Alan Titchmarsh provides advice on removing weeds in 2016
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Dandelions are one of the most common flowers and, although they’re totally harmless, people always seem to see them as a nuisance. Dandelions are hard to control because of the way they disperse their seeds. They are quick to flower and they can pop up right where you don’t want them – between cracks of your pavement or in the middle of your flawless lawn.
There are weed killers specific to dandelions and other ways to destroy these flowers.
However, it might be time to make peace with these beautiful fluffy flowers because they are an important part of our natural world.
These plants actually have multiple benefits for our lawns, physical health, and wildlife.
From protecting bees to using them in a salad, here are four reasons why you shouldn’t destroy dandelions.
Good for your lawn
The most obvious reason not to get rid of dandelions from your garden is that they’re actually good for your lawn!
According to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners website, dandelions actually fertilise your grass.
The site explains: “Their wide-spreading roots loosen hard-packed soil, aerate the earth and help reduce erosion.
“The deep taproot pulls nutrients such as calcium from deep in the soil and makes them available to other plants. Dandelions actually fertilize the grass.”
Food source for insects
Every dandelion contains 100 flowers, making them an excellent food source for butterflies, moths and bees.
Bees in particular are dying out and stripping them of dandelions will kill them off for good.
These insects eat the seeds of the dandelions for their nectar and without them, they’ll die off more quickly.
We need bees to pollinate and keep plants growing and without them, we’d have 80 percent fewer wildflowers in Europe.
Nutrition for humans
Did you know humans can eat dandelions too? Whether you chuck them in a salad or blend them into a smoothie, they’re very beneficial to our health.
In fact, some experts say dandelions are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can grow.
According to MOFGA, Dandelions have more Vitamin A than spinach, more Vitamin C than tomatoes and a whole load of iron, calcium and potassium.
Dandelion is french for lion tooth, and it got this name because of its lion-toothed leaves that could heal a range of nasty ailments from dandruff to depression.
If you’re taking them from your own garden, just make sure you’ve given them a thorough cleaning to get rid of any chemicals from gardening products.
Weed killer is harmful
The easiest way to get rid of dandelions from your lawn is by using selective lawn weedkillers, but have you thought about how damaging they are to the environment?
The chemicals in these products can move through the air and soak into other plants.
They can also contaminate local water supplies such as lakes and streams, harming the fish and birds that interact with them.
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