How do you get rid of dandelions once and for all?

The answer to this question is the topic of the previous post: natural succession.

Dandelions are the type of plants that characterize early stages of succession. As anyone who has battled with them knows, they prefer areas with lots of sun and little competition.

The secret of getting rid of them, then, is to eliminate these conditions.

Most lawns, if left to their own devices, would move away from these conditions by turning into forests. Mowing prevents this progression by serving as an artificial disturbance. By preventing any plants from growing more than a couple of inches tall, mowing maintains a site characterized by low competition for light and space at ground level – exactly the conditions that dandelions love! So  long as a yard is kept in an early succession stage, early succession “weeds” will continue to move in.

In a natural yard that mimics a prairie, with native plants adapted to grow 2-3 feet high and thrive in Wisconsin’s climate, dandelions have no place to squeeze in. They cease invading such a yard, simply because the conditions there are not inviting to them.

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How do you get rid of dandelions once and for all?

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