Best Ways to Kill Dandelions

Sally Painter
Flowering dandelion weed on a residential lawn

Discover how to kill dandelions and reclaim your lawn. Dandelions are invasive and rob grass lawns of vital nutrients and water.

Herbicides Kill Dandelions

One of the most common ways to kill dandelions is to reach for a herbicide. The problem with using this type of treatment is the lasting effects it can have on your lawn. Herbicides can be harmful to children and pets. If you don't have a major infestation of dandelions you may prefer more natural ways to eradicate this weed from your lawn.

Salt Spray Method

A salt spray will definitely kill dandelions. Salt remains in the soil for a long time, sometimes years. Unfortunately, this treatment will also kill grass. You may end up with bare spots in your yard where the dandelions once grew.

Salt Spray Is Great for Patios

If you're battling dandelions growing between the bricks of a backyard patio, gravel pathway or other hardscapes, a salt spray is a cheap and highly effective way to kill dandelions. Unlike other methods, you won't need to repeat a salt spray frequently. It's easy to mix a salt spray weed killer.

Supplies and Ingredients

  • Table salt
  • Water
  • Garden sprayer
  • Spoon

Instructions

  1. Mix the same amount of water and salt together (1:1 ratio).
  2. Agitate with a spoon to ensure salt dissolves.
  3. Pour into garden sprayer.
  4. Spray salt-water mixture directly onto the dandelions, drenching the entire plant.
  5. Allow the salt-water mixture to leach into the soil around the dandelions.

Additional Easy Methods to Kill Dandelions

There are several additional simple ways to kill dandelions that just require a little effort and time. The ingredients are usually found in your home pantry. These homemade weed killers are very effective.

Vinegar Spray

You can use distilled vinegar for an excellent dandelion killer. Unlike salt, the soil quickly recovers from vinegar. You will fill your garden sprayer with vinegar and spray directly onto dandelions. The vinegar will kill whatever vegetation it contacts, so be careful not to kill beloved garden plants.

Boiling Water

An ancient and tried method is to pour boiling water onto the plants. You can target individual plant by using a garden sprayer. Choose a sprayer canister that can withstand boiling water. Keep in mind that whatever plants or vegetation the boiling water hits will be scalded and killed.

Manually Dig Up Dandelions

You can go the hard but effective path and manually dig up each dandelion. If you only have a few dandelions popping up in your lawn, now is the time to undertake this excellent method.

Picking a dandelion from the lawn

Supplies

  • Work gloves
  • Weeding fork or hand weeder
  • Trash bag
  • Water

Instructions

  1. Use water to loosen the soil by saturating the dandelion and surrounding area.
  2. Set tines into ground beside dandelion.
  3. Leverage the handle away from the plant.
  4. Repeat inserting the tines around the plant.
  5. This will lift the weed out of the ground.
  6. Grasp and pull the dandelion from the soil.
  7. Place the dandelions in the trash bag and dispose of it in the trash bin.

Useful Tips for How to Kill Dandelions

Dandelions have been used for centuries for their medicinal purposes, but for many gardeners, they are simply a bothersome weed. If you wish to eradicate dandelions from your lawn, garden and other areas, you need a few facts about how dandelions grow.

  • The optimum time to kill dandelions is right after they've expended their energy to bloom.
  • Dandelions have a 2-year growth cycle with some seedling emerging during that second season.
  • The dandelion can produce blooms during its first year of growth, but most only grow foliage.
  • The second year of growth will definitely producs blooms that disperse to carry seeds.
  • Dandelions typically bloom once in the spring and again in the fall.
  • Some dandelions have been recorded to have 3' deep roots and a few to have 15' deep roots.
  • Dandelions can grow back from roots, so if you're trying to eradicate, get all of the root systems.
  • The best defense against dandelions is a healthy lawn that is too for the weeds to take root and emerge through the turf.

Undertaking the Mission to Kill Dandelions

You can kill dandelions using one of several methods. Choose the method best suited to your situation, lifestyle and gardening goals.

Best Ways to Kill Dandelions