The dandelion is a familiar lawn weed that is often enjoyed by children but disliked by adults. Also known as the Taraxacum officinate, the weed is a stemless perennial. With its deep taproots, the Dandelion is identified by the single yellow flower at the end of each long, hollow stalk. When the weed matures, the yellow flower matures into white, puff balls containing seeds. Dandelion can be found throughout the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii. It grows best in sunny, thin lawns, and can tolerate a rather dense, hard soil but not a lot of foot traffic.
The dandelion has a thick fleshy taproot with many-branched crowds and milky juice. The stem is very short with leaves produced at the ground surface. Dandelion leaves are 5 to 25 cm longer or longer, simple and basal, forming a rosette above the central taproot. Flower heads are yellow to orange colored, and are open in the daytime but closed at night. It spreads by seeds and by new shoots from roots. It flowers from early spring to late fall. Seedlings may occur throughout the spring and summer and are often abundant in the fall.
Common dandelion is the most common broadleaf weed in many lawns. It is found virtually in every kind of habitat, from openings in deep woods to cultivated fields, from rocky hillsides to fertile gardens and lawns. Maintaining a dense, healthy lawn is the best method of controlling many turf weeds. Adequate fertilization, proper mowing and irrigation practices and disease control is the best way to minimize weed problems.
How to control
It’s important to eliminate dandelions in lawns and flowerbeds. Dandelion seeds are spread by wind and water, even over long distances. If you wish to pull the weeds the old fashion way, water the lawn first and make an incision into the soil, down the side of the taproot. Using a screwdriver or similar tool, wiggle to loosen the taproot, and give the weed a gentle tug to see if the taproot is yielding. Remove the dandelion weed from the soil. Post-emergence herbicides are particularly effective to attack broadleaf weeds. To get rid of dandelions permanently, use a weed killer sprayer to target particular weeds on the lawn.
To remove dandelions from your lawn, contact Austin lawn care specialists at Emerald Lawns.