A gardener removing dandelions

How to Properly Remove Dandelions Without Damaging Your Lawn

Dandelions are common lawn weeds that can quickly invade your beautiful green space if left unattended. While their bright yellow flowers may be pleasing to the eye, their aggressive root system can cause significant damage to your lawn if not properly removed.

This post will discuss how to remove dandelions naturally by using herbicide. It will cover topics like understanding the root system of a dandelion, choosing the right tools, preparing your lawn beforehand, a step-by-step dandelion removal guide, considerations when using chemical agents, and tips for maintaining a weed-free lawn in the future.

How to Remove Dandelions

Understanding the Root System of a Dandelion and Why It Is Important

Dandelions are notorious for their ability to spread rapidly and survive in various environments, making them a common nuisance in lawns, gardens, and agricultural fields. To eradicate dandelions effectively, it is crucial to comprehend their root system and employ appropriate control measures.

The root system of a dandelion is a taproot, which consists of a primary root that grows deep into the soil and several lateral roots that spread horizontally. The taproot allows dandelions to access water and nutrients from deeper layers of the earth, making them resilient and capable of surviving under adverse conditions. This deep root system is also responsible for its ability to regenerate even when the plant’s above-ground parts have been removed.

You literally need to address the root cause of your dandelion problem. You have to make sure the entire taproot is removed to prevent regrowth. You can achieve this by using a specialized weeding tool and herbicides.

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Now that you know about dandelion taproots, let’s proceed to discuss ways to pull those taproots out from the ground.

Hand-pulling is one of the common methods of removing dandelions from lawns. You can use your bare hand, but certain tools can make the process easier.

Dandelion removal tools come in various sizes, types, and designs. Here are some of your options:

  • Stand-up dandelion removal tool: This comes with a long pole with a fork on one end and a handle on the other; this dandelion remover minimizes the need to bend down. However, the handle’s length affects the tool’s precision and power to remove tough roots.
  • Small hand-held weeder: Its short length offers extreme precision when removing dandelions in the garden. However, you need to kneel and bend down to use it, which may not be a good option for those with joint complications.
  • Cobra-head dandelion removal tool: With a crescent moon-shaped head, the cobra weeder offers a great way to dig and plunge in the soil.
  • Long-blade dandelion removal tool: It features unique blades that can effortlessly eliminate deep-rooted weeds.

When choosing a dandelion removal tool, look at the materials the tool is made of. Most of the weeders on the market are made from stainless steel. They are tough and resistant to rust, making them a good option. There are also products made from forged iron. While they are also tough, they are heavier, which can be tiresome to use.

So ask yourself what you prefer when removing dandelions: working standing up or on your knees? This will help you determine what type of dandelion tool to get.

Preparing Your Lawn Beforehand

There’s really nothing much you have to do before the actual dandelion removal process from lawns, aside from surveying the area to determine the location of the weeds you need to pull out.

But there are a few things you have to keep in mind. If you’re using herbicide to eliminate dandelions, you must wait for the right conditions before spraying the product on your lawn. The wind should not exceed 5 miles per hour to avoid harming neighboring plants. Meanwhile, the temperature should be below 29 degrees Celsius, and the weather shouldn’t be rainy either.

If you’re removing dandelions by hand, there’s not much weather consideration. However, you may need to water the area with the dandelions at least half an hour before pulling the weed. Doing so loosens the soil, making it easier to pull up the dandelion.

Step-by-Step Guide to Carefully Removing Dandelions Without Damaging Your Grass

As mentioned above, two options for removing dandelions are hand pulling and using herbicides. We’ll discuss the step-by-step process for each option.

Hand Pulling

Hand pulling is one of the ways you can get rid of dandelions in your lawn naturally, but you may need to do it repeatedly. It may also only work for small lawns. Here’s how to do this weed-pulling method:

  • Water the area of your lawn that’s filled with dandelions. It will loosen the soil, making it easier to pull the weed.
  • Use your dandelion removal tool to make an incision in the soil alongside the dandelion’s taproot. Wiggle your weeder to loosen the taproot.
  • Pry up the dandelion gently to minimize root breakage. You need to get the entire taproot out of the soil.
  • Reseed any bare spots. Since you haven’t used any products, it’s safe to reseed the area where the dandelion once grew.


If hand pulling does not work, you can always use herbicides. Fall is usually the best season to apply the product because dandelions move nutrients from their leaves to their roots during this time to prepare for the winter. This means the herbicide will travel directly to the roots. Follow these steps for the best results:

  • Choose the right herbicide. Not all herbicides will work on a dandelion, so make sure to use one specifically formulated for broadleaf weeds. One of the best options is Triclopyr, a man-made herbicide that can kill dandelions but not grass. 
  • Add the broadleaf herbicide to a pump sprayer. Read and follow the package instructions.
  • Apply herbicide to each dandelion in your yard.
  • Wait for the dandelion to turn brown. This means the weed is ready to be pulled out.
  • Wait for at least three days from the herbicide application, then reseed the area.

If you want to minimize the damage to your lawn when removing dandelions, call experts for the job. They know the right techniques and products to use to restore your lawn to its pristine condition.

Considerations When Using Chemical Agents to Remove Dandelions From Your Lawn

Herbicides, like other chemical agents, are potentially hazardous to human health. So take safety measures before spraying the product on your lawn.

You should wear safety devices and protective clothing as recommended on the herbicide’s label. Also, read the label carefully, even if you have used the product before. For your safety, follow the label’s instructions closely. Finally, make sure to apply the product carefully.

How Do I Get My Lawn Dandelion-Free in the Future?

Getting your lawn completely dandelion-free forever requires a combination of proactive prevention and effective removal strategies. Dandelion seeds can spread quickly, as they are carried by the wind to your lawn. Keeping the lawn healthy is the best way to minimize the risk of weed growth. Mow the grass at the correct height, water adequately but not excessively, and fertilize appropriately.

Consider using professional lawn maintenance services if you are still unsure of how to remove dandelions and prevent them from coming back. Professionals understand your lawn well and can ensure it stays green and pristine with no yellow flowers blooming in the spring.

Call the Experts

If you have a dandelion problem in your lawn and are looking for natural ways to get rid of the weed and keep your lawn in pristine condition, LawnMart is the team to call. LawnMart uses only organic products safe for you, your family, and your pets. The team also embraces a holistic approach to taking care of lawns. Our approach doesn’t involve spraying herbicides on your lawn but instead considers the soil’s pH level, composition, nutrition, etc.

If you’re ready to switch to natural methods of removing dandelions and any other weed, please don’t hesitate to contact LawnMart today.

Michael Schäfer

President – LawnMart Inc.

Years of Experience: 31 Years

  • Land Class 1 and 3 Licenses Since 1993
  • Pest Control Operator License Since 1995
  • PIC Accredited Pest Technician Examiner Since 2004
  • Biting Flies Control License Since 2020

Michael Schäfer is President and Founder of LawnMart Inc. After training privately under Dr. Larry Whiddell of Ohio State University, he became a Lawn Technician at Barefoot Grass Lawn Services (1993) and leveled up to Tree/Shrub Care Manager before taking over all Canadian operations as Area Manager. In 1996, Michael founded LawnMart Inc., which has since grown into a multi-award-winning company that cares for thousands of lawns in the Golden Horseshoe area.