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Dandelions are Not Your Enemy

written by

Aliceson Bales

posted on

March 8, 2024

Seriously. Stop spraying round up on your dandelions!!

It’s early Spring in this great nation. Renewal, rebirth, all that stuff. The grass is growing and becoming greener with each day. The trees are budding. Flowers are blooming. We’re sneezing. All signs point to spring!

When I drive by my local nursery I see so many folks buying flowers and veggies to plant. And a lot of people carrying the big bottle of Glyphosate (this is not a post stirring up political angst about the use of chemicals by the way). People want green lawns. The same color, height and width of blades. No weeds. 

So what is a weed anyway? I’ll tell you what a weed is. A weed is any plant growing where it shouldn’t. Where you don’t want it. 

And right now it’s the dandelion. The sweet, unassuming, nourishing powerhouse of a plant. And for some homeowners it’s considered a weed because it doesn’t go with the uniform green-ness of their yard. But if you just see the dandelion for what it is - the lovely life-giving plant it is - maybe you’ll put down the Round Up in the store and embrace the springiness and life of the dandelion. 

Here are some points I want to make about the dandelion. 

  1. The dandelion, prior to our obsession for Instagram-worthy lawns, was prized by homeowners. People would literally pick grass out of their yard to make room for the dandelion! Yes! Why? Because the dandelion is a powerhouse for the soil. Dandelions grow in little space and poor soil to provide the soil with calcium as well as aeration to make it more roomy and nutritious for the next crop. 
  2. Dandelions are some of the first sources of nutrients for bees, birds, butterflies, moths and chipmunks in the spring. They provide nectar and protein for these animals. And you know what Albert Einstein said about bees - that if bees cease to exist humans will cease to exist in four years. Four years! And if there’s one person we can universally trust with science it’s Albert Einstein.
  3. Dandelions are also edible for humans. Dandelions are herbs, not weeds. They remove toxins from your blood, improve the functioning of the digestive system and are known as a “perfect plant medicine”. Dandelions have more vitamin A than spinach and more vitamin C than tomatoes. In fact, when scurvy was such a big deal about 100-150 years ago, dandelion teas, drinks, cocktails and even salads saved many lives around the world. For a few examples, dandelions are sold around the world today as a boost to immunity, liver function and as a caffeine substitute. And did you know that dandelions are more expensive than steaks in some regions of the world. 
  4. The US Fish and Wildlife Services says, “Homeowners use 10 times more chemical pesticides per acre on lawns than farmers on crops”. You know what those pesticides do? They kill animals. Approximately seven million wild birds die each year due to pesticides. According to  Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology we now have 30% fewer birds in the world than we did 50 years ago because of the increased use of pesticides. And in 2019 alone beekeepers in America lost 40% of their hives, in large part due to pesticides. All to get rid of a pretty yellow flower. 

There are a lot more interesting facts and figures about dandelions but these are the ones that always come to my mind when I see dandelions in the spring. 

So I’m begging you to STOP SPRAYING THE DANDELIONS! HECK, STOP SPRAYING YOUR YARDS. Seriously, you know who cares about your yard? Nobody. No one cares. Not one person. The only thing lawn care perseveration does is create animosity between you and your neighbors because you mow your yard at 8:00 on Saturday morning (the only morning people can sleep in) and then because it robs you of your nap on Sunday afternoon when you’re out working in it. 

Give yourself a break and your neighbors a few more minutes of blissful rest. Stop trying for the perfect yard for Instagram (those pictures are boring anyway!). Stop worrying. Let the dandelions live and in the process the bees, birds and creatures God created to give us joy and pollinate our plants. 

Let’s blow up everybody’s feed on social media with pictures of yards with dandelions, bees, birds, wildflowers and every other fantastically beautiful creation God has given us to enjoy! Learn to love biodiversity again!

Stepping off my soapbox now. Tag me with your pics of all your beautiful spring plants! 

Happy spring everybody!



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