How to Kill Dandelions in Lawns
Difficult to completely eliminate, the plant (root and all) needs to be removed or they can grow right back.
Kill Dandelions in the Lawn
Even the best cared for lawns will have an occasional dandelion. They are difficult to completely eliminate, and the entire plant (root and all) of the dandelion needs to be removed or they can grow right back.
Prevention and Maintenance
Kill Visible Dandelions
The best way to attack dandelions is to kill the whole plant, taproot and all, and then keep new weeds from establishing themselves in your lawn. Kill dandelions and feed at the same time to help crowd out future weeds by applying a weed-and-feed product such as Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed in the spring. If you have dandelions growing in your St. Augustine, centipede, or zoysia lawn, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Southern Triple Action or Scotts® Turf Builder® Bonus® S Southern Weed & Feed instead. If a broad application doesn't kill all of them, spot treat any remaining dandelions 2 to 4 weeks later with a ready-to-use product like Scotts® Spot Weed Control for Lawns. Just be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
Don't hand pull them, as they will grow right back unless the tap root (often 2-3 feet deep) is completely removed.
A thick lawn is the best method for preventing dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in the lawn. Mow your lawn at a high setting on your mower, and follow a regular feeding program to achieve a lawn that is thick enough to keep weeds like dandelions from establishing in the first place.
Dandelions are a broadleaf perennial that can grow in any soil and are most numerous in full sunlight. In the early spring, new sprouts will emerge from the taproot, which can be 2 to 3 feet deep in the soil. They grow yellow flowers that mature and turn into white puffballs that contain seeds that spread with the wind to other lawns. Even though they disappear in the fall, the taproot survives deep in the soil to start the cycle again in the spring. To keep dandelions out of your yard, this root has to be killed.