Dandelions are best tackled in fall. Spray them with weed killer just before they go dormant, and they’ll take the poison to their roots and wither away with winter. But spray them with weed killer in the spring, and they’re likely to soldier through. That doesn’t mean, however, that all is lost if you weren’t on top of things last year. Right now those dandelions and their cheery yellow heads may seem to be mocking your lawn maintenance efforts, but you’ve got three secret weapons.

Springtime recipe for dandelion domination

  1. Mow them down. If you cut off the heads of dandelions before they set seed, you’ll keep them from spreading, says the University of Illinois Extension. So get out there with your mower when the dandelions are still yellow, and commence chopping.
  2. Dig them out. Digging out weeds is hard work, and for weeds with deep tap roots like dandelions that is doubly true. But you and a small garden shovel turn out to be the best weed killer around. Pull them out by their roots, and they won’t come back.
  3. Boil them alive. A tried and true and delightfully organic weed killer: really hot water. It’s like pouring boiling oil on the marauders trying to invade your castle. The dandelions won’t like it one bit. (Just be careful not to burn yourself).

If these spring and summer methods of dandelion control don’t have your lawn cleared by fall, you can apply some weed killer when the right season for it comes around again. In the meantime, mercilessly repeat steps 1-3. You’ll see progress, guaranteed.