Manage Dandelions Organically
Fred Newcombe

Even though dandelions can be difficult to control since their seeds travel via the wind, you can manage them organically. A dandelions rosette is easy to spot, so it becomes a point of complaint among homeowners. Through our proven products and recommended cultural practices, your lawn can be dandelion-free. 

Prevention Through Overseeding 

Dense grass prevents the dandelion seed from finding its way to the soil in the first place. To minimize areas where dandelion seeds can get a foothold, thin areas of your lawn should be regularly overseeded.  Last week, we published a blog titled “Beat Weeds With Grass Seed”. There, we outlined the importance of a dense stand of turf and what seed varieties best accomplish this.

Underlying Soil Conditions

Dandelions like soils that are slightly acidic and low in calcium. This weed has a sturdy taproot that can go through the clay soil and draw nutrients for its own benefit. Large dandelion rosettes are an easy indicator of low levels of calcium in the soil. It is important to have your soil in the proper pH range (6.5–6.8), because when pH moves everything moves with it. 

Prevention with Product

Use a calcitic lime to improve calcium levels while raising pH to favor the growth of grass. The type of lime, application rate and frequency should always be determined by a soil test. Lime can be applied anytime the ground is not frozen.

Management with Cultural Practices

If possible, grass clippings should be bagged when dandelions are in flower to prevent spreading the seeds. Although it is time consuming, pulling weeds is also an effective measure. We recommend utilizing the Fiskar Weeder to save your back! This tool gets to the roots, allowing you to remove the weed fully. Manually removing dandelions will encourage better root growth for the turf to compete with the weeds’ taproot.

Interested in learning more about our product and cultural practice recommendations for weed management in an organic lawn? Reach out!