To prevent a total takeover by these troublesome weeds, follow this guide to dandelion and weed prevention in the lawn and garden.
Dandelion and weed control is definitely one of the more tiresome tasks in the yard and garden, but if you choose the right method of attack, you’ll have a much easier time! If dandelions have been taking over your yard in recent years and you aren’t sure how to deal with them, read this guide on how to control dandelions and common weeds at all stages of growth.
The Best Weed Killers for Dandelion Control
Many different solutions are available for tackling dandelions and weeds, but a combined approach of several methods will yield the best results! Here’s how to keep dandelions and weeds from spoiling your lush, green lawn.
Feed Your Grass for Better Defense Against Dandelions
One of the best defenses against dandelions and weeds is a healthy, well-fed lawn! The healthier your grass is, the stronger its roots will be, so weeds won’t have room to take root. If you’re reseeding your lawn, we recommend a lawn fertilizer like Scott’s Turf Builder to give fresh, young grass a huge boost of nutrients to start the season right.
Stop Crabgrass Before it Starts with Pre-Emergent Herbicides
Pre-emergent herbicides are granular herbicides (often combined with fertilizers) that go in the lawn or garden and will prevent weed seeds from germinating. We recommend Scotts Super TurfBuilder Plus Halts to fertilize and prevent crabgrass weed seeds from germinating. Keep in mind, this will stop grass seed from germinating as well so don’t treat areas that you have overseeded with new grass seed. For weeds in the garden, we recommend Preen Weed Preventer for flower beds and Preen Organic Weed Preventer for vegetable gardens. The best way to avoid having to weed is applying Preen early so the weeds never come up.
Pull Weeds Before They Go to Seed
A single dandelion can scatter hundreds of seeds across the lawn, so you’ll want to pull them before their yellow flower heads turn into puffballs. Resist the temptation to blow the seeds and make a wish! Pull the weed with the root intact—many weeds can grow back even if a little bit of their roots remain in the soil. Pulling weeds is easier with wet soil, but using a hoe works better on dry soil. Dispose of your weeds in the trash, not the compost. You can use a dandelion digging tool to help you get down to the root.
Use a Spot Treatment for Small Weed Patches
If you’ve got stubborn weeds that are hard to pull and keep coming back, a Ready-To-Use Spot Treatment will help kill them at the root level. Be sure to use herbicides only on calm days with no wind, and make sure there’s no rain in the forecast. This particular formula is rainfast in three hours, but it’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and wait for a day with clear skies.
Concentrated Broad-Spectrum Weed Control
It might be time to pull out the big guns if you have a significant dandelion or weed infestation that’s completely taking over the lawn. We carry Ferti-lome Weed Free Zone Concentrate and Pulverize Weed Killer for Lawns, available in concentrated or ready-to-use formulas. Safe application is an absolute must when using chemical herbicides. As previously mentioned, only apply them on a day with clear skies and little-to-no wind. Do not allow pets onto the grass for a few days after application. If the sidewalk by your yard has a lot of dog walkers passing by, it’s worth putting out some signage for a day to let owners know not to allow their dog to tread on your recently treated grass. Don’t let stubborn weeds steal the spotlight in your yard and garden! If you’re having any trouble identifying a particular weed in your yard, or if you have any questions about weed and dandelion control in Iowa, feel free to contact Wallace’s Garden Center, and we can provide some guidance!