Dandelion’s conspicuous yellow flowers are invasive if you want a green, lush, grass-only space. Once dandelions have developed deep taproots, they spread quickly throughout an area and take over. Since they are perennial, you have a yearly problem to address.
Established dandelions are tough to remove. Hand pulling and homemade weed killers are less effective for large areas. Post-emergent chemical control methods are effective against already established dandelions in large spaces. Still, you can choose organic dandelion killer as a safer option.
Are dandelions weeds or herbs?
Dandelion is a perennial herb and a weed under different circumstances. Native Americans boiled dandelion as a herb. Its leaves, flowers, and roots treat kidney diseases, heartburn, and stomach upset.
However, dandelion is considered a weed when growing in undesired areas. Landscapers and homeowners are specific about their lawn aesthetics. They might consider dandelions invasive.
6 post-emergent dandelion killers
The numerous dandelion killers in the market make it challenging to know which product works effectively. Below are the top six dandelion killers that work effectively.
1. Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
Compare-N-Save concentrate weedkiller contains glyphosate as the active ingredient. It’s ideal for grassy and broadleaf weeds. One bottle covers up to 25,000 square feet. You can apply Compare-N-Save weed killer around flower beds, trees, vegetable gardens, and fences.
Compare-N-Save weed killer kills stubborn weeds in a single application when used as directed. Results are visible after 2 to 4 days.
Mix 3 tablespoons of concentrate with 1 gallon of water for young dandelions. Use five tablespoons of the concentrate with 1 gallon of water for established dandelions. Each 1-gallon mixture covers 300 square feet.
Spot treat the dandelions on a warm sunny day. Ensure the treated area is dry before pets and kids use it.
Compare-Save-Concentrate Weed Killer pros
- Fast results
- Good coverage
- Kills dandelion in a single application
Compare-N-Save Concentrate Weed Killer cons
- Unsafe for pets and kids
2. Spectracide Vegetation Killer Concentrate
Spectracide killer concentrate works as a pre-emergent and a post-emergent herbicide. It’s the best pick for killing grown dandelions and preventing their seeds from germinating in the yard. Thirty-two ouches of the product cover 75 square feet.
Spectracide weed killer can be applied on dandelions on sidewalks, patios, parking areas, and driveways. When used as a pre-emergent herbicide, it stays in the soil for one year. Therefore, Spectracide is unsuitable for places you intend to plant soon.
Mow grass taller than six inches and remove debris before spraying the product. Spectracide weed killer is rainproof within an hour of application.
Spectracide vegetation killer concentrate pros
- Controls weed seeds for up to one year
Spectracide vegetation killer concentrate cons
- Small coverage
- Bad for immediate overseeding
3. Bonide Weed Beater Lawn Weed Killer Concentrate
Bonide Weed Beater controls weeds like dandelions, clover, bedstraw, ragweed, oxalis, and chickweed. The product only kills the weeds without harming your grass when used as directed.
One bottle of bonide covers up to 8000 square feet of lawn.
Bonide weed beater provides quick results. Weed injury is visible hours after application, and the weeds die within 7-14 days. The product is rainproof hours after application. The weed killer produces the best results when sprayed and left to dry.
Bonide weed beater pros
- Rainproof after application
- Produces visible results fast
Bonide weed beater cons
- It needs 2-3 applications to kill the weeds completely
4. Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer
Ortho weed B killer is a perfect herbicide for southern and northern lawns and doesn’t harm the grass if used as directed. The product kills clover, dandelions, crabgrass, and over 250 broadleaf weeds. Ortho weed B killer comes as a concentrate and is ready to use. You need 32 oz of the concentrate to cover up to 16,000 square feet. One gallon covers up to 64 000 square feet.
Ortho weed B Gon Killer acts fast, and results are visible within hours of application. The product reaches the roots of the weeds to kill them. Spray the herbicide in spring when dandelions are actively growing.
Ortho weed B Gon Weed Killer pros
- Fast visible results
- More straightforward application with 1 gallon ready to use
Ortho weed B Gon Killer cons
- Ready-to-use pumps may become less effective after several uses.
5. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed‘s current formula is twice powerful as its predecessor. It’s safe on patios, lawns, and gardens with Kentucky bluegrass, fescues, ryegrass, Centipede grass, bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, and Zoysia grass.
It clears dandelions and clover using weed grip technology where it grips seen and unseen weeds. Scotts turf builder weed thickens the lawn while crowding out weeds. Apply Scotts weed and feed on wet grass. Cut tall grass two days before using the product.
Scotts weed and feed pros
- Removes weeds while feeding the lawn
- Effective in dandelions control
Scotts weed and feed cons
- Unsafe for pets and kids
- Requires multiple applications
- You must water the lawn before use
6. Gordon Trimec Lawn and Weed Killer
Gordon Trimec Weed Killer kills hard to control weeds like dandelions and more than 250 broadleaf weeds on cool-season lawns. One gallon of Trimec weed killer covers up to 64,000 square feet. The herbicide doesn’t harm the grass.
Kids and pets can freely use the lawn once the weed killer has dried.
Gordon Trimec Lawn and Weed Killer pros
- Wide coverage
- Kills many weeds
Gordon Trimec Lawn and Weed Killer cons
- Used on cool-season grasses only
- Less concentrated
Buyers Guide: What to look for in a dandelion killer
Choose your dandelion weed-killer depending on the grass type, the lawn’s size, and whether the product is in liquid form or granules.
Your lawn’s grass
Dandelion weed killers can burn the grass if you use them incorrectly. There are dandelion weed killers suited for specific types of grass. Some dandelion weed killers, such as Gordon Trimec Weed Killer, are meant for cool-season grasses, while others are good for all types of turf.
Check the weedkiller label to know where it’s most applicable.
Your lawn’s size
Dandelion weed killers have different volumes meant to cover a specific area. Knowing your lawn size helps you choose the appropriate size of your dandelion weed killer. Commercially, go for weed killers that can cover tens of thousands of square feet of lawn.
Check the product label to see if it can treat your lawn without leaving patches. Checking area coverage also helps in budgeting.
The nature of the weed killer
Weed killers come as liquid or granules. Liquid weed killers are either in a concentrated form or ready to use. Concentrated weed killer requires mixing with water and using a sprayer to apply. Ready to use doesn’t need mixing. Concentrated weed killer needs a tank sprayer to mix the product, while ready to use comes with a hand sprayer for most manufacturers.
Granule weed killers are particles applied by hand on small areas, or with a spreader on large areas. The granules are then watered in after spreading to activate them.
Concentrate and granulated weed killers have more steps than ready-to-use weed killers. The time needed, effort, and available resources are deciding factors when choosing concentrate, ready to use, or granulated weed killers.
Tips to prevent and control dandelion
Dandelions regrow years later after removal. Therefore, it’s vital to control their seeds as a preventative measure. Here are ways to prevent dandelions from growing on your lawn.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide
Pre-emergent herbicides inhibit the germination of weeds seeds.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter when the grass is dormant to prevent dandelion seeds from growing.
Mow the grass higher
Cut grass taller than 3 inches. Tallgrass blocks sunlight from reaching the ground to help germinate dandelion seeds. Mowing grass too low scalps the lawn, making it susceptible to weeds.
Fertilize the grass
Fertilize the lawn about thrice yearly when the grass is actively growing to make the grass stronger and prevent dandelion weeds invasions.
Fertilizers provide nutrients to the soil to grow the grass healthier and be more competitive than weeds. Add a layer of compost or topsoil and leave grass clippings after mowing to add more nutrients to feed the grass.
Aerate the soil
Compact soils impede drainage, gaseous exchange, and nutrients passage to the grassroots, making the grass weaker and less competitive. Since dandelion weeds are opportunistic, they thrive in compact soils.
Aerate heavy soils yearly and sandy soils once every three years to allow passage of the essential elements to grow and make the grass more competitive than dandelions.
- Michigan State University: Dandelion.