So why do we never spray dandelions at our little farm? And why is it such a big deal to us to keep them blooming and thriving each spring?
For starters, we have always believed in a 100% organic approach to everything on our 3 acre homestead.
That includes not only in our vegetable and flower gardens, but our lawn as well.
And when it comes to that lawn, we have always embraced the beauty and bounty of an early crop of spring dandelions.
For more than just a few reasons.
3 Big Reasons To Never Spray Dandelions
Getting A Bad Rap
Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, dandelions became an enemy to those with highly manicured lawns. See: 6 Tips To A Great Lawn Without Chemicals
But it hasn’t always been that way.
In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that people actually planted and encouraged dandelions in their yard and flowerbeds.
They were not only sought after as a food and medicinal source, but as a way to attract bees and other insects to help pollinate crops as well.
And those reasons are still valid and extremely important today.
Here is a look at 3 of the biggest reasons why it’s important to never spray dandelions.
#1 Nature’s Vital Spring Food Source
First and foremost, dandelions are one of THE most important food sources in early spring for a whole host of creatures.
Our honeybees look to the dandelions in our lawn as one of their very first food sources.
As they emerge from their hives in early spring, they need to find high-quality food sources quickly. Especially after depleting their stored food after a long, bleak winter.
And the dandelion is a pretty incredible food source that fits the bill.
Each and every dandelion flower has up to 100 florets filled with sweet nectar and pollen.
And dandelions feed more than just honeybees.
Bumble bees, beetles, birds, butterflies and a host of other beneficial insects all look to the dandelion as a source of nourishment in early spring.
And when those dandelions are sprayed with chemicals, it can have serious and fatal consequences to their health and well-being.
The Edible Side Of Dandelions
Beyond feeding insects, birds and other wildlife, dandelions can be an amazing food source for us humans.
From the roots, to the stems, foliage and flowers – dandelions are an incredible, edible food source. In so many ways!
The roots can be turned into a delicious coffee/ tea like brew. The leaves and flowers can make for both a tasty and beautiful salad. Not to be lost in the shuffle, there is always the opportunity to make sweet dandelion wine as well.
And that is only the beginning. There are actually hundreds and hundreds of recipes and edible uses for dandelions. Product Link : The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook
#3 Keeping Lakes, Waterways and Water Sources Safe – Why To Never Spray Dandelions
If the first two reasons aren’t enough to never spray dandelions, consider this:
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, homeowners use nearly 10 times the amount of pesticides and fertilizers per acre than farmers do.
And where do all of those excess pesticides and fertilizers go when it rains? You guessed it, straight to the lakes, rivers and waterways.
And sadly, all of that cost and effort to not even grow food! It is simply to have what amounts to a large patch of green grass.
So here is to keeping our honeybees alive, keeping nature in balance – and celebrating the dandelion!
Happy Gardening. Jim and Mary
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