Removing dandelion weeds is difficult due to their long tap roots embedded deeply into the soil, which allow the plant to grow back after being hand-pulled or mowed. Besides the many dandelion killers that won’t kill grass, there are several homemade options you can consider.
Homemade dandelion killers that won’t kill grass include boiling water, salt, alcohol, vinegar, and corn gluten meal. These methods may not be as effective as pesticides, but they work just fine.
In this article, we will discuss several methods of using homemade recipes to kill dandelions without killing the grass.
Homemade dandelion killers that won’t kill grass are methods that make use of ingredients and tools usually found in a home to get rid of dandelions without causing harm to the grass. They may not be as effective as chemical or more aggressive forms of weed removal but it is sure to keep the lawn healthy.
Here are some of the main homemade dandelion killers that are sure not to kill grass;
1. Boiling Water
Boiling water is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. For this method, you will require a pot or pan to boil the water in, a source of heat like an electric stove, etc. to heat the water. After the water has boiled, pour it into a manageable container and immediately pour it over the dandelions. Ensure that the boiling water gets to the roots adequately.
After the boiling water has been put on the dandelions, wait for 3 to 4 hours and inspect them. If done properly, the leaves of the dandelion should be brown. The dandelion can then be uprooted and disposed of completely.
Salt is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. This method is not very effective as poor application can lead to infertility of the soil in the applied areas. To use salt to kill dandelions, simply get a few spoonfuls of salt and apply it to the roots of the dandelion weed. The salt should be applied when the weather and soil are dry to prevent the salt runoff when wet to kill the grass.
When the dandelion roots absorb the salt in the soil, it leaves the weed with severe nutrient deficiency and disrupts the water balance. The salt causes this deficiency to be at extreme levels, burning the leaves and causing them to die.
3. Rubbing alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. Also known as isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol will kill dandelions by drying all the moisture from the plant which causes it to wilt. For this method, you will need 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol for every 1.75 pints (1 quart) of water.
Mix the ingredients in the specified proportions, pour them into a spray bottle, and spray directly on the dandelions. The dandelion should be completely doused in the mixture on a sunny day with little wind for the best results. Leave for 4 to 6 hours and reapply if the dandelion has not withered.
4. Pure vinegar
Pure vinegar is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. Using either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar is effective in removing dandelions without killing the grass. The acidity of the vinegar is the property in play here as vinegar has acetic acid, which has natural herbicidal properties.
Simply buy white or apple cider vinegar and pour a portion into a spray bottle. Then fully saturate the dandelion in vinegar to ensure optimal results. Applying the vinegar on a sunny day will help the process be more effective. Upon application, leave for a few hours and inspect.
5. Vinegar mixture
Vinegar mixture is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. There are many vinegar mixtures in use for killing dandelions including
- 1 gallon Vinegar and 4 tablespoons Dish Soap
- ½ gallon Vinegar, 2 tablespoons dish soap, and ½ cup Salt
- ¼ gallon Vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dish Soap, and ¼ lemon juice
You can choose any vinegar mixture depending on what ingredients are readily available to you. Simply mix the ingredients in the specified measurements and pour them into a spray bottle.
Apply the mixture thoroughly to the dandelions from the tip to the root. Wait for a few hours and inspect the plant, if it hasn’t started wilting or hasn’t completely wilted, reapply the mixture more vigorously and wait for a few hours till the plant is completely wilted.
6. Corn gluten meal
Corn gluten meal is a very effective homemade dandelion killer that won’t kill the grass. This is one of the most effective and tested methods for killing dandelions as Corn gluten is a proven pre-emergent herbicide. This is because corn gluten prevents weed seeds from sprouting while acting as fertilizer to already established grass.
You will need twenty pounds of corn gluten for every 1,000 square feet of grass to be treated. When you have measured the land area and determined the correct measure of corn gluten meal to use, sprinkle it all over the affected areas and apply a little water to aid in the absorption. The corn gluten meal will kill any dandelion seeds that have been dispersed to ensure they don’t grow afterward.
Why are dandelions considered weeds?
Dandelions are pretty flowering plants with bright yellow flowers and basal leaves. So why do so many lawn owners consider them weeds? Well, dandelions are considered weeds because they are so willing and eager to grow and hard to control.
Dandelions are usually not planted but find their way into many lawns and gardens where they are unwanted. Any unwanted plant is automatically considered a weed, hence, dandelions are usually considered weeds.