The dandelion (taraxacum officinale) is either an unwelcome weed in gardens/lawns or a flower with health benefits, a source of nectar and pollen for insects. We take the former perspective – a gardener’s view – and treat dandelions as something to be eradicated from our gardens and lawns.
Dandelions are persistent perennial weeds which thrive in almost any soil type and represent a plague to lawns.
The best method of removal is to extract them but dandelions have deep tap roots and re-generate themselves if even a fragment remains.
When dandelions go to seed, their yellow flowers turn into the feathery seed heads which are dispersed by wind allowing more to grow.
Best Dandelion Killer Spray for Lawns in Our Rating
- Highly effective
- Good value: equally ruthless against weeds other than dandelions
- Pet friendly once dry
- Good coverage breadth (25,000 sq feet for this gallon can)
Selecting the Best dandelion killer spray for lawns October, 2020
4.2 x 7.5 x 11.9 inches
|2. Ortho GroundClear |
4.9 x 9 x 12 inches
3. Preen Garden Weed
28 x 15.5 x 5.5 inches
|4. Roundup Ready-To-Use Extended Control|
9.5 x 12.5 x 6.2 inches
|5. Espoma Organic Weed |
1 x 1 x 1 inches
|6. PBI/Gordon 652400|
1 x 1 x 1 inches
PBI / Gordon
| 7. Southern Ag Amine 24-D |
3 x 1.5 x 5 inches
|8. Scotts Halts Crabgrass |
15 x 10 x 3 inches
|9. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer |
2.7 x 5 x 11.2 inches
|10. Monterey LG 5600|
4 x 2 x 7 inches
1. Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass & WeedKiller: Best Effective Weedkiller
C-N-S is impervious to rain inside two hours of application with spring or autumn representing the optimum time for doing so.
At the apex of post-emergent herbicides, C-N-S attacks dandelions relentlessly working down from the leaves to the root delivering a lawn devoid of weeds.
2. Ortho Groundclear Weed & Grass Killer Ready-to-Use: Easiest to Use Weedkiller
Furthermore, it’s available in an assortment of packages – concentrate, with refill can, spray wand included – allowing the user to square with their requirements.
Ortho Groundclear is approved by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) due to its compatibility with certain organic soils although it’s more applicable to walkways and border areas.
3. Preen 2464083 Garden Weed Preventer: Best Pre-Emergent Weedkiller
It can be applied at any time, stunting the emergence of dandelions and their ilk for up to 12 weeks.
A granular weedkiller, it repays regular usage but should be administered with circumspection around certain grasses.
The advantage of regular deployment is clearly evident in the dearth of new weeds cropping up and the product lists more than 200 types of flora and vegetation around which Preen can be trusted to rein in its killer tendencies.
4. Roundup Ready-to-Use Extended Control Weed & Grass Killer: Best Spot Treatment Weedkiller
Roundup is both the most established and top-selling brand name in the weedkiller sector. A non-selective herbicide, it is most effective when used sparingly on lawns but if dispersal is performed meticulously and patiently, dandelions will soon be consigned to the furthest recesses of the memory. It performs optimally in the vicinity of lawn edges and hard surfaces.
Roundup acts rapidly and is rainproof 10 minutes after use. As befits a renowned brand, a variety of versions can be purchased (concentrate, ready-to-use, spray wand included, etc.) and a reflection of the makers’ confidence is the full refund granted if weeds are not killed to the root. A glyphosate concentration so caution should be exercised during use.
5. Espoma Organic Weed Preventer: Best Organic Weed Preventer
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is the choice of the more ecologically aware gardener. This pre-emergent fertilizer is 100% corn gluten thereby actually nurturing lawns whilst preventing the development of weeds like dandelions.
Fittingly for a product epitomizing subtlety and harmony with nature, it is completely harmless for pets and humans encroaching upon the treated area even immediately after application.
Providing a perfect balance with nature, Espoma’s granules possess potency to prevent notorious lawn-invaders such as crabgrass and nightshade along with others.
6. PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer: Best Fast Acting Dandelion Weedkiller
PBI/Gordon Lawn Weed Killer strikes an accommodation between impressive weed eradication and lawn protection. The devastation to dandelions and other weeds is perceptible soon after utilization and the expanse of ground treatable (c. 16,000 sq feet) from a 20 fl oz bottle is eye-opening.
This brand is selective, eradicating existing infestations and achieves optimum results when used in spring or autumn.
It acts tenaciously against otherwise obstinate weeds and accords lawns all the protection demanded during use. It works in conjunction with a hand-sprayer.
7. Southern Ag Amine 2,4-D Weed Killer: Best Value for Money Dandelion Weedkiller
Southern Ag’s 2,4-D Weedkiller is the recommended choice for treating large expanses. A selective chemical, it hunts down existing unwanted weeds exhibiting laudable powers of discernment when selecting infestation for eradication.
It works unhurriedly and methodically in doing so and patience is rewarded by the outcome.
Irrespective of the dimensions of your lawn, Amine 2,4-D will be up to the job and will meet any budget restrictions in doing so.
8. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer: Best Granular Dandelion Weedkiller
A clue lies in the product name – Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Preventer – as to where its prowess resides. But this pre-emergent, selective chemical has numerous strings to its bow and is equally adept at eliminating dandelions.
This epitome of simplicity – just water the lawn, apply and relax – requires nothing more than patience to see the results.
Users have found this granular herbicide to be completely effective for up to three months and during that time, it is resistant to any variant of weather thrown at it.
9. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer With Extended Concentrate: Best Complementary Dandelion Weedkiller
As one of a range of products from a respected manufacturer, it can represent the perfect accompaniment to the appropriate herbicide.
A fast-acting chemical whose primary talent resides in annihilating existing weeds combined with nurturing new arrivals. It has been proven by users that a union with Roundup achieves spectacular results.
10. Monterey LG 5600 Spurge Power Herbicide: Best All Year Round Weedkiller
Dandelions are rarely mentioned in the manufacturer’s blurb but users report impressive strike rates against the weed.
Spurge is a broad-brush title for numerous sub-species and is the unwelcome weed most targeted by LG5600.
Guide to Dandelion Killer Sprays for Lawns
Something powerful is called for to eliminate the threat but one must remain alert to the sensitive balance underpinning nature. Applying weed killer without considering its impact on surrounding vegetation and dandelion-hosting soil can ruin the harmonious relationship underpinning nature…and may adversely impact people and pets.
Two types of weed killers (herbicides) are used against dandelions:
Selective weed killers contain chemicals which specifically target dandelions – 2,4-D, dicamba, clopyralid, triclopyr or fluroxypyr. Even when using these herbicides, scrutinize product instructions to avoid any adverse impact on other vegetation/grasses e.g. wildflowers.
Non-Selective weed killers do not discriminate between dandelions and other greenery in the vicinity. Glyphosate is the most prominent in this category. See the FAQ section for more details.
Administering Pre-Emergent herbicides on lawns prevents seeds from germinating.
Non-selective herbicides return superior results in eradicating dandelions, but the collateral damage provoked should enter the equation when selecting the brand to purchase. Of course, there will be situations where one wishes to eradicate everything standing; here, non-selective is the obvious choice. Prior to addressing the eradication options available, let’s take a look at where dandelions are typically found and how best to treat them.
Dandelions damage lawns by usurping the space where grass should grow and by sapping water and nutrients from plants resident immediately nearby. Lawns require nurture and all the hard work undertaken can be nullified by dandelions. To eradicate them, herbicides should be administered after mowing existing dandelions. Be aware that new lawns need time to bed in before being treated by herbicide.
Post herbicide application do not add clippings from the next lawn-mowing to a compost heap to avert contamination by lingering traces of the chemical. Using the compost on the lawn is counterproductive.
A choice is required between using selective or non-selective herbicides and as alluded to earlier, the latter are more effective but the trade-off against harming surrounding plants and flowers must be a consideration. Using non-selective herbicides containing glyphosate on individual dandelions (spot treatment) may see an accommodation between convenience and ecology.
A Mention for Borders and Hard Surfaces
Although this guide focuses on lawns, borders and hard surfaces should be borne in mind due to their proximity to lawns. They need treatment because the dandelion seed head may flutter towards a neighboring lawn and send down roots. Pavements or patios also play host to the ever-resilient dandelion. Removal by extraction is difficult as the weed is likely to flourish in less accessible crevices or pavement cracks making their famed deep root near impossible to reach.
We hope the task of selecting the product which will eradicate the scourge of dandelions from your lawn has been rendered less of a challenge by our assessments and testimonials, all based on independent evaluations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why use weedkillers to get rid of dandelions?
Utopia would see the removal of dandelions in a manner which is ecologically sound. Physical extraction and disposal of the weed is one such method, but dandelions are elusive and resilient. With their lengthy taproot, they represent stubborn weeds which can re-germinate themselves if so much as a fragment of the root remains and only a huge physical effort will eradicate them. Specific herbicides are the next best option since they will hunt down only dandelions.
Shouldn’t organic options be the only ones pursued to kill dandelions?
An ever-contentious issue, remember not all herbicides labelled organic enrich soil. Even vinegar – about as basic a dandelion killer as exists – may be overly acidic for the soil presenting a fresh raft of problems. Organic products demonstrate susceptibility in breaking down too easily with the consequence that increased volume is demanded…ergo, increased cost.
What are dandelions’ good points should be considered?
Dandelions do possess vitamins and minerals which contribute to herbal medicines used to treat digestive problems; they’re a source of pollen and nectar for bees and release nutrients into the soil assisting in its breaking up. Ultimately, however, they ruin lawns if untreated.
Which weed killer is best for dandelions: liquid or granular?
Liquid weed killer is herbicide mixed with water and applied using equipment such as a hand-held can or back-pack sprayer. Granular weed killer consists of small herbicide-coated pellets spread over the treated area. Liquid application works faster since the herbicide adheres to dandelions and penetrates the soil whilst the granular form can be blown (or roll) away from its target. The granular method is less time-consuming since no preparation (mixing) time is required.
How safe is glyphosate and 2,4-D?
Glyphosate continues to be the subject of heated debate since a lawsuit was brought in 2018 against Monsanto for its usage in their herbicide, Roundup. The upshot was a colossal fine for failing to warn of potential health risks after the World Health Organization declared glyphosate “a probable human carcinogen” in 2015.
However, glyphosate is lauded by agricultural bodies for its part in weed control in more than 100 crops plus effectiveness on lawns and gardens and was deemed “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic hazard to humans” by the European Food Safety Authority in 2015. Monsanto and Bayer (who took over Monsanto) have spent extensively on research to make Roundup safer. Best advice: carefully follow instructions.
Whilst on the subject, concerns exist overusing herbicides containing 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (a.k.a. 2,4-D). 2,4-D is a systemic herbicide which kills most broadleaf weeds but remains harmless to most grasses. The chemical dates back to World War II and later became an ingredient in Agent Orange (tactical herbicide deployed during the Vietnam War). 2,4-D’s history has sparked sensationalist stories and whilst risks remain in its usage, adherence to manufacturers’ guidelines will ensure safety.