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.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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

  1. 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.

  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. 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;)

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