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How to Remove All of a Dandelion Tap Root

By Kathryn Hatter ; Updated September 21, 2017

Gardeners who have problems with dandelions may despair when these yellow fuzzy blossoms dot their landscapes. While herbicides can be effective for removing dandelions, some gardeners prefer not to use chemicals on their lawns. Instead, you can remove dandelions by digging them up from your lawn. If you decide to dig up dandelions, you must remove all of a dandelion taproot from the soil, because the dandelion can regenerate if even a small portion of the long taproot remains in the soil.

Position the weeding fork several inches away from the crown of the dandelion and begin pushing it straight down into the soil.

Push the weeding fork down at least 4 to 5 inches and pull the weeding fork back out again.

Reposition the weeding fork several inches away from the first spot and push it down into the soil again. The goal is to loosen the taproot from the soil so you can gently pull the entire taproot up from the soil without breaking it into pieces.

Continue working the weeding fork around the dandelion plant and gently tugging at the taproot until the root is so loose that you can pull it out of the soil in one piece.

Remove the dandelion plant (with the entire taproot) from the soil and look at the taproot to see if it is intact. If the root is intact, throw the dandelion plant into the bucket and continue digging up other dandelions. If the taproot did not come out of the soil intact, dig further down into the soil to find the remaining root still lodged in the soil. Continue digging until you remove it entirely.

With your hands, smooth the soil over the area where the dandelion grew, replacing the soil you displaced while digging.


Things You Will Need

  • Long weeding fork
  • Bucket


  • Wait to dig dandelions until after a soaking rain for best results. The wet soil will release the dandelion taproots more easily. If you do not wish to wait for rain, saturate the soil with water from a hose or watering can instead.

About the Author


Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.