Wonderful Weeds: DANDELION – Let Some Wet-a-Beds Bloom to Provide Vital Food for Bees and Insects in Early Spring

Dandelion Taraxacum officinale

Other names: pee-a-bed, wet-a-bed, blow balls

Life cycle: perennial


Add the wilted, nutrient-rich taproots and flat rosettes to your compost bin or weed bags.

Dandelion’s deep taproot must be dug or forked out and older plants, with very deep roots, may need several attempts. However, dandelion doesn’t spread sideways, so I let a few plants produce their bright yellow flowers, on stalks up to 30cm (1ft) tall, as a useful food source for insects in early spring, but I nip the green seedheads off before they turn into ‘clocks’ and release their airborne seeds. Dandelion quickly colonises bare soil. Use the flowers for wine, the young leaves (rich in vitamins A and C) for salads.

Earth-friendly solutions: Hoe seedlings; dig/fork out; long-term sheet mulch; mulch.

Moderately easy to control.

Check out some other wonderful weeds:

Borage Borago officinalis

Chickweed Stellaria media

Hogweed Heracleum sphondylium

Teasel Dipsacus fullonum

how-to-control-garden-allotment-weeds-organicallyThis is an edited extract from my book Weeds: An Organic, Earth-friendly Guide to Their Identification, Use and Control.

Learn how to identify 60 common garden and allotment weeds. Find out how to enjoy, utilise and gently get rid of weeds, without the use of polluting chemical weedkillers…

Find out more about Weeds and buy the book direct from the author here.

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