How to Get Rid of Dandelions in a Lawn

Three Parts:Physically removing the dandelionsUsing homemade dandelion killersUsing chemicals

Dandelions can strike just about anybody’s lawn, no matter how meticulous you are about maintaining it. In spite of the invasive nature of these resistant blooms, there are several actions you can take to rid your lawn of them. No matter what method you use, though, it is best if you fight back before the yellow flower head matures into a white, puffy harbinger of dandelion doom. Once the puffy white seeds spread, you’ll have more than just a few stray weeds on your hands.

Part 1
Physically removing the dandelions

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    Mow the dandelions as they emerge. As long as you catch the yellow blossoms before they mature into white seeds, you should be able to stop the weed from spreading. Set the lawn mower deck to prevent it from cutting the grass lower than 2 to 2.5 inches (5.08 to 6.34 centimeters), since longer grass will block out the sunlight needed for dandelions to grow.
    • Note, however, that merely mowing down the top of the flower will not permanently kill the original flower.
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    Dig the dandelions out at the root. Removing the dandelion by its root will remove it from your lawn. There are several "dandelion diggers" you can purchase at garden and hardware stores to accomplish this task. Some look fork-like in nature, while others look like a hybrid between a screwdriver and a fishtail. In both cases, however, you merely dig around the base of the flower and use leverage to pivot the flower out of the ground, root and all.
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    Smother the weeds. Dandelions require plenty of sunlight to live. You can cover them with cardboard or black plastic bags to block the sunlight out, and within a few days, the flowers should die.
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    Improve your soil. Add nutrient-rich compost and mulch to the soil to improve its quality. Dandelions thrive on acidic soils and tend to grow weaker in rich soils, making them easier to pull up and less likely to ever take root.
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    Raise chickens or rabbits. Both creatures love the taste of dandelions and will munch on the nasty weeds as they pop up from out of the ground. Dandelions are also healthy and nutritious for these animals.
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    Use a weed burner torch. These hand-held torches literally burn weeds away.

Part 2
Using homemade dandelion killers

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    Pour boiling water over the dandelions. If you consistently pour boiling water over each dandelion a few times each day, the plants should start to wilt and wither into oblivion within three days.
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    Spray the dandelions with vinegar. Plain white vinegar works, but you can also boil it down to concentrate the amount of acetic acid, creating an even more potent weed killer. Put the vinegar in a spray bottle, and douse the offending weed from head to base.
    • For even more effective results, pull the dandelion out at the root and spray the hole to kill any roots that got left behind.
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    Spread corn gluten meal over the lawn before dandelions germinate. CGM is a pre-emergent herbicide, so it prevents seedlings from ever taking root. Spread the CGM over your lawn four to six weeks before the weeds usually germinate. Since it only lasts for five to six weeks, you should reapply the herbicide multiple times throughout the growing season.
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    Salt the dandelions. Pile 1 tablespoon (14.3 grams) of salt at the base of the dandelion, where it emerges from the lawn. Avoid getting the salt on other plants, though, since salt has been known to kill plenty of other greenery, too
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    Use muriatic acid. Buy some muriatic acid at the hardware store. (It's cheap, around $6 for a gallon and will last an eternity). Put on latex gloves. Use a turkey baster to apply the concentrated acid to the dandelions. Avoid breathing the fumes. Smile as the dandelions turn brown within minutes and stay dead for good.

Part 3
Using chemicals

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    Try a chemical herbicide. A post-emergence herbicide designed to take care of broad leaf weeds is ideal. Systemic weed-killer, like those made with glyphosate, should be applied directly to the weed you want to get rid of. Do not apply these products to your entire lawn. Glyphosate products kill all vegetation and should only be applied directly to the leaves of the dandelion. After the greens die, the chemical will seep into the plant and kill the roots.


  • Removing dandelions at the root without the use of weed killers will allow you to eat them. Dandelions are both edible and nutritional, offering high levels of vitamin A, potassium, and beta carotene, with notable amounts of vitamins C and D, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. You can consume the leaves, roots, and flower heads in a variety of fresh and cooked dishes.
  • Mowing the dandelions may also cause them to grow shorter stalks


  • Exercise caution in applying any weed killer to the dandelions, whether you use chemical or natural alternatives. Many weed killers do not discriminate and kill more than just your weeds. As a result, sloppy application could cause damage to your lawn.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn mower


  • Dandelion digger


  • Boiling water


  • Cardboard


  • Black plastic bags


  • Vinegar


  • Corn gluten meal


  • Compost


  • Salt


  • Weed burner torch


  • Chickens or rabbits


  • Chemical weed killer

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care