How to get rid of dandelions – four foolproof ways to banish flowering weeds

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Dandelions are quick to flower and produce masses of light seeds, making this vibrant weed even harder to eliminate in one go. Their self-seeding nature means that dandelions can crop up almost anywhere in the garden, growing in everything from paving cracks to the green blades of your lawn. Getting rid of these bright flowering weeds requires a deep treatment that goes right to the root, and these are the four best methods to try.

How to get rid of dandelions

Dandelions are a perennial plant which are known to frequent roadside verges, garden lawns and small crevices between paving slabs.

While these native weeds have many medicinal and culinary uses, they can become an issue for gardeners if left to grow wildly amongst crops and other plants.

Weedkiller is the most obvious way to banish this persistent perennial from your garden, but what else can you use to keep your outdoor space free from dandelions?

Kill dandelions with boiling water

While it may seem counteractive to water weeds in order to get rid of them, boiling water is one of the most effective and chemical-free ways to wilt away dandelions.

Boil a kettle full of water and pour it directly onto the green leaves of the weeds.

Make sure the water reaches deep to the root by closely soaking the leaves until they droop.

Within two to four hours the leaves should have turned brown and limp, indicating that the weeds are ready to be pulled from the ground.

Tug firmly on the dandelion to remove the entire plant from the flower-head right down to the root.

Soak dandelions in vinegar

Vinegar is yet another chemical-free alternative to weedkiller, and can be safely used on garden lawns and patio slabs.

Make use of the natural acidity of either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to soak the dandelions and eventually kill them off.

Pour the vinegar of your choice into an empty spray bottle and spritz the weeds until they are completely drenched in this acidic condiment.

Within a few hours, the leaves will turn from green to brown and will be ready to be pulled out from the ground.

Remove the dandelion roots and rinse the area with water to remove any lingering traces of vinegar.

This method is most effective on a bright, sunny day as the warmth helps to speed up the wilting process.

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Tackle tough weeds with a vinegar mixture

If you’re caught in a bout of poor weather, mixing in dish soap or fresh lemon juice is the best way to make your vinegar-based weed killer even more effective.

Repeat the same method of filling a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar before adding in your leaf-wilting ingredient.

Add one tablespoon of liquid dish soap to stick to stubborn dandelion leaves, or mix in one quarter of a cup of lemon juice to work against wide-spread growth.

Shake the liquid and spray enough of it onto the weeds to thoroughly coat all parts of the dandelion.

If the dandelion hasn’t completely withered within three hours, spray the plant again.

Hand-dig dandelion roots

Hand digging is best done in spring when dandelion seedlings begin to appear.

Use dandelion pullers or similar tools to lift the deep roots of dandelions and remove them from the ground.

For this method to be effective, you must always make sure you remove the entire taproot of the weed, as these are known to quickly regrow when even the smallest fragment is left in the ground.

While hand-digging is a great alternative to acidic liquids and chemical weed killers, it does require more time and energy, and should be done repeatedly to keep dandelions at bay.

For best results, use the hand-dig method followed by a vinegar or boiling water treatment for fast-acting results.

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