The simplest way to kill dandelions is, of course, by uprooting them by hand. This, however, may not be feasible if you have an extensive area to clear. In this case, you might want to look at the many dandelion killers that are available in the market. It is advisable to choose one that is extremely effective in both dandelion removal and dandelion control, is environmentally friendly, and is non-toxic to both humans, pets and other garden plants. Depending on the type of dandelion killers selected and the area to be sprayed, it can take anywhere from a few days to few weeks to get rid of the weeds.
Apart from uprooting the dandelions before they flower and form seeds, some gardeners have found it effective to pour boiling hot water over the plants. The hot water will scorch the plants and they will die in a couple of days. Two other dandelion killers from the kitchen are vinegar and liquid soap. These two can be combined together or added to the boiling water and poured over the dandelions. This method of dandelion removal is best for clearing up a small area.
A large plastic sheet or large sheets of cardboard can also be effective as dandelion killers, particularly in the case of large areas covered with dandelions. The plastic sheets or the cardboard sheets are spread over the plants, blocking air and sunlight and thus preventing photosynthesis from taking place; the plants will soon die. This method is known as mulching, and, while it can take a some time to clear up the weeds, it can be pretty effective. Regular mulching and fertilizing of the soil can also prove to be useful in dandelion control. Dandelions prefer acidic soil and will not generally flourish in a soil that is regularly improved with compost and fertilizers.
It might also help to know that dandelions, when not clogging up an area in excess, can be quite useful plants. The plant root can be used to brew an herbal beverage, to prepare a herbal medicine to treat diabetes, and to produce latex for making rubber. The leaves of the plant, which are rich in minerals and vitamins, can be eaten as a leafy vegetable which tastes somewhat similar to spinach. Given the presence of minerals and vitamins, the uprooted plants are excellent for making nutrient-rich compost. Dandelions can also make a nutritious feed for chickens, goats and rabbits.