Dandelions are a broadleaf perennial that can grow in any soil and are most numerous in full sunlight. In the early spring, new sprouts will emerge from the taproot, which can be 2 to 3 feet deep in the soil. They grow yellow flowers that mature and turn into white puffballs that contain seeds which spread with the wind to other lawns. Even though they may seem to disappear in the fall, the taproot survives deep in the soil to start the cycle again in the spring. To keep dandelions out of your yard, this root has to be killed.
Kill Dandelions in the Lawn
Even the best cared for lawns will have an occasional dandelion. They are difficult to completely eliminate, and the entire plant (root and all) of the dandelion needs to be removed or they can grow right back.
Prevention and Maintenance
Kill Visible Dandelions
The best way to attack dandelions is to kill the whole plant, taproot and all, and then keep new weeds from establishing themselves in your lawn. Don't hand-pull them, as they will grow right back unless the tap root (often 2-3 feet deep) is completely removed.
Choke Em Out
A thick lawn is the best method for preventing dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in the lawn. Mow your lawn at the right height - generally with your mower set at one of the 2 highest settings, and follow a regular feeding program to achieve a lawn that is thick enough to keep weeds like dandelions from establishing in the first place. If an occasional dandelion pops up in your lawn, spot-treat it with Ortho® WeedClear™ Lawn Weed Killer Ready-to-Spray, following label directions. For hardscapes and landscape beds, use Ortho® GroundClear® Super Weed & Grass Killer as directed. This spray formula kills weeds both quickly and deeply—it gets to their roots so they won't be coming back. To take care of your dandelions, apply Ortho® WeedClear™ Lawn Weed Killer Ready-to-Use before it can become a big problem.