Are dandelions weeds or wildflowers? Although some claim these showy little balls of sunshine boast a lengthy list of beneficial uses, most property owners categorize them as invasive weeds. Once one appears, many more follow. Getting rid of them takes patience and persistence, but it can be done. In fact, a simple solution to kill dandelions is as close as your kitchen cabinet.

Weeds or Wildflowers?

Not all bad, dandelions are happy harbingers of spring, signalling the end of a long winter. The edible plant’s benefits range from medical to nutritional (try dandelion salad or wine). But beware, these perennials quickly become invasive weeds. The yellow flowers eventually turn into whitish gray puff balls packed with seeds. Dandelions reproduce rapidly by scattering hundreds of seeds near and far into the wind. The weeds grow, taking nutrients and water away from your turf.

It’s hard to kill dandelions once they appear. One reason is because of their long hardy taproots that descend deep in the ground. Yank out a dandelion and chances are some of that long root remains underground, eventually growing back with a vengeance.

Kill Dandelions with this Common Household Item

A warrior against weeds, white vinegar’s acidity makes it an ideal natural herbicide. Although the vinegar in your kitchen has only a 5% acid percentage, it’s possible to boil it down to increase the potency. Adding lemon juice and/or salt to your weed-fighting formula packs even a more powerful punch. Dish soap is an especially helpful additive that helps keep the solution adhered to the weed’s waxy leaves long enough to be effective. If this formula isn’t strong enough, get horticultural vinegar with 20% acetic acid concentration at a garden center.

Application

Kill dandelions before the yellow heads turn into seed-spreading puff balls. Use a spray bottle or brush to apply the solution, but take care to keep it contained and target only the weed. Vinegar kills any plants or grass it comes in contact with, so get up close if spraying. You may need to apply it more than once until you see the leaves wither and die. To ensure the dandelion does not regenerate, dig out the entire taproot once the weed withers. Make sure to perform the task during several days of dry weather so the solution does not wash away before it has a chance to work.

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