Growing dandelions in home garden may seem a little odd, because most of the home gardeners consider them as weeds.
And most of the home gardeners probably searching information about removing it from their garden, instead of growing dandelions in home garden.
But you may also find yourself wondering on how to grow and harvest dandelion plants, once you get to know a little more about this nutritious plants. Dandelion is actually a great source of nutrients.
The greens contain abundant vitamins, especially vitamins A, C and K. And it is also a good source of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and manganese. The leaves are delicious in salads and are a fine substitute for spinach.
Actually the dandelion plants are edible from root to flower. And the plant is very beneficial for human health.
People often use them in herbal medicine for treating conditions of the liver, bile ducts and gallbladder (as well as for minor problems like bloating and indigestion).
The raw flowers contain high levels of polyphenois and antioxidants and are also anti-inflammatory and anti-angiogenic.
However, after reading all these benefits ‘you are probably thinking about growing dandelions in your home garden’.
Growing dandelions can actually be an great addition to your home garden, and it will also enhance the beauty of your garden.
How to Grow Dandelions
Growing dandelions is very easy. And they grow rapidly in the wild as a weed.
So you don’t have to work much for growing this wonderful herb in your home garden.
Here we are describing everything about growing dandelions in home garden from planting, caring to harvesting.
Select a Location
Dandelions can grow just anywhere. But choosing an area with the availability of full sun will be good for growing dandelions. Just ensure that the selected spot has good drainage system.
Prepare the Soil
Soil type really doesn’t matter for growing dandelions. The plants can be grown in almost all types of soil.
Actually, the dandelion plants are incredibly resilient and tolerant of poor conditions.
But you will need to prepare the soil by adding adequate amount of organic materials (such as well-rotted and aged manure or homemade compost) into it if you want to harvest the roots.
Dandelion plants are grown from seeds. The seeds should be easily available in your area.
Best Time for Growing Dandelions
Dandelion seeds can be sown outdoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. The seeds sprout in soil as low as 10° C, but they germinate faster when the soil temperature reach to about 25° C.
You can sow the seeds directly into the soil or in rows. But sowing the seeds in rows will make the caring process much easier.
Whichever method you choose, sow the seeds to about 1-1/2 inches apart and thin later.
Generally, the seeds should appear above the soil within 2 weeks after they were sown. Thin the seedlings to about 6-8 inches once they have sprouted above the soil.
Dandelion plants don’t require much care and they grow rapidly. No additional fertilization required.
Although you can fertilize the soil by applying liquid fertilizer once the plants are about 4-6 inches tall.
Regular watering will ensure better growth of the plants. So you can water the plants throughout the growing season when the top of the soil dries slightly.
Pests and Diseases
Dandelion plants are virtually free from pests and diseases. Only one thing to watch out for if you are planning on harvesting the greens, is to blanch the greens so that they don’t become bitter.
Dandelions can be harvested either as a ‘head’ by removing the entire plant when mature or harvest as as a leaf vegetable.
If you want to harvest the flowers, then harvest the flowers when they open fully but before they go to seed and turn white.
These are the common ways for growing dandelions in home garden. Hope you have enjoyed this guide. Good luck!