Dandelions are one of the most recognizable signs of spring’s arrival. Their bright, yellow blossoms can be found on the sunny, south sides of yards even before the last remnants of snow have vanished. They’re both beloved and despised. They may be an unwelcome guest for the person that strives for that perfect, weed-free lawn but what mother would not want a freshly picked dandelion bouquet from their child? A sore back awaits those that dig dandelions out of their lawn while also being a source for many wishes cast about the landscape with a gentle breath. Dandelions seem to be the perfect embodiment of what a weed simply is, a plant growing in the wrong place. We will tolerate them in a field, just not in our lawn.
Uses for dandelions outside of your yard
Dandelions often get a bad reputation from lawn lovers. However, they do serve some practical purposes as well. Considered as a “super food,” dandelion greens are rich in nutrients like A, C, K, and B-vitamins as well as the minerals magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium, and choline. Whether eaten raw, cooked or even made into wine, the blossoms create additional enjoyment for the intrepid epicurean.
Health benefits of dandelions
Dandelions have been used for centuries by various cultures to aid liver function and as a natural method for detoxifying the body. They have also been used as an herbal remedy for kidney issues, swelling, skin disease, and as a treatment for a variety of digestive ailments. Dandelions have been used in just about every possible form as a tea, salad greens, roasted roots, poultice and topical ointments for many years and are still used by people today. It’s not at all uncommon to find people gathering baskets of dandelions as they would wild berries.
How to properly control dandelions on your lawn
When it comes to having dandelions in your lawn; that seems to be an entirely different story. It’s at this point where the expert technicians at Green Oasis have got you covered. Fortunately, dandelions are not a particularly resilient species. They are, however, quite proficient at reproducing and spreading rapidly. It’s important to bring them under control quickly through the use of weed control products or by simply pulling if they are present in small amounts. Individual plants can grow quite large and crowd out a significant amount of turf. Dandelions can thrive with an extremely long taproot that can penetrate deep into the soil, drawing moisture and nutrients. Meanwhile, the turf struggles with its relatively shallow root system.
Water your grass accordingly
Consistency with good turf maintenance practices keeps the grass growing vigorously and, subsequently, keeps the dandelions at bay. When the grass gets thin, opportunities develop for weeds to germinate. Making sure the grass stays watered is vital, 1” of water per week is the magic number for healthy turf. Remember, that long taproot of the dandelion is going to be able to find moisture while your turf grass fades into dormancy.
Mow at the proper height
Consistently monitor the mowing height of your lawn to maintain the proper cut at 2 ¾” to 3” high. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade in a single mowing. A higher mowing height will shade the surface of the soil and prevent weed seeds from germinating. Elimination of the dandelion problem requires proper turf maintenance to keep them from returning. To adhere to the Principals of Integrated Pest Management, repeated applications of weed control should remain at a minimum, considering how susceptible the dandelion is to quality weed control products.
One dandy of a decision
Dandelions arrive as one of our first signs of spring and desirability for them differs with each person. If you strive for that perfect, weed-free yard, the dandelion should be the least of your worries. They are simple to manage so long as we are always embracing good turf management practices. A thick, healthy, and vigorously growing lawn can remain weed free even without the use of weed control products or the toil of pulling weeds by hand. So, if you choose to live with dandelions and embrace them for their benefits, you can find many uses for them. If not, don’t hesitate to call the experts at Green Oasis to find out more about lawn care programs provided.
Author | Robert D. | Green Oasis
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