Every spring, you may look out over your property to see the landscape spotted with bright yellow flowers. While the splashes of color may be a welcome sight after a dreary winter, you know that those flowers will soon turn to seeds and spread dandelions across your yard. Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to help keep the dandelions from crowding out your grass and taking over your lawn.
1. Mow Them down While the Flowers Are Still Yellow
One way you can prevent the spread of dandelions in your yard is to mow them down early. If you wait until the flowers have seeded, you will only help the weeds spread and flourish in your yard. Since the seeds have not yet matured while the plants still have flowers, you can safely cut them down without fear of creating more. As soon as you see the flowers start to bloom, watch them for a day or so, waiting to mow your lawn until the stem reaches a couple of inches above the ground. If you mow them while they are too short, you will probably run right over them without cutting them.
2. Sprinkle Cornmeal on Your Lawn
Another way you can help keep dandelions from spreading throughout your yard is to sprinkle the lawn with cornmeal. This natural weed-deterrent serves two purposes in your battle against the dandelions. First, as the gluten in the cornmeal breaks down, it releases a chemical that inhibits the germination of dandelion seeds. Corn plants have this chemical to help keep the competition away while they are trying to grow.
Second, cornmeal also has a high concentration of nitrogen that is released into the soil. Since nitrogen plays a key nutritional role in the health of your grass, it allows the cornmeal to feed your lawn while stopping the growth of dandelions. And, since the meal is all-natural, you do not have to worry about toxic chemicals on your lawn. When you sprinkle the cornmeal on your lawn, you only need to apply a light layer every couple of months. If you do happen to see any dandelion plants while applying it, pull them up by the taproot, and place a small pile of meal directly in the hole to discourage it from coming back.
Even if you try to keep the dandelion population in your yard under control, you may find that you simply do not have the time to do it all yourself. If so, contact a landscape maintenance service to discuss your options for having them take care of your lawn for you.