Why Dandelions Drive Landscapers & Lawn Enthusiasts Crazy

dandelions in grass

As a landscaper, lawn enthusiast or property owner there is nothing more frustrating than seeing yellow dandelions popping up throughout your lush green lawn and rapidly taking over. Without intervention, dandelions and other weeds will quickly dominate your lawn and there is very little that can be done to stop them, driving landscapers and lawn enthusiast crazy each year. Dandelions first pop open their yellow heads in the spring, before turning into fluff balls to disperse their seeds a few weeks later. On unlucky years, with certain weather conditions, dandelions can bloom multiple times from spring through autumn.

Are Dandelions A Weed?

Dandelions are herbs that originated in Europe but are non-native species in Ontario. Classified as weeds in Ontario, dandelions can successfully grow in just about any conditions, including the cracks in cement. Growing from a single penetrating tap root, dandelions are good at spreading and hard to kill. Due to their aggressive nature, dandelions quickly dominate the area decreasing native plants and reducing biodiversity. Dandelions are considered perennials because they come back year after year from the same see.

Landscapers know the aggravation dandelions cause in the spring when the weeds grow faster than the grass itself, making your freshly cut lawn look shaggy and unkept just days after cutting. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy solution to dandelions, since the Ontario Cosmetic Pesticide Act of 2009 banned the only effective herbicides used to control growth and spread of the weed.

How To Prevent Dandelions

As a landscape company, we’re often asked if there are ways to prevent dandelions. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution; for small sections of grass or gardens you could dig out each & every dandelion but that would require a tremendous amount of labour (and cost) for larger area. On top of that, unless all your neighbours were doing the same, their dandelions will just spread their seeds right back to your lawn.

The only suggestion we give our customers is to support a thick & healthy lawn, this will help it withstand the inevitable dandelion invasion.

Some other tips to help prevent dandelion invasion:

  • During peak dandelion season, cutting the grass twice weekly will improve its appearance
  • Don’t cut the grass too short – keep it at t least 2 ¾ – 3 inches long (7 – 7 ½ cm)
  • Topdress & overseed your lawn annually to replenish the soil and encourage new turf growth
  • Aerate at least once per year to improve nutrient/water flow, root growth and general health of the turf

Contact us today to discuss MPS’ Commercial Grounds Maintenance services to help with dandelion control!

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dandelion plants growing in grass