How Irrigation Can Help Keep Dandelions Away

One of the first real indication that spring has arrived is dandelions start popping up everywhere and seem to multiply every day. Remember as kids how we’d love to pick dandelions and blow the puffs into the wind? Now we can’t get rid of them fast enough and fighting them often seems to be a losing battle.

The Lowly Dandelion?
Historically, the dandelion has been used for medicinal purposes, as an herbal remedy for infections and liver issues. Its leaves are also common as parts of salads and they are good sources of minerals and vitamins such as potassium and vitamin A, among others. The flowers are combined with citrus to make dandelion wine. Even today, dandelion is the school flower of the University of Rochester, and a festival is held in the dandelion’s honour in West Virginia.

Even in gardens, the dandelion’s taproots bring a lot of nutrients and nitrogen into the soil, helping plants with shallower roots, but honestly, who wants a garden full of dandelions? Plus, though the roots can be beneficial in this way, they can grow up to an amazing 3 feet in length, and they are brittle, breaking off easily if you try to pull them out.

Did you know, however, that keeping your lawn well irrigated as part of a lawn regime can actually help keep these nuisance dandelions at bay?

Irrigation and Dandelions
Having a well-watered lawn has two benefits when it comes to dandelions:

  1. The moist soil makes it much easier to dig up the roots and pull them out. Use a sharp tool to aid in this, and pull gently, making sure you get the entire root. If you don’t, it will quickly re-grow.
  2. The water is needed to keep your grass healthy, choking out dandelions and other pesky weeds.

A healthy lawn requires up to 4cm of water for a thorough watering and if you water enough, you can do it less often. Some home owners water more frequently but don’t give the lawn enough moisture, causing the grass to have shallow roots, making the lawn more susceptible to dandelions. However, too much water can cause thatch to build up which doesn’t allow the grass to naturally break down, blocking precipitation and healthy nutrients into your grass.

Proper watering sounds like it’s a lot of work, and it can be – having to measure how much time it takes your sprinkler to output the correct amount of water, then keeping an eye on the time so you know when it’s time to move the hose to another part of your lawn. Or, you could invest in an in-ground irrigation system. A professional irrigation company will come and install the sprinklers and figure all the other information out for you. A timer will be set so the right amount of water will thoroughly soak your lawn each time, and your whole lawn will be watered at once. Not only does it save you time, but it will save you money in the long run and no longer will you have to deal with those pesky dandelions.