How to Grow Dandelion Plants
So, you really want to be a Dandelion grower, huh!?! C'mon get real!!
All kidding aside, Dandelions are in fact big business. Dandelion salads
are a hot item in many parts of Europe. Dandelions are a vegetable!?! That's
right they are! To your youngster, they are a beautiful flower to collect
and give to "mom". To a homeowner, dandelions are a weed, that persistently
invades the perfect lawn. But to a gardener, dandelions are truely a vegetable.
Naturalists and survivalists know this full well. Even scout troops will
occasionally serve up dandelions as part of survival skills training. Note,
most of the Boy Scouts turn their nose to dandelion. But, in all fairness,
they also turn their nose to any leafy vegetable.
Dandelions are a leaf crop. They are highly nutritious, high in vitamin A,
vitamin C, and iron, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. They are
perhaps one of the most nutritious vegetables you can eat..... or drink.
Speaking of drink, Dandelion tea or "coffee" is a beverage enjoyed by many.
In addition, the list of medicinal ails treated with Dandelions is rather
large and broad.
Did you know? Dandelion wine is a popular use for dandelions.The recipes
are largely similar, if not the same. Try your hand at
Some people really love their Dandelions. Dover, Ohio holds an annual Dandelion
festival, complete with a Dandelion Cookoff! There is a amazing number of
sites on the Internet for Dandelions, more so than many other vegetables.
And, the range of sites includes information on growing, recipes, humor and
As far as we know, there is only one variety of "Dandelions". If you
know of any, please email us!
Commercial seed is available, but difficult to find in the U.S.
You can literally harvest dandelions in a field, in your yard, or in the
garden. But, they grow best in your garden with a little care and attention.
Dandelions seeds can be sown outdoors four to six weeks before the last frost.
Plant dandelions in rows twelve inches apart. Thin seedlings to six to eight
inches apart. Dandelions don't mind being a little crowded.
Growing Dandelion Plants:
Dandelions take little care to grow. As you probably already know, they will
grow just about anywhere. But, like any other plant, they will grow best
in rich soil in a weeded garden, with sufficient moisture.
Like other greens, they will taste best, if grown quickly in cool weather,
with plenty of moisture and fertilizer.
Heat and insufficient moisture will cause the leaves to get bitter.
Blanched, inner dandelion leaves are the sweetest. To blanch dandelions,
tie up or band the leaves. The inner leaves will turn white and sweet. Outer
leaves are edible, but will get bitter later in the season, as hot and dry
Days to Maturity:
Approximately 85 to 95 days.
Every part of the Dandelion is edible.
Roots- Used as a vegetable or for making tea.
Crowns_ This is the whitish bulb like part of the plant just at ground level.
It is used in salads or as a vegetable, often in cooking recipes.
Leaves- Used in salads and as a cooked vegetable, usually with other vegetables.
Pick in the spring as they get bitter later in the year.
Flower buds- This is the part of the plant which is used to make Dandelion
wine. You guessed it...it takes a lot of flower buds to make a little wine!
A Dandelion a day, keeps the doctor away! Not only are Dandelions
nutritious, they have great medicinal value. It has been known to treat a
wide variety of ails from acne to heart conditions, liver ailments and night
vision blindness, and a wide variety in between.
Did you know? Dandelions are higher n Potassium than Bananas.
Insects and Pests:
A wide variety of insects including aphids, bees and beetles will savor the
nectar of the flower, and suck juices from the stem and leaves. Major
infestations causing significant harm to the crop is unlikely.
We are not aware of any major disease problems with Dandelion crops.
Amongst the hardiest of perennials, Dandelions grow just about everywhere,
regardless of soil conditions. They withstand frost and freezes, and tolerate
crowding. As homeowners know, uncontrolled dandelions win out in the battle
for space over most other plants.
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