Get rid of Dandelions without pesticides. (But check to see if you like butter first)
It’s that time of year when the dandelions start popping up and taking control of your yard. What do you do? As a kid, we use to pull them out of the ground, hold one under our chin, and if our chin looked yellow (naturally it would from the reflection of the flower) that meant we liked butter. We’d (weed) believe anything. But dandelions don’t usually bother kids, but some adults, that’s another story. So how do you handle them? Get the jug of roundup and blast them? Cover your yard with weed killer? Or do you just live with them? I won’t belabor the point (too much) about the damage that weed killers and pesticides do to the environment. I think we all know they are hazardous. But what else is there to do about that scourge of dandelions?
Here are 6 environment friendly ways to get rid of them:
1) Eat them. No they are not for everyone. But many people do, and there are recipes that people say are beyond delicious. Check some out HERE. Then there is always my wife’s uncle Ken that makes dandelion wine. Horrible, but somebody drinks it.
2) Mow them down. And do it often. Of course you will want to do it with a reel mower if you can. The trick is to keep ahead of the blooms before the seed heads blow all over the place.
3) Dig them out. This is the old standby. And there are tools that make this job a little easier. I find it to actually be a little therapeutic as long as it doesn’t look like it is going to take an entire day to get the job done.
4) Boil them. Another very low-tech method is to boil water and pour it on the plant and scorch it to death.
5) Naturally kill them. Use a homemade non-toxic solution or an organic weed killer. The acid from vinegar creates a very good weed killer. Although results can be mixed, and it does not kill the root. There are also plenty of “organic” weedkillers hitting the markets these days. Natures Scavenger is one company whose products are certified for organic gardening, so they are probably a good bet. Corn gluten meal is another organic way to handle dandelions.Corn gluten is a pre-emergence herbicide, so it works by inhibiting the development of small feeder roots. It does well against germinating seeds only, it won’t affect established plants. It can be applied in and around lawns, bedding plants, trees, shrubs, & vegetables. Corn gluten, like any pre-emergence, works best when applied to bare ground before any weeds sprout and should be readily available.
6) Burn them. Perhaps not the most eco-friendly way of getting rid of dandelions, but a weed torch is quite effective.
7) Salt them. Not to eat, but to kill. Put a tablespoon of table salt at the base of the plant and that should do the trick. But be careful as salt can kill surrounding grass as well.
8) Raise livestock. Rabbits and chickens love dandelions and they are nutritious for them as well. Of course livestock brings its own share of problems with it.
Have other suggestions? Share them with us.