Natural Remedies: Eco-Friendly Approaches to Dandelion Removal in Toronto

Dandelions are masters of survival, and they can overrun any Toronto lawn with their wind-borne seeds. If you are not fond of this weed, we offer dandelion removal tips and strategies to keep them from coming back.

Understanding Dandelions in Toronto

Dandelions are hardy perennials with toothy, deeply notched leaves resembling spatulas and bright yellow flowers. Their flowers open in the morning with the sun and close in the evening or on cloudy days. They mature into white puffballs full of seeds.

Dandelions can grow in lawns, pastures, roadsides, waste areas, cultivated fields, and forages almost everywhere in Toronto, particularly in areas with reduced tillage. Mature seeds can quickly germinate since they lack primary dormancy. Although these plants have long bloom seasons, May and June are when they are most noticeable.

Dandelions are fast-growing plants that turn from buds to seeds in a few short days and can live for 13 years. With their fast growth and long life, it is easy to understand why many view them as unwelcome plants. That’s why many homeowners want to know how to remove dandelion weeds from their lawns.

Natural Dandelion Removal Techniques

Dandelions can reproduce from pieces of their tap root. You have to remove the entire plant to prevent them from regrowing. The roots can extend up to 18 inches deep into the ground, so many gardeners use chemicals for dandelion removal. However, chemicals require multiple applications and pose health and environmental risks.

If you are wondering how to safely get rid of dandelions in Toronto, Canada, the answer is by using natural dandelion removal techniques. Here are some strategies you can try:

Dig Them Up Properly

If you spot only a few dandelions in your lawn, hand-pulling them may be enough. It is an effective method, but do it before the plant flowers and ensure that all the roots are removed. The key is to prepare the right tools and methods.

One is using water and a weeding knife. Water the soil and let it soak for a few minutes to make it damp. Use a weeding knife to make three cuts into the soil along the base, wiggle the knife to remove the soil, and then pull the base of the dandelion. Continue doing this until you think you’ve removed the entire root system.

You can also use boiling water. Pour the boiling water over the dandelions’ leaves and roots. The plant will turn yellow and curl up quickly. After that, you can remove the taproot and the entire plant. The downside of this dandelion weed removal method is that it can also burn other plants near the one you want to remove.

Another good digging method is using a specialized tool called a dandelion weeder. It’s long and has a notched, V-shaped tip, perfect for organically removing tap-rooted weeds like dandelions.

Weed Torch

A weed torch is another organic dandelion remover. It is used in the flaming method, which involves burning dandelion seedlings while they are still immature to stop them from sprouting. However, this works poorly against fully grown dandelions or those intermittently dispersed throughout your lawn alongside your turfgrass. It’s also a fire hazard, so use extreme caution if you plan to use this method.


Mulching involves suffocating the dandelion plants and keeping them out of the sun until they perish. You can cover the plant with cardboard or black plastic and weigh it down to create a weed block. For a nicer appearance, apply spray paint over it or cover it with mulch made of bark, compost, or grass clippings.

Preventing Dandelion Infestations

After removing the dandelions from your lawn, keeping them from coming back is the next step. These natural methods can help keep your Toronto lawn free of dandelion infestations.

Pull off the flowers or cut them short. Dandelions reproduce asexually by seed, so you’ll likely see this unwanted plant regrowing in your lawn if you let the flowers mature. Prevent the flowers from making seeds to stop new plants from sprouting. Although it won’t kill the plant itself, it will prevent new dandelions from taking over the lawn while you tend to the existing plants.

Mowing your yard regularly is another way to prevent dandelions from spreading. If you cut off the yellow heads on the stem, they won’t have the chance to form into white, puffy seed heads that will spread and grow throughout your yard. As long as you stick to your mowing schedule, you’ll deal with fewer dandelion weeds every month.

Alternatively, you could use corn-gluten meal. It’s an organic pre-emergent solution that will keep more dandelion seeds from sprouting. Apply it in the early spring and reapply in later months to target seeds that germinate late.

You can also consider reseeding. This can eradicate dandelions already present and prevent their regrowth. Plant new grass seed to grow dense, thick lawns that naturally suffocate weeds. However, this will only work if the lawn is routinely maintained. The grass will stay thick enough to ward off weeds like dandelions with regular lawn care and once-a-year reseeding.

Finally, maintain healthy soil. It is the best defense against weeds like dandelions, which thrive in poor or acidic soil. Dandelions prefer soil with low levels of organic matter and calcium, so increasing the organic content of the soil and providing adequate soil nutrition will help. These unwanted plants will be less likely to take root in the first place, and it will be easier to remove them when the soil is healthy.

Embracing Dandelions in Eco-Friendly Landscaping

Accepting dandelions as a natural part of your lawn is another way to deal with them. Their presence on lawns comes with some benefits, too. For one, they can enhance the soil by extracting vital nutrients from the air, serving as a living, organic fertilizer.

Moreover, dandelions are edible; their leaves, flowers, and roots offer substantial health benefits when consumed. Dandelion greens are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K and can be eaten raw or cooked. They also include minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamin E, folate, and trace amounts of other B vitamins.

Dandelion leaves contain antioxidants, like beta-carotene, which can protect cells from oxidative stress and damage. Polyphenols and other compounds have the added benefit of reducing inflammation. Furthermore, dandelions have substances that can lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels and help control blood sugar.

Dandelions are also helpful to beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. Each flower is loaded with nectar and pollen, making them an early easily available food source for pollinators in spring.

In addition, dandelions are pretty. They can add to the beauty of your lawn while providing all those other benefits. Your children probably love playing with them as well.

Trust LawnMart for Professional Dandelion Removal Solutions

Dandelions have their benefits if you choose to accept them as part of your lawn. However, you can also eliminate these weeds if you dislike or are allergic to them. Should you decide to take action, consider getting LawnMart’s professional dandelion removal service for your lawn. We offer a six-step organic lawn care process that ensures weeds like dandelions will have minimal impact on your lawn.

Contact us today to find out how we can keep your lawn dandelion-free. We can also help you control other types of lawn weeds.

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.