Dear Crabby, Are Dandelions a Weed or a Wildflower?

Dear Crabby, Are Dandelions a Weed or a Wildflower?

Sincerely, Tara X.


Dear Tara,

The answer to that question depends are where you stand. If you stand in my yard, then we call them weeds. However, if we stand in your yard, we could call them wildflowers. The truth is, they’re a perennial herb. They come back every spring, go bonkers to mid-summer, then calm down a bit. I have fond memories from my childhood of waiting until Dandelions went to seed, making a wish, and blowing the seeds off the stem – watching all the little fluffy parachuters float to the ground – as my father yelled at me to at least do that towards the neighbor’s yard. Gardeners hate them, I mean really hate them. Dandelions grow and spread everywhere – flower gardens, vegetable gardens, lawns, and driveway cracks – they are a menace. But what to do with that seemingly always happy menace with its bright yellow smile.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

Kill it! Yes, that’s one option, and an expensive option at that. I published a column regarding the Best Way to Rid my Yard of Dandelions? a while back and it’s still a good read today. Another option would be to eat it. Evidently, the entire plant is edible – the roots, the leaves, and the flower. Dandelions are rich in potassium and calcium, and you can make them into salads, soups, tea, or even wine.

Many of your “Save the Planet” types tell you to leave them alone. They are a early pollen flowers for bees who come out of hibernation way too early. And groundhogs seem to love them too. But they don’t eat mine fast enough, they just keep coming up.

Remember those days as a kid when you pick a bunch and give them to your mom? Our kids would give Mrs. Crabby a bouquet every spring. She would put them in water and admire them, or maybe she admired the gesture more, because she would toss them the next day. If the kids really wanted to be nice they should have picked them all and make me a bunch of wine … but that never happened … guess I wasted all those wishes on new bikes and Baseball cards.

Call them what you want – cook them for dinner or take the lawn mower to them – they’re not going anywhere soon, there’s plenty of them around.

Happy Gardening!

Dear Crabby.


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