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Talkback: Dandelions



  • I have dandelions in my garden and I always have them for salads. The problem is when I go on holiday to my country in Africa where I do not see any, I do miss them. Can they grow in Africa if I collect some seeds?
  • As a weed I hate dandelions. But as a salad veg it isn't bad at all if you like your salad greens even more bitter than spinach. Especially when it gets a bit older.

    However, for salads, there is a better answer. It is called Ciccoria catalogna or Italian dandelion chicory. Looks like dandelion and tastes like, even when older, young dandelion. But it doesn't spread or flower in the same way. I grow it as a salad crop, having been sent some by a friend in Florence. Doesn't need blanching but tastes like chicory.
  • Nice to hear a sympathetic word for this much maligned wildflower. Why complain about a reliable flower producer that has many benefits to the surrounding environment.

    Control of this prolific seeder is a better balance than to try to beat such a formidable adversary?
  • To stop the flowerheads of dandelions from appearing you need to cut out the heart of the plant.

    Gather up the plant's leaves and flower stems, go to the base of the plant, and using a sharp knife (I use a Stanley knife), cut right through them, as close to the ground as you can.

    This doesn't kill the plant, but it won't flower again this year. It's a lot quicker and easier than actually digging them out!
  • In Scotland they are called "Pee the bed"s, but then we historically have a bond with the French!
  • I have always kept my love of dandelions to myself, thank goodness i am not the only lover of these weeds, I have let them go to the fluffy stage and have a pair of bullfinches who just love the seed heads, FANTASTIC.
  • I remember when I was a young boy back in the forties we used to collect a few dandelion storks and blow through them as they are hollow and make a tune.
  • I agree with entirely you and I leave mine until they have "clocks" and then put them off- I do not resort to childish games these days! I hear you on GQT every week frequently talking about lily beetles- today I picked off 8 from one pot. My new tip- get a pair of eyebrow tweezers- so easy to pick them off before they drop to the ground and squeeze! Yuk but effective!
  • The Dandelions have gone mad in Bedfordshire. I came across one of my neighbours who was in a real state. Digging them out of her lawn and muttering how much she hated them. I felt odd and embarished as my lawn is covered. I decided I must dug them out for the sake of the neighbourhood but every time I looked at them I remembered chasing the seeds with my son when he was little and i just couldn't bring myself. I am so pleased to find not everyone hates them and they will stay in my garden so i can remember happy times.
  • Wow, what a lot of you love this gorgeous flower, thanks for so many great dandelion-positive comments!
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