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Dandelion Season is Nearly Here

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Although current weather conditions have detained them, the yellow flowers of spring are beginning to emerge.

Thriving in cool damp weather, if dandelions were not sprayed last fall, Paul O. Johnson, SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator said South Dakotans can expect to see them emerge soon.

"Spring treatments are not as effective as fall but can be used to stop the yellow flowers from producing viable seed," he said of the perennial weed that can produce multiple flowers. A large plant can produce up to 50 flowers with several seeds per flower.

This spring, Johnson said herbicide treatments can be used, either the weed and feed type granule or a liquid spray. He explained that in order for the chemical to be effective, it must enter thought the leaves.

Spray products can be applied with a variety of equipment.

"Keep sprays coarse and use low pressure to reduce the chance of spray going on non-target sensitive plants. Remember the older the dandelion the harder it will be to kill," Johnson said.

Scattered plants can be dug, but be sure to cut the root off below the ground so the crown is killed to avoid the plant coming back as a new plant.

Mark your calendars

The best time to control dandelions is after the first frost, so make a note to apply chemical fall 2018.

"Remember, even if you lawn is dandelion free this spring, the weed's seedlings can return next year," Johnson said.