When you see dandelions in your grass, it’s important to take care of them as soon as possible. If you don’t, they’ll come back year after year, covering more and more of your lawn.
Dandelions are difficult to kill. Their roots can get up to two feet long, and they break easily, making them impossible to remove. To get rid of these pesky weeks once and for all, the best dandelion killer is the way to go.
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The Life Cycle of a Dandelion
Dandelions first appear in the spring. Their familiar yellow flowers are often the first colors to emerge. At this stage, they serve as a food supply to honeybees and other insects, but dandelions don’t need pollination to reproduce. Dandelions also self-pollinate, and they can spread their seeds far and wide.
Once the dandelion develops seeds, the yellow petals dry out, and the dandelion looks like a thin green tube with white fluff sticking out of the top. Eventually, this tube opens to reveal the white, fluffy dandelion seeds.
At this point, the seeds are blown away, either by the wind or by someone who picks it up and blows them away. Each dandelion produces about 100 seeds, and they spread easily to new areas.
When the seeds settle into the soil that has just the right amount of moisture, they sprout within two weeks, growing leaves to power photosynthesis so they have the energy to continue to grow.
Dandelions establish a deep carrot-like tap root that efficiently pulls nutrients from the soil. They are perennials, which means that once they’re established, they return year after year. Each year, the taproot grows deeper and deeper and becomes harder and harder to kill.
Get Rid of Dandelions in Lawn Using Chemical Killers
There are a lot of organic and natural treatments for killing dandelions. The truth is that these weeds are so hard to kill, these kinds of treatments don’t usually work very well. If you want the best chance of getting rid of dandelions in your garden, a chemical killer is best.
There are multiple types of weed killers available. When choosing one of these products for your yard, it’s important to know how each one works.
- Selective Herbicides Chemicals
A selective herbicide is one that will eliminate dandelions and other broadleaf weeds without harming your grass or other plants that you actually want in your yard.
- Pre-Emergent Herbicide
This is a type of selective herbicide that prevents seeds from sprouting. This type of herbicide is most commonly included in weed-and-feed fertilizers because they don’t harm the grass at all so won’t cause damage when they are applied mixed with fertilizer.
- Emergent Selective Herbicide
Emergent selective weed killers are the most common weed killer for dandelions and other broadleaf weeds. They’re formulated to destroy the plant after it’s already established itself and is actively growing.
- Emergent Non-Selective Herbicide
Non-selective weed killers are the strongest type and will kill any plant they come in contact with – including your grass. This type of weed killer can also affect the soil for up to a year after it’s applied. If possible, you should avoid using this type of herbicide altogether.
The Best Dandelion Killers For Your Lawns & Grass
If you’re ready to try a chemical dandelion killer in your garden, take a look at our picks for the best products out there.
|Pictures||Dandelion Killers||Covers up||Links|
|Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed||5000, 15000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action||4000, 10000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns||16000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Spectracide Weed & Feed||7500 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Killer||25000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Tenacity Turf Herbicide||40000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|BioAdvanced 704140 All-In-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer||6250 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Roundup All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns||1330 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns||5000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
|Bonide BND310 Beater Ultra Weed Killer Concentrate||32000 sq ft||Buy on Amazon|
Dandelion Killer Reviewed
1. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed
The great thing about this product from Scotts is that it’s a weed killer and lawn fertilizer in one, which makes taking care of your lawn a little bit easier. This Turf Builder Weed and Feed has up to two times as much power as the previous formula, and it’s covered by a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
This product works by thickening your lawn to crowd out weeds using Weedgrip technology to kill those that you see and the ones that haven’t come to the surface yet. In addition to tackling dandelions, this formula also works on clover, ragweed, thistle, and dozens of other weeds.
Apply this granular weed killer using a spreader to guarantee even coverage, and for the best result, apply when the lawn is wet. There are two sizes to choose from, covering 5,000 and 15,000 square feet, so you can get just what you need for your lawn.
2. Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action
Scotts is one of the best-known names in the business. This Turf Builder Triple Action is one of its most effective formulas for eliminating dandelions while also building a thick green lawn.
This formula kills the weeds you see and those that you don’t. It works on more than just dandelions, too. Use it for chickweed, clover, and other common broadleaf weeds. This product is formulated for northern lawns and is so effective it prevents crabgrass for four months.
Application is simple. Use the Scotts app to calculate the size of your lawn and figure out how much you need. Then, add that amount to a spreader and, using the setting on the label, apply even to your wet lawn.
You can get this in two sizes that cover 4,000 and 10,000 square feet. It’s also covered by a money-back satisfaction guarantee.
3. Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns
If you prefer a liquid weed killer, take a look at this product from Ortho Weed B Gon. In addition to killing dandelions, it also gets rid of more and 250 other weeds, including clover, chickweed, and thistle.
You can use this weed killer on northern or southern lawns. It kills weeds to the root, and with dandelions, you should see results in hours. Other weeds may take a few days, but the results last for weeks. Plus, when used correctly, it’s guaranteed not to damage your lawn.
This concentrate comes in a bottle applicator that connects right to your garden hose so you can quickly and easily apply it where it’s needed. The 32-ounce bottle covers up to 16,000 square feet and is ideal for spot treatments throughout your yard.
4. Spectracide Weed & Feed
This liquid ready-to-spray formula from Spectracide kills dandelions and all major broadleaf weeds while fertilizing your lawn with a 20-percent nitrogen solution. Plus, it delivers fast results.
Applying this product is really simple, just attach the bottle to your hose and spray. Because this product works as both a fertilizer and weed killer, you can apply it everywhere without having to worry about spot treatments.
For best results, water your lawn a few days before treating. Try to time application during a stretch of dry weather as watering within 24 hours of application should be avoided.
The bottle has a flip-top sprayer that makes it easy to start and stop as you move through your yard. Most weeds disappear within three weeks. Spectracide recommends a spot treatment for any stubborn weeds left behind.
5. Southern Ag Amine 24-D Weed Killer
If you’re looking for something appropriate for pastures and rangelands, cemeteries, golf courses, and parks, this product from Southern Ag might be just what you need. Of course, it’s just as effective for smaller lawns as well.
It controls dandelions and many other broadleaf weeds and functions as both a pre and post-emergence herbicide. For best results, apply with a coarse, low-pressure sprayer. A fan-type nozzle works best as you want to avoid overlapping coverage.
This concentrated formula should last for a really long time. It’s available in a 32 or 128-ounce bottle, but you only need to use two to three tablespoons in three to five gallons of water for 1,000 square feet. That makes this an extremely economical choice, especially if you have a lot of ground to cover.
6. Tenacity Turf Herbicide
Tenacity’s Turf Herbicide is an effective treatment against dandelions as well as many other tough-to-kill weeks, including thistle, crabgrass, foxtail, wild carrot, and more. It can be applied as pre or post-emergent treatment.
The active ingredient in this formula is mesotrione, which is based on a compound that naturally occurs in the bottlebrush plant and inhibits photosynthesis in susceptible plant species, like the dandelion.
This eight-ounce bottle of the concentrate may seem small, but it goes a long way. You only have to use a teaspoon in two gallons of water. Some users recommend using it in conjunction with a surfactant so that it sticks better to the leaves of the weeds you’re trying to kill.
One of the things that stands out about this product is that it has a shelf life of between five and years. Just keep it away from extreme temperatures and direct sunlight and you’ll be able to use this one for a long time.
7. BioAdvanced 704140 All-In-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer
The All-In-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass killer from BioAdvanced kills dandelions along with more than 200 other broadleaf weeds. It kills weeds to the root, and when used as directed, it won’t harm your lawn.
This is one of the easiest ways to cover your entire lawn and the concentrate goes a long way. You can use multiple types of sprayers, including pump-style or hose-end. After application, this product is rainproof in only one hour.
Something we love about this product is that it combines three proven weed killers, and it’s so effective, you’ll see results right away, though it might take a week or more to get full results.
For best results, apply when the grass is dry. Applying when it’s wet dilutes the weed killer and it won’t be as effective.
8. Roundup All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns
Here’s a ready-to-use dandelion killer that’s convenient and extremely effective. In addition to killing dandelions, it works on over 250 types of weeds without harming your lawn and is especially effective on northern grasses, like bluegrass and fescue.
If you want something that starts working fast, this formula won’t disappoint. It starts killing on contact and works best during the early stages of growth. It’s also rainproof in as little as three hours so you don’t have to worry as much about timing application around the weather.
This product comes in a large 170-ounce container. A comfort-wand applicator is attached, making it easy to spot-treat dandelions and other weeds to ensure you get the best results. Plus, you don’t have to keep bending over to make sure you apply it in just the right place.
9. Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns
A great ready-to-spray option is this Nutsedge Killer from Ortho. It kills dandelion along with yellow and purple nutsedge and over 50 other hard-to-kill weeds. It’s safe to use on northern and southern lawns and won’t damage them when used correctly.
For best results, apply when weeds are actively growing but before they reach three-inches high. Just attach the bottle to the end of your garden hose and use the trigger spray to apply. This formula is rainproof in only two hours so you don’t have to be quite as careful about the weather.
For particularly hard-to-kill weeds, a repeat application may be necessary if regrowth occurs. Read the directions carefully as they contain a detailed list of plants and types of grasses that can be affected by this formula.
10. Bonide BND310 Beater Ultra Weed Killer Concentrate
This weed killer from Bonide kills dandelions and more than 200 other broadleaf plants, including clover, ragweed, chickweed, and nettle. It kills weeds down to the root without harming your lawn.
To apply, mix with water following the directions on the bottle and use a backpack or compression sprayer. For best results, time the application for a dry day as it takes a few hours for it to be rainproof, but it won’t wash off after it’s dried.
One of the nice things about this product is you start to see results within hours, though plant death can take anywhere from seven to 14 days. You can use it in warm or cool weather and it’s available in three sizes so you can get the right volume for your lawn. Choose from 16, 32, or 128 ounces.
When to Apply Dandelion Killer?
When you should apply a dandelion killer depends on the type of product you’re using. You should always follow the instructions that come with the product you choose, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind.
Pre-emergent weed killers are only effective before the dandelion sprouts, so it has to be applied before the seeds spread and begin to germinate. To target dandelions, apply pre-emergent weed killers in early spring.
It’s important to understand that, if you already see dandelions, it’s too late to use a pre-emergent weed killer. That said, you can use one to prevent the current dandelions from germinating after they pollinate, dry, and spread.
Post-emergent weed killers should be used for weeds that are actively growing. Generally, this type of weed killer won’t damage your lawn, but it’s important to make sure you’re not using a non-selective formula.
As we mentioned, dandelions are perennials, so they will return every year. The best time to apply a post-emergent weed killer on them is in the early fall and spring. For the best results, apply on a day when it’s not windy so you can be sure the weed killer is applied directly to the dandelions.
Again, you should follow the package instructions, but, in general, post-emergent weed killers should be applied when the temperature is between 60 and 80 degrees and when there is no rain forecast for at least 48 hours.
How to Apply Dandelion Killer?
How you apply the dandelion killer depends on what type you are using. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
To apply granules, you have to use a spreader. There are multiple types of spreaders available, so you can use whatever one you already have or invest in one that suits you and the size of your lawn.
Look on the packaging of the dandelion killer you choose to find out what spreader settings you should use. This is important to make sure you get the right amount of coverage so that the weed killer is as effective as possible.
Most ready-to-spray weed killers come with a garden hose attachment attached. They’re one of the easiest types of weed killers to use because all you have to do is screw your garden hose into the nozzle and turn on the hose.
Another option when it comes to a ready-to-spray formula is one that includes its own application wand. In this case, it’s most likely meant to be used for spot treatments and the wand allows you to focus precisely where you’re spraying the chemicals.
Concentrated formulas are a little more complicated to prepare, but they are often the most economical option. You can usually find large bottles of concentrate, but you only have to use a few teaspoons at a time so a single bottle can last you quite a while.
To apply a concentrate, you have to have some kind of sprayer. There are multiple options available, including a backpack sprayer or compression sprayer. You can even find some that attach to the end of a garden hose, but these are not the same as the ready-to-spray weed killer products.
If you choose a concentrate, make sure you read the package carefully before mixing it. Some concentrates can be stored for quite a long time, so follow the directions carefully when storing it as well.
All of the products we chose are effective at killing dandelions, but my pick for the best dandelion killer for my lawns is the Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed.
First, we like that it’s a mix of weed killer and fertilizer because it makes taking care of your lawn so much easier. Instead of having to apply two products, you can get the same effects from a single application.
Because it feeds your lawn, it allows the grass to fill in the spots where the weeds were, crowding them out and making your lawn look even more green and dense.
I also really love that it works as both a pre and post-emergent weed killer, so it kills both the weeds you see and the ones you don’t. Plus, it offers some protection against new dandelion growth next year.
Finally, this weed killer is covered with a money-back satisfaction guarantee so there’s no risk to try. It’s an amazing product, but if it doesn’t perform, you can get your money back.
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