How to Grow Dandelions from Seed
It may not have crossed your mind to begin growing dandelions since they grow so profusely in the wild. In fact, you might have a lot of ill feelings towards them as they pop up in your lawn. Dandelions have gotten a bad reputation they truly don’t deserve.
Dandelions are abundant growers, that’s for sure, however, they are also a highly nutritious food source. The greens are high in calcium, iron, vitamin C, and potassium as well as being low in calories. Dandelion leaves, flowers, and roots can all be eaten. They’re good for you, they’re good for your soil with their long taproots, and pollinators love them. The key to growing dandelions is to make sure they don’t go to seed so they don’t spread. Also, it is better to grow your own dandelions than to harvest from lawns or places where they may be treated with pesticides or other chemicals.
Dandelion leaves and flowers can be used in salads, dried to make teas, or cooked in dishes in place of or in combination with other bitter greens. The roots can be roasted, ground and used as a coffee substitute.
How To Grow Dandelions
Step One – Plant Seeds
Dandelion seeds can be started indoors or outdoors. They are perennial so will grow year after year wherever you plant them.
Outdoors: Plant the seeds after the last hard frost. Only plant what you anticipate needing since you will need to keep careful control over the flowers once they grow. The ideal soil temperature is 10-25 C.
Surface sow by scattering the seed and covering them very lightly with soil. Water the soil well afterward. Do not bury the seeds as they need light to begin germination. In 7-21 days, they will germinate. Thin the seedlings to 6” apart.
Indoors: Start seeds 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Use a good potting soil mix and pots that provide at least 6” of soil. Seeds should be spaced at least 1 ½ inches apart to provide adequate growing room. Water soil well before planting the seeds and only lightly cover the seeds with soil. Place pots in well-lit, warm, location. Once they are 3-4 inches tall and the soil temperature outside is warm enough, they can be transplanted to the garden if desired.
Step 2 – Care For Your Plants
Dandelions need very little attention which makes them an ideal garden plant. They should be watered regularly, however, they are very tolerant of poor conditions and imperfect soil. In 56-105 days, they will flower.
The only problem you may encounter growing dandelions is bunnies. They love a good dandelion crop!
Step 3 – Harvest
Dandelion greens are best picked young when they are not as bitter. They can be picked throughout the growing season. To reduce the bitterness of the mature dandelion leaves, cover the plants with a dark, opaque cloth a few days before you harvest. This blanches some of the bitterness out. Dandelion flowers are best picked when they are bright yellow and young. Remove the stem and use them fresh. Dandelion roots can be harvested anytime.
Make sure you have harvested or removed any dandelion plants before they go to seed!
Try Our Dandelion Varieties
Interested in growing dandelion at home? You can purchase our dandelion seeds here.
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