The best way to get rid of dandelions

Dandelions are everywhere now that warmer weather has returned. These weeds can turn your spring, summer and fall into one big headache if you don't start treating the problem now. Because of dandelion's many seeds that can be carried by the wind and dispersed miles away, they can sneak up on you.

Here's what you need to know to keep your landscape dandelion-free:

Use the right herbicide for the job

Got dandelions in your grass? Look for a broadleaf herbicide, which will only kill broadleaf weeds. That means the healthy lawn around those pesky weeds won't be in danger.

Or, do you have dandelions in flower beds or walkways? Choose a non-selective herbicide, like Roundup. Consider this "spot removal" for your yard.

You'll have the best luck with your herbicide if the dandelion has not yet developed flowers. After that, they're more stubborn to get rid of.

The most effective technique

Hand-digging is the best way to ensure you're killing those dandelions. When you pull the weeds, be sure you've removed the entire taproot of the plant. These can run very deep, which can make it even harder to get every dandelion out. Again, it's best to do this before the dandelions have flowered and spread farther across your yard.

You'll need to take a pass through your yard every few weeks to hand dig any new weeds you see growing.

Prevent seeds from germinating

Keep this tip in mind for next year. In the late winter, you might choose to use a pre-emergent chemical. This is a control method for lawns or flower beds that must be applied before the spring, but can be very effective in preventing any seeds that land in your yard to germinate.