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Killing dandelions in lawn

WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 213
Our lawn in overrun with dandelion plants. I'm talking dozens of them! Some are young, some much larger/older.

I'd like to remove them, particularly in an area where I want to introduce some spring bulbs (snowdrops, daffodils etc). I'd like to get the new bulbs in the ground in Autumn ready for next spring, but need to tackle these dandelions first. 

What's the best solution? I'm torn between using a weeding tool that would (hopefully) pull the root out (like this one), or going with the weed killer solution. 

Thanks in advance! :)
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  • mrtjformanmrtjforman Posts: 331
    edited April 2020
    Not sure if you know about this handy tool https://www.homebase.co.uk/fiskars-xact-w52-stainless-steel-and-aluminium-garden-weed-puller_p178414

    Not sure you can actually buy one at the moment. I wouldn't know where to go as most shops are closed here

    B'n'Q sell it for £5 more I just checked
  • josusa47josusa47 Posts: 3,532
    You'll never be free of dandelions, the seeds can travel miles on the wind.  It might help to keep the numbers down if you go out each evening and remove the flowers.  They are a useful food source for pollinators, but there'll be new flowers open for them by morning.  I love the intense yellow of dandelions, and the scent of them is luscious, especially when they've had the sun on them for a few hours.  If they were rare and difficult to grow, lots of us would want them.
  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 213
    @mrtjforman Our local Homebase is doing a sort of click and collect service so going to try that. They have a daisy grubber style tool which looks like it would get right down to the bottom of the root.

    @josusa47 Completely get that they don't ever really go away. The problem is the grass area is literally covered in them making it impossible to plant anything else there. Plus the more I have in the garden, the more the flowers will grow and spread seed potentially into my meadow area and borders which I want to avoid. I'll just have to keep on top of it!
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,508
    You could get someone in to kill them of if they can access your garden without coming through the house. Firms that do lawn maintainence have better weed killers and I can testify  they really do work well.
    Once cleared then it would be easier to dig out any new ones.
    Or if you have time on your hands .....
  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 213
    Thanks @K67. Does the weed killer option mean that the ground would be compromised? Ideally I want to plant some other spring bulbs in the area where the dandelions currently are, and am concerned that weed killers might ruin the soil for other plants.
  • Hi Francesca you can use the natural acidity of white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to destroy your dandelions. Simply pour pure vinegar into a spray bottle and spray the unwanted plant until it is covered in vinegar. Within a few hours, the leaves will wither and turn brown as long as its not raining...
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,508
    No the weedkiller is fine otherwise it would kill off the grass as well.
    I am unsure whether the vinegar option would kill the roots as well and if it's a big area you would need a huge amount and a pump sprayer would be best to save your hands.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 40,661
    edited April 2020
    No - vinegar will only kill top growth.
    If the ground's damp enough, apply a weed and feed product. That will get the bulk of them away. You can then dig out or spot kill.
    I did that on moving here 7 years ago. The grass was non existent, and mainly moss, dandelions and buttercups. I now don't use anything on it, other than the odd bit of lawn weedkiller fro the dandelions which blow in from across the road. 
    An even better system is to use a feed only, let everything grow a bit and then use a weed and feed. The more foliage it has to work on, the more successful the weed killing bit is.
    I also planted a hedge, which keeps a lot of them at bay.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • WildFlower_UKWildFlower_UK Cambridgeshire, UKPosts: 213
    @Fairygirl That sound great! Thankfully I have a lot to work with at the moment as we had let the problem area grow (we try and keep areas of our lawn wildlife/insect friendly). So I sounds like a weed and feed product is the best option. Do you then dig up the deceased plant or just leave it in situ? And do you know if the weed and feed product will restore the grass area so that other bulb plants can go in at a later date?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 40,661
    I didn't do anything, but maybe I'm just lazy!  ;)
    I've since made a border along one edge [ I had an extension built ] so all of that was originally grass, and the hedge was also part of the grass. There's another border which has shrubs. 
    I've also got daffs and primulas etc, and a little area right down at the front where I'm doing wildflowers. I just started that last year. 
    If you're going to have bulbs, the best way is to just dig out a hole in the grass and put the bulb in, or peel back a small section of turf if it's for a little group of bulbs. As long as you haven't used any products fro about 6 weeks or so, it'll be fine.
    If you want a proper bed or border, it's better to dig up a whole section of turf to plant into. That's what I did for all my planting. The turf can be stacked upside down for later use in borders. Mine has all been re used :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


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