The sight of dandelions in a neighbor’s lawn is enough to bother any homeowner – especially if you perform your own weed control. After all, with just a gentle gust of wind, the seeds from your neighbor’s dandelions can easily spread to your grass, defeating all your efforts to enjoy a weed-free lawn.
So what can you do to stop your neighbor’s dandelions from taking root on your property? At Lawn Doctor, our weed control experts suggest a number of measures to protect your lawn against invasive dandelions. These include keeping your lawn healthy; protecting vulnerable areas, and taking advantage of post-emergent weed control treatments.
Read on for the steps you can take to shield your property from neighborhood dandelions.
Keep Your Lawn Thick and Healthy
Keeping dandelions out of your lawn can be as easy as keeping your lawn thick and healthy. Dandelions need space in order to sprout and take root, and a bed of thick grass is often too crowded for dandelions to squeeze their way in.
To maintain the health and thickness of your lawn, Lawn Doctor’s weed control experts suggest mowing to a grass height of approximately three inches. You should also regularly fertilize your lawn with high-quality fertilizer. Make sure to use the right fertilizer for your lawn’s species of grass and to apply it at the right times for optimal growth. (If you’re unsure about any of this, your local Lawn Doctor can help with fertilization strategies and application).
Of course, proper maintenance of your lawn not only provides natural weed control, it also keeps your lawn beautiful. A well-maintained, well-fertilized lawn will be as green as it is dense, giving you a lush, vibrant bed of weed-free grass.
Use a Post-Emergent Weed Control Treatment
Dandelions are broadleaf weeds. These weeds are most effectively controlled by a post-emergent treatment. This especially applies to dandelions, since they are perennials (they exist from year to year). Post-emergent treatments usually need to be applied several times during the growing season. A thorough final application during late fall will often help prevent new weeds from growing in the spring.
Take Action Quickly If Dandelions Arrive
Sometimes dandelions find their way into your soil, even after you’ve taken preventative steps. When this happens, it’s important that you take action quickly. You can remove dandelions by hand, using special weeding tools, but the task would take days to complete. Other options include applying store-bought treatments or bringing in a weed control professional. The important thing is to act fast, before the dandelions go to seed. Once fluffy seed heads appear, dandelions will multiply.
Protect Vulnerable Areas with Mulch
The easiest way for dandelions to gain a foothold on your property is by finding a sparse patch or open area where seeds can take root with little competition. By protecting these areas, you can prevent dandelions from spreading onto your property.
To protect vulnerable areas, use mulch, which acts as a natural weed control barrier. A thick layer of mulch will suffocate any seeds already in your soil and will stop airborne seeds from entering your lawn. For lasting results, be sure to top-off mulch if time or weather has caused it to thin or spread.
Additional Dandelion Prevention Tips
- Mow regularly. By mowing the lawn before the dandelion matures, you can reduce the weed from spreading.
- Aerate your lawn. Dandelions thrive in compacted soil, so it is important to aerate the soil to reduce compaction.
If you’re looking to protect your lawn against dandelions, or need to treat an existing dandelion problem, speak with your local Lawn Doctor about our weed control, pre-emergent weed control, and lawn aeration services.