This week’s gardening tip deals with dandelions (and how to remove them without harming the bees!). BONUS: you’ll get some outdoor exercise at the same time!
We all enjoy and strive hard to have color in our gardens. We don’t all enjoy that splash of yellow in the lawn – the dandelion. It has recently been said that we should leave the dandelions for the bees, but dandelions lack the specific amino acids that bees need for survival. This time of year bees feed off wild cherries, serviceberry and the like to get the food they need. You may see a bee on a dandelion. That bee is snacking on the dandelion, not surviving on the dandelion so it is okay to remove it!
I have found a good way to eliminate dandelions (without chemicals) while getting a bit of exercise at the same time. I remove dandelion flowers as they appear, along with the two or three flower buds that appear with them. This forces the plant to put all of its energy into producing more buds and flowers. The plant gradually gets smaller and smaller over a few weeks until it eventually disappears.