Gardening Lawn Weeds

Pull and Sow to Win the Dandelion War

When you yank a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) or other weed out of your lawn, that’s only half the battle. It leaves a gaping hole in the soil where another weed may well germinate. And since dandelion seeds, with their little white parachutes, are floating everywhere in the air just about the same season as you pull dandelions, guess which plant will probably settle there?

Fill the hole with soil and then sow grass seed or clover. 

So, when you go dandelion hunting, bring two small bags with you in addition to the dandelion weeder: one with quality top soil, the other with grass or clover seeds. Then, each time you pull out a dandelion, fill the hole with soil and drop in a few seeds!

By following these steps, you ensure that what grows will be lawn rather than a weed.

Illustrations by Claire Tourigny, from the book Les 1500 trucs du jardinier paresseux.

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

6 comments on “Pull and Sow to Win the Dandelion War

  1. alexandratrencseni1

    Dandelion buds are exzellent for Green Smoothies, sweet and rich (honey), remember?) – and it offers lecithine comparable to eggs. Their green bitter
    Ieaves are great too in any Green Smoothie, and the liver loves it.. Quite a few weeds make highly energizing green smoothies, Mixed with bits of fruit and berries, cinamon etc.. Might make weeding nicer;)

  2. Dandelions are 1 of the 1st flowers that bees visit in spring. They’re also edible. And pretty

    • They are indeed edible and pretty. And, personally, I let them grow. However, they’re not really a good food source for bees. That’s a bit of a garden myth. The first flowers bees feed on are in fact tree flowers. They only visit dandelions, which are not very generous to bees, if they’re having trouble finding other foods.

      • I didn’t know that. I need to plant more trees lol

  3. The first dandelions I remember growing in my parents’ lawns were eaten by a tortoise who came out of the orchards. After he ate them all, he continued to eat them as they tried to regenerate. Eventually, they died out.

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