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Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

Posted by christine Z5 Chicagoland (My Page) on
Mon, May 4, 09 at 16:11

If I mow my dandelions before they go to seed, will they still be able to take root and make the problem worse? Can they go to seed after they are mowed if the heads are on the ground?

If we have several that haven't gone to seed, should we bag instead of mulch mow to avoid any potential problems?

I am so adamant about having a nice yard this year, dandelions are our problem now and in 6 weeks it will be the thistle. How do we keep these dandelions at bay?

We did a pre-e with fertilizer just after Easter and just did Weed-B-Gone Max this weekend, so we're good there...just need to know how to deal with what we have got. It isn't outrageous, but even if it is 100 of them, that is too much to try to pull. Lawn is KBG if that matters.

Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

Dandelions will pop out new flowers a few days after you mow the current ones down. They also sometimes send short flowers up so mowing doesn't always cut the flowers.

You can probably minimize seeds from the dandelions in your lawn, but they travel really far with a slight wind, so if anybody else within a couple of blocks has any, you can get seeds no matter how diligent you are about keeping the ones in your lawn from going to seed.

If you mow high, water deeply and infrequently and fertilize once in the spring and twice in the fall, the KBG should fill in and crowd out the dandelions over time.


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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

Dandelions are actually biennial - so the dandelions that you pick the flowers from may be back next year. But they don't spread other than by seed.


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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

BP - definitely planning on doing all that.

Andy - interesting, I did not know that!

I am still curious however, if we mow them before they 'go to seed' if they can still root and get worse or if we mow the heads off before they go to seed if that keeps them from taking root...? Anyone know?


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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

The ones that are already in the lawn have already taken root. Mowing before they seed will keep new ones from germinating. Some plants also propagate by way of specialized roots (rhizomes and tillers) or above ground stems (stolons), but dandelions don't.

The only way dandelions create more dandelions through their roots is if you try to pull one out by the root and the root breaks off just below the surface, the root will sometimes sprout several new dandelion plants in that spot. But they won't spread.


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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

I think christine was wanting to know, and this is my question as well: If I mow dandelions, will the flower head still go to seed after being cut and then still spread dandelions in my lawn?


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RE: Do dandelions propogate if they don't go to seed?

If you cut the flower heads off, they won't go to seed. It's possible that the flower is already pollinated and if it's not chopped up, it could possibly still go to seed.

If the flower heads are below the blade, they'll still go to seed. Dandelions continue to make new flowers every couple of days, so if you cut all the flowers off today, there will be more in a couple of days.

Trying to control dandelions by cutting off the flowers is nto going to be the most successful approach.


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