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Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has a bright yellow flower on a stout stalk followed by a fluffy seed head (known as a dandelion clock). The flowers arise from a clump of serrated, bright green leaves. Each plant has along taproot that exudes a milky substance when cut. Although considered a weed, dandelion is a useful edible plant. Its leaves, flowers and roots are all edible.

Like any weed, the best form of prevention is to remove them when they are young and small, before they have time to flower and set seed. As dandelions have a long taproot, ensure you get the entire root out of the ground when removing it. Use a spade, trowel or weeding tool to dig down deep to remove the whole weed.

In non-garden areas, a natural control method is to cover the weedy area with weed mat, cardboard or thick wads of newspaper to deprive the dandelions of sunlight and oxygen. Only use this method in areas without garden plants or lawn, as these will be smothered as well.

A natural organic herbicide such as EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray may help to control dandelions. Check the back label of the spray for specific weed information. It is a glyphosate-free, non-selective, contact spray so care must be taken when spraying in lawns or near garden plants. Follow the directions on the container and ensure that all foliage is totally covered with spray as it is a contact spray only. Repeat applications may be necessary.

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