Another summer and another battle with those pesky dandelions that seem to be overpopulating my yard! With dogs and children running around the yards, it's not a good idea to use nasty chemicals to kill these buggers! Here are some natural solutions I found that have worked for me:
1. The best solution would be to get on your hands and knees and start pulling the weeds out. Water the yard first to soften the soil or wait after it rains, to make it easier to pull the roots out. Use a knife blade, screwdriver, or "dandelion puller" alongside the deep root and pry it loose a little before pulling. You can spray some vinegar onto any remaining root system you can't pull but be careful not to get vinegar onto your grass. The vinegar will damage anything it touches.
2. When boiling potatoes or pasta, drain out the boiling water and pour onto the weeds. The scaling water will shrivel up the weeds in a couple of days.
3. Cover low growing weeds like clover and crabgrass with several layers of newspaper. Eventually they will die off due to the lack of sunlight. Newspaper is excellent for building flower beds as it composts into a rich, loose loam.
4. Applying a teaspoon of salt at the base of the weeds when the weather and soil is dry will kill the roots. Although you have to be careful when using salt around concrete as it can erode the surface.
5. Sprinkle handfuls of baking soda onto the cracks of your paved patios, driveways and walkways and simply sweep it into the cracks. The added sodium will make it less hospitable for weeds to grow.
6. Pour undiluted bleach over the weeds in the cracks and crevices of your driveway. After a day or two, you can easily pull them out and the bleach will prevent them from returning. Be careful not to get any bleach on your grass or other plants.
7. Plant more ground covers, flowers and garden crops to 'out-compete' the weeds for sunlight, water and soil nutrients. Same principle applies to maintaining a thick and healthy lawn which will reduce the number of weeds. Aerating your lawn and overseeding works wonders for a healthy lawn!
8. If all else fails, EAT THEM!!! Dandelions are considered by herbalists as a valuable herb that acan be used as food and medicine. Containing a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc, these easy growing herbs are used to add flavor to salads, sandwiches, teas, and wines. Traditionally, the roots and leaves were used to treat liver problems, kidney diseases, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, upset stomach, diabetes and cancer although no solid scientific evidence has been able to prove its effectiveness.
As always keep me updated with any new "green" tips you can share! I hope these work for you!