Best Dandelion Killers That Are Safe & Won’t Kill Grass

Dandelions in North America are technically an invasive species that was once allowed to spread of its own accord. This was thanks in large part to European folklore about it’s medicinal and purposeful uses. While you can indeed eat some parts of the dandelion, and even ferment it into an arguably crisp homemade dandelion wine, it still stands as one of the top nuisance plants for suburban gardeners.

More than one old man with a sore back has groaned as they watched a child blow on a “Wishing Flower.” Of course, the windborne seeds of the dandelion is just one way that this invasive flower manages to establish itself in beds and stands around the world.

To really understand the best way to kill dandelions, we’ll need to take a closer look at this pretty, yet nuisance flower.

A Brief History Of The Dandelion

The historical record of the dandelion stretches back to ancient Persia where it was “Tarashquq.” However, the name “Dandelion” is believed to be coined in Medieval France where it was called “Dens Dee Lion” which loosely translates into “The Teeth Of The Lion.”

Just like rats and smallpox dandelions made their way from the old world to the new with European immigrants. On the face of it, you can understand why, as it does have nutritional and medicinal properties. Some of which are steeped in folklore, some of which have some scientific backing.

The dandelion was also prized by European honey beekeepers, as it is one of the first viable flowers to emerge in the early spring. Thus becoming a great food source for honey bee hives that struggled to make it through the long, cold North American winters.

Health Impacts Of Dandelions

There is more than a fair share of information about the medicinal effects of dandelions. More than enough to fill a book. However, dandelions can still have some negative health impacts. There are indeed people who are specifically allergic to dandelion pollen. It’s also known to be able to contribute to symptoms of hay fever sufferers.

Can Dandelion’s Damage Your Lawn?

At first glance, you might look at the golden gleam of a dandelion head and think “What harm can a dandelion do to my lawn?”

The truth is the impact of a single dandelion, when it’s first getting established is minor. It’s when the taproot and root mass of the dandelion spreads that it can cause problems. Even a single dandelion can rob the surrounding grass of essential nutrients. It also has the ability to damage the delicate microbial environment of the turf layers that support the heathy roots of your grass.

Of course, dandelions appreciate a lot of the same nutrients as grass, and under the right conditions can absorb those nutrients faster than the surrounding blades can absorb. Not only can this cause competition between the dandelion and the grass, but it also helps boost the dandelion’s natural life cycle when you fertilize it. This can quickly promote the flower turning into a seed head that disburses scores of seeds on the wind.

As time goes on, even a few dandelions in one area can turn into a full bed of dandelions. Once they reach the bed level of infestation the dandelions can start to choke out the surrounding grass as they deepen their taproot and spread their root mass presence into the surrounding turn as well as down into the deeper levels of the soil.

Are Dandelions Perennial Or Annual Weeds?

Dandelions are perennial weeds that will keep coming back year after year if they are not dealt with effectively. Yet they also have the ability to spread their seeds on the wind just as if they were an annual flower. This makes them very hard to deal with once they have firmly established a presence in your lawn, or even your neighbor’s lawn.

Can I Manually Pull Dandelions?

Early on in their life cycle, a single dandelion has a relatively weak root base and the taproot itself is relatively shallow. Often limited to the mid to upper levels of the turf. At this stage, it is possible to physically remove them from your lawn. Unfortunately, it’s still not the sort of thing you can do with your hands, and a spade shovel tends to be overkill. While you can improvise with a sturdy garden hoe, the best tool for the job is a dandelion puller.

To use it, all you have to do is insert the dandelion puller’s claws over the Dandelion, you want to eradicate. Then you step down firmly on the foot lever. This inserts the steel claws into the turf and the underlying soil layers to grasp the majority of the roots. You can then pull it out cleanly.

It’s also capable of extracting a lot of other common lawn weeds. So, it’s not just a dandelion uni-tasker. If caught early, the divot left behind by the dandelion puller will be minimal, and with a hearty watering the surrounding soil and roots of the grass will fill it in after a few days. A more significant divot might need to be filled with half a scoop of garden soil.

The Best Dandelion Puller Tools

Hand Weeder Tool

$14.95 $18.99 in stock
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Weed Puller, Stand Up Weeder Hand Tool

$29.95 in stock
1 new from $29.95
Free shipping
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AMES Steel Stand Up Weeder, 40-Inch

$32.98 $67.72 in stock
12 new from $32.98
1 used from $30.34
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Weed Puller Tool, Garden Stand Up Weeder with 3 Claws for Dandelion

$24.99 in stock
1 new from $24.99
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Dandelion Chemical Weed Killers

Many homeowners who are suffering from a lawn choked with dandelions will often turn to chemical remediation to kill all the active dandelions. Recent improvements in lawn chemical technology have made direct application dandelion killers safer than ever. Though you might want to give your lawn a solid 24 to 48 hours after treatment before turning kids and pets loose.

Dandelion Killers For Spot Application

Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer

$6.99 in stock
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Tenacity Turf Herbicide

$68.70 $71.99 in stock
12 new from $68.70
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Ortho B Gon Weed Killer

$9.47 $10.49 in stock
5 new from $9.47
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Kille

$17.05 $18.38 in stock
12 new from $17.02
Free shipping
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

There are also some dandelion and weed killers that are meant for large scale applications. You essentially spray the entire lawn, and it not only kills the dandelions as well as many other invasive weeds but it also then acts as a weed preventer. This is probably the preferred option if one or two if your neighbors are lax about dandelion control of their own lawn.

Dandelion Prevention & Killer For Your Whole Lawn

Preen Extended Control Weed Preventer

$19.66 $29.99 in stock
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Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

$43.87 in stock
11 new from $29.48
Free shipping
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns

$36.70 in stock
5 new from $34.70
Free shipping
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Scotts Weed Control for Lawns

$16.48 in stock
8 new from $16.48
Free shipping
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer with Plus 2 Weed Control

$21.88 in stock
5 new from $21.88
Free shipping
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Last update was on: August 9, 2020 3:02 PM

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