Dandelion Control

Most Effective Products

MSM Turf Herbicide (Manor)
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $14.04
Solutions 15-5-10 Weed & Feed Fertilizer with Trimec
Granular
As low as $54.99
Eraser 41% Glyphosate
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $15.90
Keith's Pro Tips

"Weeds like dandelions are easy to yank right out of the ground, but this is not an effective solution for long-term control. Dandelion taproots are long and can extend deep underground. If you don't successfully pull the weed out, root and all, then it will grow back. This is why using an herbicide like TopShot is recommended."

How To Get Rid of Dandelions: Dandelion Control

Dandelions are one of the most common perennial broadleaf weeds that appear on lawns and landscapes. They can grow and thrive in any kind of soil and can spread over on lawns that receive full sunlight.

Dandelion is typically spotted on lawns by their large, bright yellow flowers which gradually turn into puffy white seed heads when the weed is ready to reproduce. Dandelion taproots are thick and long, growing to a length of 6 to 18 inches in length.

In the early spring, new dandelion sprouts will emerge from the taproot, which can be 2 to 3 feet deep in the soil. This makes pulling the dandelions by hand largely ineffective. Even though dandelion dies when fall arrives, the taproot is able to survive in the soil, ready to grow back out when Spring returns. In order to prevent dandelions from being a recurring issue, you have to kill the plant down to the root.

If you are dealing with dandelions on your lawn, our DIY treatment guide can help. The guide below has been put together by our lawn care experts and will show you how to properly kill Dandelion and ensure that it doesn't return.

Identification

Dandelion Weed Growing in Turf

It's important to first identify a problem weed to help you to determine what herbicide works best to kill it. The good thing about dandelion is that most people are familiar with how it looks and can spot it with ease when they are growing on a lawn.

  • Dandelions germinate in the spring, growing between 2 to 18 inches tall. They have leaves grow in a rosette arrangement with jagged edges that point inward toward the center of the plant. Multiple stems will grow from the plant, but each stalk with have a single yellow flower.
  • When dandelion is ready to reproduce, the yellow flower will become a white puffball. The fuzzy white parts are actually dandelion seeds.
  • The dandelion seedheads can easily be blown off the stem via a gust of wind, or famously by taking a plant and blowing it. Wherever these seeds lie will result in a new dandelion growth.
  • Dandelion has a thick and hearty taproot that can be lodged quite deep underground. If you uproot a dandelion, you will usually see a taproot that is 6 to 18 inches long.
  • Plants like catsear, chicory and hawkweed look very similar to dandelion but you can differentiate dandelion from its hollow stem, production of milky fluid when the stem is broken and only grows one flower per stalk.

Use the description above and the images to help you to identify dandelion. If you are not sure, contact us with an image of your weed and we will help you correctly Identify the plant as well as offer control suggestions.

Inspection

Dandelion

Once you have confirmed that you are dealing with Dandelion, you can then move on to inspection. During this phase, you will locate the areas where Dandelion is growing and observe the conditions that are allowing the weed to thrive. This will help you to determine where to focus your herbicide applications to treat Dandelion.

Where to Inspect

Dandelions are strong weeds that can grow anywhere in the United States in most types of soil. They will also grow in-between cracks in cement, like driveways, sidewalks, and walkways. Dandelions tend to grow in spots that see a lot of sunlight, but they can oftentimes be seen in shady areas. Walk around your lawn to check where dandelion is growing and how severe of an infestation you have.

What to Look For

Chances are if you have dandelion, they won't be hard to miss. Dandelions stick out like a sore thumb on your lawn among your desired grass and vegetation. Depending on the time of year and which stage of development the weed is in, you may be looking for different signs. Keep an eye out for the patches of broad, jagged leaves, the yellow flower on a single stem (if it a stem has branches with multiple flowers, it is not a dandelion), or the white puffball of seeds for when it has matured.

Treatment

Dandelions are a creeping invasive perennial weed that can be difficult to manually control without the help of chemicals. This is primarily because of its extensive taproot which can grow underground up to three feet. This means that if you try to hand pull it, the Dandelion will just grow right back because it can easily break off and just start up growing once again, regenerating.

Always make sure you have on the right personal protective equipment (PPE) for safety (glasses, gloves, mask) before mixing or applying and herbicides. Our top recommendation for controlling dandelions is msm turf herbicide. MSM Turf Herbicide is a post-emergent herbicide and has a broad label. It is also easy to mix and apply while also being cost-effective. For dandelions that are growing in paved areas like cement, we recommend eraser herbicide.

Step 1: Apply Weed & Feed Fertilizer (in early Spring)

Spreading Weed & Feed for Dandelions

*Note that applying Weed & Feed is not a prerequisite to later dandelion herbicide applications. This is a just helpful and effective step to perform if it is early in the growing season so that you can stamp out dandelions before the invade.

Because dandelions germinate in late winter and early spring, an effective first step is to nourish your lawn while killing the emerged dandelions. Do this with Solutions 15-5-10 Weed and Feed.

Our Weed and Feed is a special fertilizer blend with 15% nitrogen, 5% phosphorus, and 10% potassium (potash). This NPK ratio is great for spring because the relatively high nitrogen content will nourish your lawn by greening up and strengthening your grass. When your grass is tall and green, it will crowd and choke out fledgling dandelions before they have a chance to really take hold.

An additional benefit of using Solutions Weed & Feed is that it is also formulated with the herbicide, Trimec. This will actually target and kill the dandelions (and other labeled weeds) while feeding your grass.

Apply the weed and feed between 3.2 to 4 pounds of weed and feed per 1,000 square feet. We recommend using a push broadcast spreader for ease of application.

Broadcast half the weed and feed fertilizer in parallel lines once across the area. Then broadcast the other half at a perpendicular angle to cover the area entirely. Once the product is laid out, water it in. This will help push the fertilizer granules deep into the soil so that it can feed the grass and attack the weeds.

You can apply Solutions Weed & Feed 30 days after your initial application, but do not go over the maximum annual rate of 8 pounds per 1,000 square feet.

Step 2 - Mix MSM Turf Herbicide

Mixing TopShot to treat Dandelion

Due to the pervasiveness of dandelions, you may see some emerge and grow several weeds after your previous weed & feed application, or if you missed your early fertilizer application. This is where using an herbicide like msm turf herbicide comes in.

MSM Turf Herbicide is a broad spectrum, selective post-emergent herbicide. This weed killer is a selective herbicide, so it is labeled to use on many different turf types to target broadleaf weeds, like dandelions, and some grassy weeds without harming the grass around them.

MSM Turf Herbicide comes as a dry granule that can treat up to 43,560 square feet (1 acre). This product can be applied as either a broadcast application over the whole yard or as a spot treatment for a targeted application. For dandelions, we are going to use msm turf herbicide as a spot spray. For acerage, apply 0.25 to 0.33 oz. of product. Determine your lawn's size by measuring (in feet) and multiplying the area length times the width (length x width = square footage).

Place the measured amount of msm turf herbicide into your pump sprayer and fill the sprayer to capacity. We recommend using a 1 gallon sprayer. Seal the sprayer and shake to ensure it is well mixed.

Step 3 - Apply MSM Turf Herbicide to Control Established Dandelions

Spraying TopShot for Dandelion Control

Directly spray your dandelions using low to medium pressure. You are spraying the weed to wet, not to the point of runoff. Be sure to spray on calm days when wind speeds are low and keep all people and pets off the treated area until dry.

You should start to see your dandelions die out within 1 to 2 weeks. For resilient dandelions, you can reapply your msm turf herbicide 4 to 6 weeks after the initial application.

Do not apply msm turf herbicide to fruit or vegetable gardens or where roots of desirable trees and woody bushes may be laying.

Step 4 - Treat Dandelions in Cement Cracks with Eraser

Spraying Weed Killer for Dandelions in Pavement

To get rid of dandelions (and other weeds) from cracks in cement, use eraser 41%. Eraser is a glyphosate-based, non-selective weed killer. This means that it will target and kill nearly all common weeds and grasses that it comes into contact with. This has no soil activity, which means that it will not leach into the ground; it must come into contact with a plant's foliage for it to work.

Because of its powerful, non-selective formulation, eraser is great to use in driveways, sidewalks, and walkways for weed control. Eraser is not recommended to use on lawns or other turf areas and flower beds because it will severely damage or kill your desirable vegetation.

Be sure not to use the same sprayer that you used for the msm turf herbicide application to prevent cross-contamination. We suggest labeling your sprayers with something like "selective" and "non-Selective" to help you keep track.

2.5 oz. of eraser can treat 1,000 sq. ft. area. Mix 2.5 fluid ounces of eraser in 1 gallon of water in a pump sprayer and then spot treat the dandelions growing in your paved areas. spraying to the point of wet. Apply when wind speeds are low and keep your spray nozzle close to the weed to minimize drift.

Keep all people and pets away from treated areas until dry.

Prevention

Mowing to Prevent Dandelions

After you have successfully eliminated the dandelion, you want to make sure the weed doesn't return. The best defense against dandelion is a thick lawn that is well fertilized and maintained. Here are a few cultural practices we suggest to keep dandelion from returning.

  • Implement proper cultural practices such as watering, mowing and feeding to make your yard less conducive to dandelion making a return and invading your yard.
  • In particular, mowing your grass high at a height of 3 to 4 can help to fight off dandelion development because the weed seeds will not get the sunlight to be able to germinate and thrive if you were to mow your lawn low.
  • Keep up with a fertilizer application, even during fall. Use a fall fertilizer high in potassium to keep your turf strong over winter so they can choke out weed development in the spring
  • Water your lawn deeply yet infrequently at a rate of 1 to 1.5 inches per week.

Key Takeaways

What are Dandelions?

  • Dandelion is a pesky invasive broadleaf weed that is known to spread via its puffy white seeds which can easily blow off via wind.

How To Get Rid of Dandelion

  • To treat Dandelions with herbicide, we recommend either using Glyphosate (Eraser Herbicide) as a non-selective means of control or msm turf herbicide for selective control to get rid of Dandelion from your lawn.
  • A weed & feed fertilizer is a great option in early spring to target young and weak dandelions.

Preventing Dandelion Reemergence

  • By maintaining a regular lawn care schedule and promoting a lush green nutrient-rich turf, dandelion will find it difficult to re-establish itself on your lawn.
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