How to Control Dandelions

Dandelions can be an annoying blemish on an otherwise perfect lawn, and they can prevent your grass from growing properly… 

For homeowners, finding the right type of herbicide or fungicide can make the biggest difference in the health and appearance of your lawn. 

Best Products for Killing Dandelions

After researching dandelion removers, the following 5 products are recommended by lawn care professionals as the best options for easily getting rid of dandelions. 

1. Compare-N-Save 2-4-D Amine Broadleaf Weed Killer

This selective herbicide is considered to be the best for controlling dandelions on a budget. It can cover over 43,000 square feet of lawn space. As a lightweight container and applicator, you only need to apply it 3 – 4 times per year to see results.

This product kills dandelions and other weeds without harming grass or other plants around it, as long as it is used exactly as the instructions indicate. 

Be sure to take into account the species of grass and any other weeds you may have when mixing and applying your solution, as this product can be too powerful or not powerful enough depending on what exactly you’re dealing with.

2. Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control Fertilizer

This product is very easy to use with a built-in spray applicator. Designed for targeted use rather than blanket coverage, it also contains a fertilizer to enhance grasses around the weed. 

The herbicide-fertilizer combo kills the weed and causes the lawn grasses to quickly grow up in its place. The product comes in various sizes, ranging from 5,000 to 15,000 square feet of coverage.

However, some reviews indicate that the applicator is difficult to use, so make sure to get used to it before applying the product on your lawn. 

3. Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer Ready to Spray3 – Dandelion & Clover Killer

This weed killer is a great choice if you have multiple species of weeds popping up on your lawn. You can use it as a targeted weed killer or a tool for blanket coverage, since it is safe for many different grass types. 

In addition, it’s rainproof and designed to kill even the roots of weeds, preventing them from coming back later in the season. You can also choose from a variety of applicator heads depending on your needs.

Because this particular product is designed to be safe for multiple grass species, you may need several applications to be fully effective on your weeds. 

4. Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns

If you also have an issue with irritant plants like poison ivy or poison oak, you’ll want an herbicide that is lethal to most plant types. This weed killer is proven to kill over 200 types of unwanted plants

Follow the instructions to use safely around plants that you don’t want to kill. This product is a little more lethal to plants than those listed above, so the application must be precise so that your grass doesn’t accidentally become a casualty.

Also, keep in mind It takes 6 hours to absorb, so make sure you apply when there isn’t any precipitation on the forecast. 

5. JUST FOR PETS Weed Killer Spray

If you’re a pet owner, you know how important it is to watch any chemicals or products you use around the home, as they could potentially be dangerous to your beloved animal. This weed killer is still quite effective but contains none of the toxic ingredients that aren’t safe for use around pets. 

This company focuses on creating pet-safe products with natural ingredients, and it also donates a portion of its proceeds to animal shelters in the United States. 

Some reviews indicate a particularly strong smell with this product. Wearing a mask and even gloves is always a good idea when handling chemicals, but for this one, it’s a strong recommendation. 

Does White Vinegar Kill Dandelions?

White vinegar is a non-toxic liquid with properties that have multiple uses in the home. If you’re looking for a chemical substitute to use in your garden, this ingredient could be a perfect choice.

Vinegar is a natural cleaner, and it can be used to kill unwanted plants such as dandelions. However, there are limits to its abilities, so it’s only successful under certain conditions. 

White vinegar can kill small, young plants, but it is not as effective on larger or older plants, though it may wither its leaves. Garden experts recommend using a solution with water and 5% vinegar.

Spraying this on a small plant may overwhelm and kill it. On a larger plant, cover the plant after applying the solution to block sunlight, more effectively killing the plant than the solution alone.

If you’re trying this method, be careful not to soak the soil too much with the solution, as it can prevent new growth from coming up in its place.

Why is My Lawn Full of Dandelions?

The simple fact about dandelions is that they are very good at spreading large numbers of seeds in a short period of time. 

(We’ve all seen the fluffy heads that emerge on top of the plants).

They are rather pretty to look at, and this seed dispersion method relies on other parts of an ecosystem – like wind, animals, or people – to assist in their scattering. 

The superstition of blowing the seeds on a dandelion head and making a wish is common and has been around for a long time. It’s almost like the dandelions evolved with tendencies of human folklore in mind.

When Should I Treat My Lawn for Dandelions?

The problem with having dandelions in your yard is that they can prevent your grass from growing normally and kill otherwise healthy grass. Because they can spread so quickly, you should treat any dandelions in your lawn as soon as you realize they’re there.

That way, you can use spot treatment methods on the weeds rather than a full yard coverage treatment. 

(This is much more convenient and usually cheaper).

Updated on

Written By Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas is a Master Gardener who edits and writes content for websites and magazines. Over the past two decades, she has been writing for The Doorstep about houseplants and indoor gardening. Since she started writing about plants, Sarah has been collecting rare and tropical plants. The Berkshire Botanical Garden awarded Sarah a certificate in horticulture in 2017.

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