Growing up on a typical farm there were yearly and multiple "applications" to rid the yard of these gorgeous/pesky yellow flowers. Do you remember making chains by sticking their stems together or making rings with the yellow blossom as the "stone"? How many of you asked your family and friends if they liked "butter" and then proceeded to wipe the yellow blossom on their skin leaving the "butter"?

These are all fond memories of growing up with this pesky "weed". But are dandelions really a pesky week or a beneficial flower? 

  • indicator of nutrient-deprived soil and if left alone, will help bring balance back to the soil
    • the long tap-root pulls up nutrients deep in the soil and makes them available to other nearby plants
    • the sprawling root system loosens and aerates soil while helping control erosion
  • good food source for pollinators
  • the entire plant is edible and packed with nutrition including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium
    • more vitamin C than tomatoes
    • more vitamin A than spinach
  • makes great beverages
  • health benefits: according to multiple resources dandelions can potentially:
    • aid in weight loss
    • boost the immune system
    • have anti-inflammatory properties
    • have antioxidant properties
    • improve digestion
    • keep skin healthy (try this dandelion salve recipe)
    • lower blood pressure
    • reduce cholesterol
    • reduce inflammation
    • reduce the growth of cancer cells
    • regulate blood sugar level
If a pristine yard is what you are going for then dandelions are not your friend. They can:
  • competes with grass for water
  • seeds are carried wide and far so can spread throughout your yard
  • can smother out grass
  • attracts pollinators such as bees
  • dandelion sap contains latex (avoid if you have a latex allergy)
In this world of ever-increasing environmental health issues, choosing to not use herbicides will provide a healthier environment for yourself, your family, your neighbors and your fur babies. Remember, what your babies and fur babies walk in will usually end up in their mouths. Allowing your lawn to grow to 3 to 4 inches is a natural way to help control their spread. This grass height provides more shade to this sun-loving plant preventing dandelions from thriving as much. 

Whether you love dandelions for the many childhood games you used to play and health benefits or you despise them as weeds, it's undeniable that these resilient plants carry a multitude of purposes that can enrich our lives in unexpected ways, from herbal remedies to enriching our soils. 



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