Having your lawn infested by dandelions is one of the biggest nightmares of being a gardener. This weed-dandelion is a stubborn species of weed that is grossly difficult to control.
They are regenerative and can keep growing through every season. Since they are perennials, their lifespan is such that cannot easily be wiped off.
Therefore, the key to the removal of dandelions from your lawns is to spray at the right time.
If you do not target the right time to spray dandelions with killing herbicides, you might just have to deal with having your grasses grow with dandelions all through the growing season.
This makes the case even worse because as the dandelions keep growing unhindered, their root systems keep getting matured giving them better penetration to the soil where they can tap much more nutrients than the grasses in your lawn.
As time goes on, dandelions left unchecked grow stronger than useful grasses in the soil and choke the life off these grasses.
Bear in mind that not spraying your lawn on time against dandelions is equal to encouraging the growth of dandelions on the lawn. This is not to scare you or freak you out, but you might just wake up to discover that you no longer have a lawn of grasses, but dandelions.
This article states the best time to spray dandelions to get the best control effect. It states what time is too early or too late for spraying dandelions.
It would interest you to know that the period of the year you decide to spray the dandelions, has a part to play in determining whether your dandelions will die off or sprout up after the first rain.
Stay glued to this article until you digest all of the very useful information on how best and when is best to spray dandelions.
When Do Dandelions Grow
Dandelions exhibit two growing patterns and these patterns determine when they grow. Dandelions can either grow from seeds or buds.
Dandelions that grow from seeds take the whole growing season to fully grow. This is usually a period of three to four months.
The seed of dandelions requires certain conditions to grow properly in the soil and germinate. These conditions are:
- Moist soil
- Mild soil temperature
- Enough sunlight
- An open field.
Dandelions that grow from seeds need these conditions to grow properly. This means that their sprouting and full maturity is usually after the planting season or three to four-month after their seeds are dispersed to the soil.
Dandelions that grow from buds take a shorter time to grow. It Is often from the end of winter to the beginning of spring.
Winter makes the dandelion weed shed its leaves like any plant species and after the winter, new buds begin to develop on the root area.
How Late can you Spray Weeds
Spraying herbicides for weed control can be late. Late in the sense that at the point you spray the weeds, they cannot be affected. And even though they are affected, the effect of the herbicide on the weeds cannot eradicate them.
For weeds that do not grow resistant to herbicide spray, there might not be a time too late to spray herbicides on them, but for weeds like dandelions, it is wise to apply herbicides before it is too late.
It is too late to spray dandelions in winter. Especially after the first frost attack that kills all the leaves from the plant.
This is because with the leaves gone and the plant in a state of dormancy where nutrients or water is not transported from one part of the plant to another, the herbicides cannot get into the plant cell and tissues to inhibit life.
This jeopardizes the chances of killing weeds like dandelions.
Can you kill Dandelions in the Winter?
Dandelions can be killed in the winter but not without plenty of failed attempts. This is because there are no leaves on the plant during winter which makes penetration of herbicides to the plant cells difficult.
But if herbicide application is kept constant and at hours in the day when the temperature hasn’t fallen to frost, then you could have very slim chances of killing dandelions in winter.
When Should I Spray My Lawn for Weeds
You can spray your lawn for weeds at various seasons of the year depending on how urgently you want to eliminate weeds or dandelions.
But, I recommend spraying your lawn for weeds during Autumn. In autumn, plants, as well as weeds, are in a state of transporting resources from their leaves to every part of the plant.
Spraying the weeds at this time of the year ensures that these chemicals are transported like other nutrients from the plant leaves to every part of the plant where it functions to eliminate the cells and tissues.
Spraying during Autumn also ensures that the weeds cannot get a supply of rainfall or frost to wash the chemicals off the body before they take effect. Spraying your weeds like dandelions and creeping charlie in the fall helps give you a weed-free lawn as the new planting season begins.
This also helps the grasses and flowers on your lawn to grow better without competing for food and water from any unwanted plant- weed.
Is it Too Early to Spray For Dandelions?
You have to exercise patience if you need to target your spray in the best possible time.
Spraying dandelions before the fall amounts to early spray. Spraying newly growing dandelions as early as January or February isn’t such a bad idea, given that the dandelions are still in their formative stages and have not developed turgid root systems that are resistant to herbicides.
But, if you are dealing with well-grown, well-developed dandelions, you need not rush to spray them with herbicides in spring or winter, when autumn is just close by.
You can simply practice mowing, to keep them under check until the fall. Sprinkling too early amounts to the wastage of herbicides and time.
Spraying too early does not also affect dandelions so much and would have them sprouting back up once the lawn is watered.
Some varying herbicides and chemicals can be sprayed on dandelions at given times of their growth to energize fast killing action.
Dandelions can be killed based on their growth stage and this gives rise to the two classifications of dandelion killers. They are:
- Pre-emergent dandelion killers
- Post-emergent dandelion killers
These classes are explained as well as the herbicides that can be seen in each class.
- Pre-emergent Dandelion Killers
Recall, we said earlier that dandelions that grow by seeds, take about two to four months to germinate. This growth period is what the pre-emergent dandelion killers target.
They distort the germination process and destroy the developing seeds in the soil.
Some chemicals useful for killing dandelions at their pre-emergent stages include trifluralin, siduron, isoxaben, and benefin. To use any of these chemicals, apply the herbicide to the lawn surface after mowing and watering.
After the application of the herbicides, keep up watering to enable the herbicide to get into the soil and affect the growing seeds.
You need not be scared. The herbicides are broadleaf chemicals that do not harm useful grasses. Only apply pre-emergent herbicides during winter and autumn. This prevents seed germination in spring.
- Post-emergent Dandelion Killers
Post-emergent herbicides attack dandelions that have grown properly and developed turgid root systems. Application of these herbicides usually needs repeated and consistent application before its effect can be seen.
Some post-emergent dandelion killers attack just dandelions, while some others attack both dandelions and grasses on the lawn.
It is therefore necessary to ask for the manufacturer’s guidelines on the usage of the herbicides before applying them to your lawn.
What effect Does Mowing have on Dandelions
Mowing is a great practice for trimming lawns and controlling weeds on lawns. Yet, in the case of dandelions, mowing has little or no effect on them.
This is because dandelions are weeds with a well-developed tap root system that stays turgid on the soil. Mowers can only slice off the rising leaves of these weeds.
The leaves grow back quickly from buds that form on the rootstalk. If you are having an issue with dandelions, on your lawn, the best way for handling the problem isn’t by regular mowing.
It is rather by the application of herbicides. Not just applying, but learning to spray at the right time when the weed can ingest the chemicals that eventually destroy the root system.
In This article, you have read and learned the best time to spray dandelions for the best effect. You have also understood when it is too late to spray dandelions as well as when it is too early.
For the sake of emphasis, the following points will be reemphasized:
- Dandelions can grow either from seeds or from buds
- Growing from seeds takes a longer time than growth through buds.
- The best time to spray dandelions is during Autumn.
- Spraying dandelions during Autumn ensures that the herbicides are transported alongside nutrients to the roots and stems of dandelions which kills them.
- Spraying dandelions too early and too late reduces the effect of the spray.
Dandelions might be the source of worry to a gardener but by spraying at the right time, you can easily rid your lawn of dandelions and other weeds.