Dandelion Season: Taraxacum officinale

(Question)

I can’t believe I’m asking about something that was part of my Mediterranean diet, when this plant was sought during family outings, but I will ask anyway.
What season does the dandelion begin to grow and end, since I want to control them as weeds? Also, does the temperature drop kill them off, since I noticed a recent report for Toronto showing an overnight drop to 1 degree? Will I be able to buy some time to search out the following? Is the strategy to get rid of them while they are visible, since they disappear with lawn mowing, it seems.
I can’t spend much time on my knees for health reasons, but I think I’ve found a simple tool which one of the hardware stores sells to get rid them.
One root I found in the backyard was 8 inches long, so the extraction is important, and the tool will be a treat to use, after using a hunting knife in the past on my knees, and from using a variety of standard tools over the years. Anything with moving parts isn’t trustworthy, even if there’s a guarantee, since returning items is just time lost in the garden weeding/watering/mulching/etc.

Isn’t the best tool a firm long one, for ergonomic and reliable use, rather than the ones with moving parts?
I’m eager to move on to bigger tasks, as the wet week ends , after the weekend, before my motivation lags.
Thank you

 

(Answer)

Thank you for your colorful questions,

It is apparent that you are torn between removing dandelions from your lawn, versus memories of collecting dandelion greens for salad. In the Toronto region, dandelions are in bloom right now (early May) and are very valuable in providing some of the season’s first, and richest source of food for our pollinator bees and insects. At the same time, yes, grass plants can be shouldered out of their home turf by unwelcome, robust, deep-rooted dandelion plants. Your instinct for removing these plants from your lawn is admirable, for manual removal is most effective — albeit labour intensive, but you seem to have all the tools! — and very effective in removing the tap roots. If you continue to remove the dandelion plants now, before their blossoms scatter their seed,  you will likely be able to move on to composting and pruning soon enough. Thank you for your inspiration.