No Spray Dandelion Management

The spring rains come and so do the dandelions.  Matt and I have been weeding dandelions from the yard over the past week.  Each spring since we bought the place we've done so--and I do believe our efforts are making a difference.  There are fewer and fewer each year.  I don't think they're terribly ugly or anything, at least in bloom, but I dislike how they take over if left unchecked.  We also use our yard trimmings in compost and don't want to risk introducing their seeds, on the off chance the compost pile doesn't make it up to seed-killing temperatures.

We don't spray poison so we take a manual approach.  We make a sweep through the yard looking for the tell-tale yellow.  With a flathead screwdriver we loosen the soil all around the base of the dandelion which makes it possible to pull out quite a bit of the root along with the leaves and blossoms.  We spend only about 15 minutes or less a day, but consistently over the course of a week or two.  In this way it isn't an arduous task and we catch the early and late waves of dandelions.  We still compost the weeds--but we let the city landfill folks do that part for us.
We do have a back-up plan though for when we overlook a bloom or if we're lax for a few days in checking the yard for new ones to remove.  If a bloom gets by us and goes to seed we simply burn off the mature seedheads with a lighter.   They singe quite readily.  Poof.  Problem solved.  Then we dig up the roots without spreading those feathery floating umbrellas all over the place in the process.

Slow and steady wins the race.  And we are winning.


  1. Awesome idea...I'm definitely going to singe the seeds...I've already dug up a ton of the weeds...

    ~Have a lovely day!

  2. Many years ago my mother had me dig up several of them, and she made soup with the greens. You don't want to eat them? :D

    1. I did try that! But, nah, I'll just grow spinach. ;)


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