dandelions and other weeds
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Our Love, Hate Relationship with Dandelions

Their name comes from the French “dent-de-leon,” meaning “lion’s tooth.” Their iconic yellow heads look like a single flower, but are actually dozens of tiny florets. Each floret is able to make seeds, but not quite the way most other flowers do. Through a process called “apomixis,” individual dandelions can rapidly clone themselves. This means that most of the dandelions in your neighborhood are all identical to a single original invader.

Dandelions are on the lookout for bare spots in your lawn. Descending on downy parachutes, a single invader will rapidly become dozens.

Just because the puff ball has formed and the parachute seeds have blown away, that doesn’t mean the plant is dead. Up to 9 new flower heads will grow from a single plant, repeating the process over and over. A single dandelion can produce 2000 seeds over its lifetime.

Highly adaptable, dandelions grow huge in healthy soil and can easily eke out an existence in sandy ground. Their broad leaves can grow to a length of ten inches, blocking your turf from getting the sunlight it needs. Dandelion roots grow up to 18 inches in length, leaching nutrients from shallow and deep soil alike. When digging dandelions out manually, if you leave even an inch of the root behind, a new plant can grow. 

A good pre-emergent like prodiamine can help to stop their many seeds from succeeding in your lawn. Spot treatments with herbicide can help get rid of the ones that make it through the pre-emergent barrier.

Dandelions are a good indicator of soil compaction. If your lawn is consistently infested by dandelions or other weeds, consider aerating your lawn in the spring or fall. This will introduce beneficial bacteria into the soil and help air, water and nutrients flow to the roots of your grass.

If you have dandelions stealing nutrients from your grass, call us at (815) 374-7465 or fill out the nearby quote form. Our team of skilled professionals is standing by to help!

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