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wyrenyth's avatar

Any homeopathic way to get rid of dandelions?

Asked by wyrenyth (453points) June 5th, 2010

My back yard is absolutely covered in dandelions. They are not the short-stemmed kind with the large flowers, but the long stemmed kind with the small flowers. They are invasive, and grow so much faster than the grass, I have to practically mow my lawn every three or four days to keep them from over-running us. (I fell behind, and am now overrun!)

Going out and buying a professional product (like Weed’n’Feed) would cost entirely too much for the area I need to treat, so I was wondering – is there anything I can mix up at home that would effectively kill the weeds without harming my grass?

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21 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

Vinegar in early autumn, but only to the weed don’t get any on the grass.

homeopathic is not the correct term

marinelife's avatar

The other thing that you can do that is natural is to pull them with a Garden Weasel Weed Popper(or the like) making sure to get the roots.

judochop's avatar

Fertilizer is natural and helps control unwanted weeds in the yard. Note that you will never get rid of your dandies if your neighbors are not working to do the same. Also note that even if they are it will still take a full two years of using natural fertilizer to get rid of your wild weeds.

SmashTheState's avatar

Have you considered planting something other than grass? Wildfllower meadows are becoming increasingly popular as people move away from the exceptionally ecologically damaging idea of a lawn as golf putting green. Dig up the turf and turn it all under, then sprinkle with large handfuls of random wildflower seeds (available now in most gardening stores). With this scattershot approach, you’ll always be sure that something in the assortment will find your particular soil and climate pleasing, and you’ll have a beautiful, effortless to maintain, pleasant-smelling, and environmentally friendly meadow for a yard where frogs and lizards and other small critters will happily make a home to control pests.

As for your current “problem”—you haven’t been using chemicals, so the dandelions should be safe. Pick the leaves and enjoy nice, crisp salad!

lillycoyote's avatar

@marinelife I never use any chemicals on my lawn, no fertilizer, pesticides, herbicide, fungicides, non of the -cides ;) so I got one of those things, and trust me, pulling out a yard full of dandelions individually, one at a time is not nearly as much fun as it sounds. It’s take going to take @wyrenyth the rest of her life to do it that way. My yard is a good one third weeds. I just mow everything down so it’s at least the same height. And keep the yard edged so it looks neat and at least looks like I care.

arpinum's avatar

Um, do you realize what homeopathy is? Small amounts of a material so diluted by water that there is no trace of it left. You would wind up spaying pure water on them. Something tells me this isn’t a good strategy.

YARNLADY's avatar

You have to pull them up one by one, or let your law turn into a mixture, like I have done.

wyrenyth's avatar

I apologize for misusing the term “homeopathic”. I had always taken it to mean something that is all natural or chemical free, as opposed to being commercial or highly chemical based, and did not realize its specific connotations.

I was hoping for a remedy using normal house-hold items that might cure the problem without hurting my grass. Unfortunately, it seems that there may not be an option to this end out there, and I may have to buy a commercial product. I’ve seeded most of the unmowable areas with wildflowers or turned them into gardening areas (vine veggies seem to do particularly well along my western facing slopes), but I do need to keep the back yard mowed to at least a reasonable level in order to discourage the snakes and yellow jackets, among other harmful critters, which would quickly take advantage of a lack of maintenance. Between my young visitors who like to have some place to play and my puppy, I simply can’t encourage anything which would be potentially harmful (or, in the case of black widows, ground bees (to which I’m fatally allergic), rattlers and copper heads, deadly).

I do appreciate all of the answers. Thanks to those of you who did help.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Didn’t @dpworkin once suggest boiling water? That’s about as natural as it gets.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@SmashTheState That sounds like a great idea. Any photos of a wildflower yard? I wonder if I’d need to get permission from my neighborhood group.

And are you kidding? Can you really eat dandelion leaves?

arpinum's avatar

@wyrenyth Watch out with that word chemical. Water is a chemical. Salt is a chemical. Diamonds are chemical substances.

lillycoyote's avatar

@arpinum yeah, yeah, yeah one of my favorite DuPont Company slogans: “Without chemicals, life itself would impossible”. You’re being pedantic. What does anyone gain from it?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

I need some cosmic comic chemicals

arpinum's avatar

@lillycoyote when a person says they want to avoid “chemicals” they are not being clear as to what they mean. Same with homeopathic. You see, originally OP wanted to mix something up at home, but didn’t give guidelines for which products were off limits. By later stating that they do not want highly chemicals products, how am I to take this? Are they referring to an extreme pH? A Carcinogen? Or is OP being unnecessarily repetitive, and only wishes to avoid using a product made in a factory? Clear use of English has its benefits.

lillycoyote's avatar

@arpinum But you are not doing anything to help clarify things, you are, as I said, just being pedantic and that doesn’t help you get a clearer idea of what the questioner is trying to ask or help the questioner clarify things so that she gets an answer to her question. Again, what does anyone gain from it? How are you helping?

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

OK I found a photo of a wildflower yard. It looks cool but I don’t think my neighborhood group would allow this. Many people in the neighborhood are putting in new gardens this year though. Many visible from the street too.

Not sure if the snakes and critters would be popular with the parents and their kids.

arpinum's avatar

The vinegar is a good idea, but cooking vinegar isn’t usually powerful enough. If you boil it down to concentrate it will be much more potent. But here we get into the debate of strong chemical, cause this stuff will be strong depending on how you define it.
Of course you could buy the stronger vinegar concentrate from a restaurant supply store, made by our friends at BP. Or make it at home. Same stuff.

It will kill your grass.

Weed-b-Gone won’t. But you can’t make it at home. Much less harmful to animals and human than the stuff you can cook up in the kitchen. Buying herbacides should only be harmful to plants.

All depends on what OP is looking for.

You see, its not all pedantic.

lillycoyote's avatar

@that is helpful to the discussion ... and I’m not really a bitch, I’m just drawn that way. :)

SmashTheState's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Absolutely, dandelion greens are delicious. They’re better when they’re young and tender (and sweet) but if you don’t mind a bit of bitterness you can eat them at any time. In fact, supermarkets around here actually sell dandelion greens at a premium price for people too lazy to pick them themselves. When I’m camping or out on the road, I often make myself a wild salad from dandelion greens, common plantain, mint, wild onion, mustard. cattail shoots, daisies, clover, and whatever other edible “weeds” I can find.

wyrenyth's avatar

I have an aunt that deep fries milkweed leaves. They’re great.

And I apologize for being “vague” again. By ‘chemical’, I meant something toxic or harmful, especially as regards to the environment, i.e. DDT etc. Of course, bleach is harmful to the environment if you walk outside and pour an entire gallon of it into the grass.

At any rate, I’m looking for an old-timey-type, make-it-at-home remedy that is more ‘natural’ and not especially harmful to anything but. . . Well, the dandelions. Weed’b’gone is, indeed, harmful to the environment, which is why there are strict instructions on the back about not putting it down before a good rain and a good half of the back of the bag is warnings and what to do if you swallow it. Good strong vinegar might give you the runs for a few days and make your tummy hurt something awful, but it’s not going to kill you. Throwing some commercial weed killer into a glass of milk and chugging it down probably will.

We are all connected
To each other, biologically
To the earth, chemically
To the rest of the universe atomically

Coloma's avatar


My Chnese geese LOVE danelions.

They are known for being ‘weeder geese’...they are used to weed many crops and are very efficient.

My gander Marwyn likes to follow me around and wait for me to PICK his weeds for him.

All I have to say is ’ GREENS!’ and he comes running! lol

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