Problem: Dandelion (Lawns)
Taraxacum officinale This perennial is the most common and easily identified weed in the United States. It reproduces by seeds and from shoots that grow from the fleshy taproot. This taproot grows 2 to 3 feet deep in the soil, surviving even the severest of winters. Dandelions grow in any soil but prefer heavier soil over sandy soil. They are most numerous in full sunlight. In the early spring, new sprouts emerge from the taproot. As the yellow flowers mature and ripen, they form white puff balls'' containing seeds. The wind carries the seeds for miles to other lawns. The tops die back in late fall, and the taproot overwinters to start the cycle again in the spring. Dandelions prefer wet soil and are often a sign of overwatering.
Feed the grass adequately to keep it dense. Mow frequently enough to keep the flowers from becoming seedheads. Hand-digging and removal is not only time-consuming and tedious, but also impractical because pieces of root broken off and left in the soil will sprout into new plants.