This perennial weed is one of the most common and recognisable weeds found in turf due to its distinct yellow flowers.
If forms a flat rosette and is anchored into the ground with a stout taproot. Dandelions spread rapidly via seed, which is blown in the wind.
When the leaves or flower stalks are snapped or crushed they ooze a white milky substance. It can be a major problem on turf, as it is able to tolerate close mowing.
Like other similar weeds, dandelion has long lance shaped leaves. The surface is hairless and the edges are heavily toothed with downward pointing teeth.
The leaves are all borne from a central tap root as they form a rosette over the lawn smothering the grass beneath.
Each dandelion can produce several yellow flowers bourn on a hollow, fleshy stalks that ooze a milky substance when broken. The flowers eventually turn to seed, sometimes called dandelion clocks, which are dispersed in the breeze. The flowering period is between March and November.
Dandelions will grow on all soil types, especially those with a high nutrient input.
- Dandelions can be removed by hand using a small fork of grubber, taking care to remove all of the root. If any part of the root remains in the soil, then the weed will regenerate (grow back).
- Mow the lawn frequently to prevent the formation of flowers and seed heads.
- Encourage a thick lawn with good lawn care practices to prevent weeds.
Dandelions are not difficult to control with a selective weed killer. In most cases a single application will see this weed off.
Recommended herbicides for the control of Dandelion
Professional products (All operators must be trained and certificated in using and applying any Ministry Approved professional product)
- ICL Enforcer (2,4-D, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p, MCPA)
- ICL Praxys (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, Florasulam)
- ICL Esteron (2,4-D, Furosulam)
- Barclay Holster (Fluroxypyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
- Headland Quickfire (Mecoprop-p, Dicamaba)
- Headland Cabadex (Flurosulam, Fluroxypyr)
- Hygrass-P (Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Hysward-P (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba, MCPA)
- Bayer Longbow (MCPA, Dicamba, Mecoprop-p)
- Mascot Junction Turf (Flurosulam, 2,4-D)
- Mascot Greenor (Fluroxpyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Mascot Crossbar (Fluroxpyr, 2,4-D, Dicamaba)
Products available for non-professional use (These products are available from garden centres and DIY stores and do not require any training or certification for use and application.)
- Weedol Concentrate (Fluroxypyr, Clopyralid, MCPA)
- Vitax lawn Clear (Clopyralid, 2,4-D, MCPA)
- Resolva Lawn Weed Killer (Mecoprop-p, Dicamba)
Tips for successful weed control using selective herbicides
- Treat weeds when growth is strong, this is usually in May and June.
- Don’t mow the lawn 3 days prior and 3 days after the treatment, to allow for maximum uptake of the chemical.
- Spray when the leaf/foliage is dry, as this reduces runoff and allows the chemical to stick to the weed.