Dandelion
(Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion

A perennial weed with large rosettes and familiar yellow flowerheads. It is commonly found in garden borders and in lawns, where the dark green rosettes look very unsightly. It can tolerate close mowing so hand weeding it usually the best control method but the long tap root needs to be removed as new plants will form from them.

Control

The main ways to keep weeds under control is constant vigilance, never allowing the weed to flower or to set seed.

  • Hand weed young plants with a hand fork, removing as much of the tap root as possible

  • In lawns rosette weeds can also be cut using a sharp knife but again the tap root needs to be removed too

  • Pouring salt on to the centre of the weed will kill it overnight, then it should be removed by hand

  • Spraying with weedkiller will do the job if the weeds are in the garden border. Spray with a systemic weedkiller as this is absorbed through the leaves of the plant and the active ingredient makes its way through the cells of the plant down to the root. It kills these first and then the foliage starts to die off

  • In lawns you can use a weed stick, such as Elliott's Touchweeder which is brushed on to the weeds leaves without harming the grass. More than one application may be needed for this weed