Digging Dandelions

I have a large lawn.

I don’t need it to be perfect, but I do try to keep the lawn free of dandelions. The problem with dandelions is that although they’re pretty from a distance, their leaves spread out and kill grass. Eventually you have lumpy, dull greens and bare patches of dirt instead of lawn.

I don’t use chemicals to control the weeds. I know someone who did, and all of the fish in his pond died. Other things, important things, like bugs and microbes, die, too. Besides, even though I don’t want yellow dandelions in my lawn, I do want these pretty little flowers.

So, I dig up the dandelions, one by one.

If I do about four minutes a day of digging, I can keep the dandelions under control. It’s a tedious chore and it makes my back ache. But, I do get immediate gratification because I have a cheering section.

The chickens eagerly scarf up the dandelions. Dark, leafy greens are essential to a flock’s health, and what with how high feed prices have gone up, I feel quite frugal giving them this treat.

Candy eats the flowers and the greens. They are also very good for her digestion and are cooling in hot weather.

But most of the dandelions go to the goats.

They insist.

With their encouragement I’ll be keeping the lawn dandelion-free this summer.


  1. Mr girls love dandelions, so I confess, we don’t dig them up, we simply harvest the leaves and flowers from time to time!

  2. On dandelion digging…If only the chore weren’t so back breaking, it would be a joy. It’s worth it to see how much your pets delight in this special treat. They are lucky, indeed to be living under your care. :)

  3. Now if you could just train the goats to dig the dandelions and then share them with the hens and rabbit …. LOL :)

  4. Dandelion wine anyone? My gramps use to make it.

    Very contents looks on Candy’s and boy’s faces as they munch their greens.

  5. What a hoot…er…bleet. Put a smile on my face this morning.

  6. Great photos. Is Caper the more ‘vocal’ of the boys? Seems like when I catch the closing up for the evening time, Caper always has something to say!

  7. We to despise harsh chemicals in our yard, at little over an acre you can probably imagine how many dandelions we have! But if we removed them the way you do, our backs would probably need intensive care. We have a tool we call the “weed popper” and you can use it while standing up! They’re a bit tricky to find, but if you look in enough hardware/yard tool stores I’m sure you could find one. There’s also a similar tool called the “Weed hound” but we’ve never used it. Anyways, I found a link online that has a picture of the “weed popper” tool. Hope I’ve helped :-)


  8. I make dandelion wine using my Mom’s recipe and eat the greens like my Gram taught me. The wine is never the same from year to year, some years as strong as Vodka and others mellow and sweet like a good desert wine.

    • I would like to ask how you prepare your dandlion greens. Hot bacon dressing maybe?

  9. Growing up we had a dandelion digger like the one you were using but it was on a pole like a shovel (albeit smaller in diameter). I’m sure my parents got it at just a hardware store like ACE. I was supposed to be the dandelion digger…needless to say, our yard had a lot of dandelions in it!

  10. Our girls love thier “Toss Salad” supliment everyday….prep time about 5 minutes and feeds 7 spoiled chickens…they do the tossing and the shreading.

  11. I shall enjoy watching you do that, while Candy and I sip gin in your lawn chairs.

    I let the luscious ones grow for Tortoise. I may not need them this year (sniff)

  12. What a treat for all, especially the goats. Caper is so vocal. I see him with his mouth open way more than Pip. Silly goat.

  13. The little blue flowers, one of my spring favorites since I was a child, are Bluets, Houstonia caerulea.

    My husband watches for the first dandelion of the year. This year I believe he saw one at the end of February, here in Western Mass.

  14. One time I came home and found my neighbour hiding behind the shrubbery. Apparently he was spraying herbicide on MY lawn as he hates dandelions on his lawn. He didn’t want us having dandelions that would spread seeds to his lawn. We had a bit of a row over that,lol.

  15. Now that spring and heat are in MA, Candy, my ultimate favorite animal, has not seemed to not be in sight. Even early in the morning, she seems to have disappeared, and, later in the day, her hutch is heavy in shade limiting visibility. Also, in recent weeks I have noticed that hens, especially a white one, are enjoying her hutch. Have they sensed her dottage, and how does Candy react to the encroaching hens? Having long begun work each day by greeting my favorite bunny, I miss her terribly, so I hope she is doing well.

    • Candy’s hutch seems darker because we put the shad tarp over it for the summer. That helps her stay comfy. But you’re right- she’s accepting the company of Betsy and Twinkydink. All are old and peaceful when resting in the hutch. Watch candy early in the am. She’s still active then!

  16. I nominated you for a Very Inspirational Blogging award (see my post INSPIRING).

  17. I just did a dandelion cleansing last weekend. My eight girls decimated the results quite happily!

  18. I cant wait to have my chickens to give dandelions to. Going off subject, we have friends to dinner tonight and I made Kieth Floyds honey and whiskey ice cream for dessert which uses egg yolks. I then thought that gave me the perfect opportunity to make your walnut and chocolate cookies to use the egg whites. They are really good and even better they go well with the ice cream so I will serve them together instead the usual wafer biscuit. I was pleased to find two things that work together to use all of the egg. Thank you for the recipe.

  19. I was thinking of spraying our dandelions with full strength distilled vinegar, but your idea is a better option. I am hoping to employ my 3 young “chicken wranglers” to help me:)