Killing Dandelions without Killing Your Grass

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated October 21, 2022)


If there is one thing about gardening that children and parents will never really agree on, then it has got to be the subject of dandelions. While they may look pretty out in a field somewhere, they aren't exactly the best thing to have in your lawn. Among the many problems that comes with dandelions is how to get rid of them without damaging your lawn. Luckily, there are a few methods that you can use to kill dandelions without killing your grass. Simply chose one, and you will find that your problem soon disappears.

  • Dig them up. Perhaps one of the most traditional, and effective, methods for killing dandelions without killing your lawn is to simply dig them up. While this is probably the most labor intensive of all methods, it is also the one that is guaranteed to work the best. By digging out the roots, instead of simply pulling up the plant, you will ensure that the dandelion doesn't grow back and that you do not cause any collateral damage to the grass around it.
  • Apply some vinegar. Another effective method for getting rid of dandelions is to apply a little bit of vinegar to the problem. Vinegar, when properly applied, is a great natural herbicide. Best of all, it will usually only affect the plants that it is applied to directly. What this means is that if you use the vinegar the right way, you won't have huge brown dead spots on your lawn. While you may have a smaller one it should only be about the size of a quarter at most if you applied the vinegar correctly. To do that, simply pour a little bit of vinegar directly onto the dandelion. Be careful that you don't pour too much though, or you can damage the grass surrounding the weed.
  • Boiling water works. If you don't want to use vinegar, or don't want to use an option that can cost money like vinegar can, then try using some simple water. However, you will want to boil the water first, and then pour it onto the weed while it is still hot. The heat from the water will help to kill off the weeds. Keep in mind that this method will not work instantaneously, so you will need to apply the boiling water over the space of a couple of days.
  • Use some a secret weapon—preparation. The best way to deal with weeds like dandelions is to never allow them to get a foothold to begin with. There is a product out there that will help suppress the weeds while also helping to promote the growth of your grass. That product is called corn gluten meal. Usually this is an ingredient found in commercial fertilizers and weed preventatives. Keep in mind that this is only effective if you utilize it prior to the dandelions growing. Apply the product during the spring time, to help prevent the growth dandelions.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is three more than 1?

2016-04-27 14:06:21

Bob Dodge

I believe using the vinegar and hot water ideas above killing the dandelions -- but unless you're very careful, it will kill the grass around it, too. Is it more effective to purchase a "Weed Killer that won't kill Grass" product and go around and spraying it all over your dandelions?

2015-12-04 11:23:21


Grass - as used for the lawns that get cut weekly prefer acidic soil - so the application of vinegar to the center of the dandelion (and many other weeds that have a large taproot and grow a ground covering rosette of leaves) will not only kill those weeds due to it's concentrated acidic effect, but will also help condition the ground to the grass's preference - just don't use too much.-
Basically you are pickling the growing center-hub and food-storing root.

It's also worth taking a cutter (bulb planter perhaps) to the rosette of leaves and reducing their diameter to about 3"
Leave some raised at the edge perhaps to keep the vinegar in the centre so the weed gets the full benefit of the dose.
That technique will allow the surrounding grass to get some sunlight and stop it dying from the weed's 'suppression' technique.


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