The bane of every lawn care aficionado’s existence is the outbreak of dandelions. Due to their ability to reproduce rapidly and rob moisture and other nutrients from the soil—thereby killing other plants—dandelions have an infamous reputation.
It doesn’t take long for one dandelion to snowball into a seemingly uncontrollable problem. To protect your lawn from weeds, you need to understand what dandelions are and how to prevent them from gaining a foothold in your lawn.
Dandelions are a type of weed that is known as a broadleaf plant. In fact, their broad leaves are what help them choke out other types of plants, effectively stealing sunlight from your grass. Unfortunately, dandelions are very versatile and resourceful because they have the ability to grow in the vast majority of soil types.
Even if the portion of the dandelion that is above ground is cut off or destroyed, the dandelion will still survive because of its roots. After the winter months, the roots of a dandelion will begin to sprout again in the early springtime. Even though your lawn may appear to be dandelion free in the fall, there is still a chance that the root system has survived, only to start the reproductive cycle again in the spring. If you want to ensure that a dandelion doesn’t keep resurfacing in your lawn, you need to attack the root system.
Maintaining a Thick Lawn
Maintaining a thick and healthy lawn is one of the greatest defenses you have against dandelions. Thick, lush grass will help prevent dandelions in two ways. Firstly, it will make it much more difficult for a dandelion seed to reach the soil and take root. This is especially true in windy environments where the seeds will blow off of thick, lush areas of grass as the seed tries to find the soil. Secondly, a thick lawn will also help to prevent a new weed from getting sunlight and other nutrients.
Having a thick and healthy lawn doesn’t necessarily mean that your lawn will be immune to dandelions, but it will drastically reduce the number of weeds that are able to grow and thrive in your yard, making it much easier to contain the weeds.
Mowing More Frequently
Though it won’t do anything to kill the dandelions that have already invaded your lawn, mowing frequently can help to prevent their spread. When dandelions are still blooming or have bloomed and are still yellow, cutting down the tops of dandelions will prevent seed maturation.
However, you need to be extra careful when you are mowing around dandelions. If they have already developed seeds you will only be hurting yourself. When a dandelion turns from a yellow blossom to a white puff-ball, mowing over a dandelion will only help the weed spread even further.
Dandelions can wreak havoc on lush, fertile lawns, and you should do everything in your power to prevent their outbreak. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and maintaining a thick and lush lawn can help prevent the need of hours and hours of intensive de-weeding.
Furthermore, there are many weed products that are designed to attack the root system of dandelions to nip weed problems in the bud. They are fairly quick and easy to apply, and some won’t harm your grass. However, if you don’t have the time to maintain your lawn to prevent dandelions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We proudly serve our clients by helping them maintain a beautiful lawn, and we can help you if you simply don’t have the time.