I had a terrible problem with dandelions last year. My small garden was full of those horrible green leaves. My question is how do I get rid of them this spring so I can plant my flower garden?

Thanks for watching and your kind comments. Dandelions can be pesky! But I try and remember that a weed is simply a plant in the wrong place. It’s taken some time, but I’ve done a little research on dandelions and now I have new respect for them.

You’re right, they’re vigorous growers, often the first plant to bloom in the spring and the last to flower in the fall. But the really interesting thing about dandelions is they’re edible. They’re a good source of vitamin A and iron. The tender leaves can be a delicious addition to a salad and the bright yellow blossoms; well they’re edible, too. In fact, they’re the essential ingredient in the famous dandelion wine. If you are thinking about adding a few dandelions to your salad, remember to select leaves from plants that haven’t been sprayed or treated with chemicals.

In spite of all these virtues dandelions can be a nuisance if they invade your lawn or in your case, are located where you want to plant something else. If you have a hard time with these little flowers I recommend digging them out with a long forked tool because they can have quite an extensive taproot. This should be done in early spring before the plants set seeds. They are easier to pull after a rain. If removing from your lawn do not use a herbicide because this will kill the surrounding grass as well, leaving a bare patch.

Amend your garden soil with plenty of humus and organic fertilizer. The happier your ornamental plants are the less likely the dandelions will be able to re-establish themselves.

One last tip – always use an organic fertilizer rather than a synthetic one. Dandelions favor synthetic fertilizers.