Whether or not you choose to apply chemicals to your dandelion weeds, this invasive problem can be curbed by hand weeding. For optimal removal, choosing the correct dandelion weeding tools is essential. As dandelions are common, quick spreaders with deep taproots measuring up to 15 feet deep, effective weeding is key to control.
Gardening gloves are the first essential tool for weeding dandelions from your home landscape. Protecting your hands is important in avoiding contact with potentially toxic chemicals if herbicides or any other chemical treatments are in place. Additionally, removing the dandelion taproot is potentially challenging, and when working with sharp objects, a simple slip can result in injury easily prevented through the use of gloves.
A spade is well-suited as a dandelion weeding tool for digging around roots. Though commonly confused with shovels, spades are not quite as angled and are designed specifically to dig. For more resistant soils, press your spade into the desired location by stepping on its handle and then pull the handle toward you. Circle the roots of the dandelion with this method until it is free from surrounding soil and pull out every part you can find to inhibit the regrowth from plant pieces left behind. The University of Vermont Extension suggests the use of a perennial spade that has a longer blade if you are dealing with greater depths. Consider perennials spades for long taproots.
Dandelion weeders, commonly referred to as dandelion forks or dandelion knives, are available in long-handled and short-handled versions. The long spoke with a notched tip is ideal for precise digging around tough roots to pry them from soil. Select a stainless steel version when possible, as this material is sturdier than wood, easy to clean, and resists the formation of rust that can ruin your gardening tools. Find dandelion forks at garden supply stores, in catalogues or online.
Wide Bladed Screwdriver
For a more cost effective means of collecting dandelion weeding tools, utilise equipment you already have in your supply. Wide bladed screwdrivers, though not notched, are a good substitute for dandelion weeders as they perform the same function, according to the University of California IPM Online.