Its got to be done, dig those dandelions up, and now is the best time in my view.
Most haven’t flowered in my garden and those that have, haven’t yet set seed – the ground is damp so digging down is easier, so its an hour on my hands and knees digging up the little blighters.
Its perhaps a little odd, I don’t have a bowling green lawn, nor an aim to have one, and I have no problem with clover, actually like daisies in the garden and also have various other plants (some would say weeds) and even moss in the lawn – but dandelions are just so ugly. Of course, you can make wine, dandelion and burdock to drink, you can eat the leaves in salads (some say they have great medicinal properties) and you can feed them to your favourite rabbit/Guinea pig/mice/goat but, I just don’t want them, OK?!
The problem is that the tap roots are so long, so I have a thin and long trowel that I use, I tend to dig next to the root, then do the same from the other side before prising it up – you don’t want to hear a snapping sound because, uh-oh, that means you’ve left some of the root in to grow again. Yes, sometimes it is inevitable, but I’d rather dig up more than I need, perhaps a complete circle of grass with the dandelion in the middle, pull it apart with my fingers to get to the root and replant the grass. I do this together with a bucket mixture of grass seed and 66% sand:33%compost that I will put into the hole before placing the grass back on the top, and shuffle along to the next one. ONe mistake, I should have worn a glove as I pushed down with the palm of my hand and a glove would have spread the pressure more.
Just to depress me, you could think its all rather pointless, as we are surrounded by around 100 acres of fields mainly with horses and sheep on them there will be flying seeds later on in the summer ready to plant themselves for next year, however I think I am winning overall, I think I remember that in previous years there were more than now.
Of course, you could use glyphosate, but I’d rather not use chemicals if I can help it (especially with frogs, toads and newts living here), and if you do – make sure you use a weedkilling pencil and not a spray as the spray is bound to kill the grass around and you don’t want a bunch of holes in your lawn, believe me, not a good look.
The photo is just of a few of my victims to show you the depth of the roots, even for those with small tops, get down deep – it IS worth it, honest.