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It is one thing to own a lawn and another thing to own a healthy lawn free from dandelions.
From home lawns to commercial golf courses and cricket pitches, dandelions are known as one of the stubborn species of weeds that are not easily removed by mowing or lawn trimming.
The root system of these weeds is structured to survive very harsh conditions.
With a tap root system that can penetrate down to seven meters into the soil, they can always escape the effect of certain herbicides.
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The control and eradication of dandelions is an expensive process given their ability to sprout back after being eradicated.
They just need about two to three applications of water to the soil and they would sprout back up, distorting the healthy life of the lawn grasses.
Eradicating them permanently requires patience and gardeners who are willing to consistently purchase and apply the herbicides until a trace of dandelions is gone from the lawn.
This process is not only hectic but expensive, especially for small-scale gardeners who should be using capital available to them for garden expansion rather than weed control.
Due to the cost of controlling dandelions and their invasive adaptations, farmers and gardeners sought simpler sustainable methods of ridding the lawn of this invasive weed. This gave rise to the trial of various home-based weed eradication methods, until the discovery of the vinegar technique.
The vinegar technique isn’t some kind of special or superhuman technique. It is rather the application of a vinegar solution in the right measurement to a lawn infested with dandelions for eradication.
You already know that vinegar is made of acetic acid in various percentages that make them useful for various purposes.
Vinegar is used in homes for cooking and food preservation. This vinegar for home usage contains just five percent acetic acid.
Vinegar is also used in homes for cleaning surfaces and removing hard to come off dirt on surfaces and fabrics. The acetic acid percentage in this vinegar used for laundry and cleaning is slightly higher than that used for cooking.
Vinegar is also used in commercial quantities for the production of chemicals. The percentage of acetic acid contained in commercially sold vinegar is about twenty percent.
The acetic acid component in vinegar is what makes it effective for killing weeds, especially dandelions.
The advantage of using vinegar to control dandelions is hinged on its availability and easy access to farmers. It is grossly cheap and can be afforded in large quantities by farmers of any relative income scale.
The large purchase quantity can sustain a gardener until every dandelion in the lawn is killed.
This article explains how you can kill dandelions in lawns with vinegar. It states all the other ways you can kill dandelions without killing grasses as well as the dangers and precautions of using vinegar on a lawn.
Keep reading for a better understanding of how you can kill dandelions with a homemade mixture as simple as vinegar.
Will a Vinegar Solution Kill Dandelion?
A vinegar solution will rid the lawn of dandelions. However, the functionality of vinegar to the dandelions and the rate of killing is dependent on the acetic acid concentration in the vinegar solution.
If the solution has less water and more vinegar, you can rid your lawn of dandelions quicker than a solution with more water and less vinegar.
Also, the maturity of the dandelions is a necessary factor to consider. A Vinegar Solution will kill young dandelions faster than it would kill matured dandelions with developed root systems.
This is because young dandelions do not have tough roots that can resist the effect of acetic acid, even in its lightest concentration.
Unlike the matured dandelions with roots that are seven meters below the soil with enough nourishment and ability to resist acetic acids except a consistent application technique is applied.
What Will Kill Dandelions But Not Grass
A dicamba-based herbicide will.
A lot of herbicides and home control methods are harmful to dandelions as well as the grasses on the lawns.
Application of these herbicides by overhead spraying is capable of destroying every plant life in the garden hence gardeners have chosen to adopt the act of spraying chemicals on just the leaves of the weeds that they want to eliminate.
As in, if a gardener finds dandelions disturbing, and wishes to eliminate them, he just applies his vinegar or commercial herbicide on the portion of soil where dandelions are growing.
This technique has helped kill weeds but has a disadvantage. The disadvantage is that over time the chemicals build up in the soil and lead to soil infertility.
This is such that no plant can grow on that part of the soil anymore, grass or weed.
But the application of a dicamba-based herbicide or a broadleaf weed killer is sure to target only the weeds you intend to kill and spare the lives of grasses on the soil.
Most grasses are made resistant to the dicamba concentrate and almost every broadleaf herbicide is chemically engineered to target only weeds.
How Do I Permanently Get Rid of Dandelions
You can permanently get rid of dandelions by the application of vinegar. Vinegar is as effective as the concentration of acetic acid on it.
If you want to permanently eradicate dandelions from your lawns using vinegar, you must begin application at the early stages of the growth of the weeds.
This is because it becomes increasingly difficult to get rid of dandelions using herbicides or hand removal when they have gotten so deep-rooted in the soil.
Applying vinegar solution containing just enough acetic acid can permanently rid dandelions from your lawn, restoring the beauty and vegetative accuracy.
How To Kill Dandelions on Your Lawn With Vinegar
You need to know the right preparation technique for a vinegar solution that can kill dandelions.
Done wrongly and mixed with the wrong additives, you might just have added fuel to the growing fire of the dandelions, hence it is necessary to know how to prepare and apply vinegar correctly to your lawn.
There are classically two methods of preparing vinegar for the eradication of dandelions. They are:
- Vinegar solution with liquid soap
- Vinegar solution with salt and soap.
Vinegar Solution With Liquid Soap
- Add one gallon of concentrated vinegar into a big bowl
- Add two tablespoonfuls of liquid soap to the vinegar. The liquid soap helps for binding and sticking to leaves of dandelions
- Mix properly to ensure that the liquid soap is well incorporated in the vinegar.
- Transfer the mixture to a sprayer or sprinkler.
- Sprinkle the solution via the sprayer only on the exposed parts of the plant to avoid killing other useful plants
Vinegar Solution With Salt and Soap
- Pour one gallon of concentrated vinegar into a bucket
- Add two cups of domestic salt. The usual sodium hydrochloride.
- Include two tablespoonfuls of soap to this mixture for binding.
- Transfer this mixture to a sprinkler or sprayer.
- Spray only on the exposed parts of dandelions, as you ensure that this solution does not get to grasses or useful plants in the garden.
What Kills Dandelions Naturally
There is a list of natural dandelion killers known to gardeners and lawn owners.
Using vinegar is however preferred above these other natural dandelion killers because of the effectiveness and permanent effect of vinegar on dandelions.
Some natural dandelion killers include:
- Hot Water
- Hot Water
All you need to pull this off is a boiler or electric cooker. When the water gets to its boiling point, pour it directly on the dandelion weed.
Ensure to start from the leaves and let the hot water get into the roots. This kills the cell membranes of dandelions and makes it impossible to carry out photosynthesis, hence in a few hours, the leaves begin to wilt.
Ensure the hot water is not getting to the useful grasses. If it does, you might just have succeeded in killing your grasses alongside dandelions.
Isopropanol is an alcoholic base that gets into weeds through their stomatal opening.
Apply isopropanol by sprinkling on the leaves of dandelions once a day for three days.
This kills the weed and rids your lawn of dandelions.
Plants do not like an excess accumulation of salt on their root systems, therefore an increase in the salt concentration of the soil will kill the plant.
To kill dandelions using salt, sprinkle a concentrated salt solution on the leaves and soil of the dandelions under the midday sun.
Before evening, the leaves will turn brown and wilt. Then you can pull it off the soil.
How Do You Keep Dandelions Under Control
You can keep dandelions under control in three quick easy steps, namely:
- Mow the lawn regularly to kill germinating dandelions
- Apply dicamba-based herbicides from time to time on the entire perimeter of the lawn
- Water the lawn and apply fertilizer as at when due. This keeps the grasses strong enough to resist the growth of dandelions.
How Long Does Vinegar Take to Kill Dandelions
The most are twenty-four hours after spray.
Vinegar is known for its quick action on dandelions. The more concentrated the vinegar solution is, the faster it is to eradicate dandelions from the lawn.
Dangers of Using Vinegar to Kill Dandelions
Killing dandelions using vinegar comes with its disadvantages as well. They include:
- Vinegar contains acetic acid that is harmful to both humans and plants in concentrated percentages.
I advise that the hands and nose should be well covered during mixing and application of vinegar to plants
- The continued spray of vinegar on the soil leads to a build-up of acetic acid on the soil, which affects the soil pH levels and makes the growth of certain species impossible.
I advise that vinegar should be applied to dandelions and weeds sparingly. When dandelions die, the soil should be repaired by good water and fertilizer application.
- Vinegar stains the surfaces of metals and lawn furniture.
Therefore I advise that the sprinkler should be controlled and aimed only at the growing dandelions.
- Vinegar is harmful when ingested, therefore, keep vinegar away from the reach of children
Vinegar is an effective herbicide for the control and eradication of dandelions from your garden.
Yet, caution has to be employed in its usage and application. Applying vinegar to dandelions should be done right, else the herbicide-resistant dandelions would resprout after water is applied to the lawn.