn dandelions properly without chemicals or vinegar


Lawns are something most gardeners take pride and joy in, so dandelion weeds popping up all over the place is not ideal.

As dandelions begin to flower in March and continue until October, gardeners will see more of them as the weeks go by in their lawns and even between the cracks in patios and gravel.

Dandelions will push out grass and other plants, as well as sapping water and nutrients away from surrounding plants.

Removing these weeds tends to be difficult due to the fluffy and far-floating seeds that encourage them to grow back year after year. But there is one way gardeners have agreed is best to remove them “properly”. 

Fed up with her lawn being invaded by dandelions, one woman has taken to the Gardening UK Facebook page to ask for some advice on how to get rid of them. Sarah Read wrote: “What is the best way to get dandelions from a lawn?”

Sarah’s post received over 100 comments, with the majority discouraging the use of chemicals and instead recommending manually digging them out.

David Rae said: “I’ve found that the most effective, but also the most time-consuming, method for dandelion control is hand digging them. 

“This should be done now in the spring, right when the first dandelion seedlings appear. a regular garden fork can be used for this, you don’t need any special tools.”

Gary Simmonds recommended: “Use a fork. Works all the time for me and it gets rid of the roots completely so the dandelion will not grow back.”

Kerry Miller urged: “Don’t dig up dandelions when it’s dry out, the root will snap when you pull it up and the dandelion will simply regrow in a few weeks.

“It needs to be removed when the soil is moist for the digging method to be effective and easy to carry out.”

Lou Mckay instructed: “Get a small sharp weed tool and do it by hand. It’s the only way to remove them properly. 

“I had thousands of them and despite wanting to keep the bees happy, my dog used to like pooping in them.”

Lynne Lockwood suggested: “The little garden hand forks. Get underneath and push it up. Hold all the leaves and get your fingers down to the roots and pull, the whole thing should come out.”

When hand-digging to kill dandelions, gardeners need to remember that they must remove the entire taproot of the dandelion as dandelion taproots can run deep.

To prevent dandelions sprouting up in the first place, one gardener suggested keeping lawns “tall”. Jane Turner said: “The best way to prevent dandelions appearing in the first place is to never mow the lawn too short or too often so grass remains tall.”

Tall grass will both choke out weeds and keep the sun off of dandelion seeds, which will also keep the soil cool.

It is also recommended to leave mulched grass clippings on the ground after mowing, as mulch will smother weeds and hinder the growth of new seeds.

The last thing gardeners want are dandelions growing back in another part of the garden after removing it, so they need to be disposed of properly.

After pulling them up, place them safely in a bucket or similar and transfer them to either a garden waste bin. Once gardeners have a dandelion-free lawn, fill in any new bare spots with fast-growing grass seeds and give them a good water to get them started off.

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