Dear Crabby, What is the Best Way to Rid my Yard of Dandelions?

Dear Crabby, I have Too Many Weeds in my Lawn this Year – What is the Best Way to Rid my Yard of Dandelions?

Sincerely, Greenie McLawn


Dear Greenie,

Ah yes, the ongoing battle of man versus weeds. A war that begins every spring in Michigan, continues throughout the summer, and dies out in the fall (primarily because we’re tired of the fight, not because we’ve won).

I wrote about this a few years about – feel free to refresh your young minds with my past words of wisdom by reading Dear Crabby, Should I Treat My Lawn?

Dear Crabby Gives AdviceBut your question is more about the yellow spring flower that goes to seed quickly to build its army and take over your lawn. The best (and most expensive) way is to hire a service to the do the job for you. Several applications will soon give you a giant green welcome mat in which all the neighbors will be jealous. Not only will the weeds be gone, but the grass will be growing like, well, the weeds that used to be there. Then you’re stuck cutting grass like a mad man. If you go this route, consider pets and kids and make sure the service uses environmentally safe, organic, all natural, chemical-free – or some other catch phrase – applications to keep everyone healthy. If you’re like me and you hate spending money, try one of the DIY (do it yourself) methods.

Dig them out by hand with of those fork-tongued screewdriverish doodad tools every garage or shed should have. But that may take a long time, and if you don’t get all the root, it will return. Another cheap way to go is by spraying vinegar on them. The experts tell us to use a 5% concentration of vinegar – be careful – it will kill every weed or plant you spray it on. You could also cut the grass more often to stop them from flowering and seeding – stop them in their tracks so to speak.

However, this spring I was a tad late in the above methods and most of my dandelions were going to seed already. So, I tried two new ideas. First I took my handy-dandy portable vacuum cleaner outside with an extension cord. I sucked up all those little seeds before they could settle into my lawn. But the cord only got me so far.

Next, I fired up my hand-held propane torch with pistol-grip-trigger-action to blast those little devils to a fiery death. I was amazed how fast they shriveled up from a white puffy intrusive seed cluster to toasty orange ash. It felt good to have that power over the weeds.

Anyway you do, be safe, have fun, and don’t worry if you don’t do it right this year – you’ll get another chance at it again next spring.

Sincerely, Dear Crabby.


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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Walt Lake says

    Hey Crabby,

    How do you deal with tail-gaters?


    Walt Lake

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