There is a lot of advice on the internet about getting rid of dandelions and clover from a lawn: chemical herbicides, manual digging, organic weed remedies. I live in Denver, Colorado, USDA zone 5. I'm curious about the end-state of my strategy:

  1. The lawn is mature and has a mix of grasses, but mostly it's kentucky blue grass.
  2. I don't use any herbicides on the lawn.
  3. I don't try to manually remove the dandelions or clover by digging them out.
  4. I mow the lawn once a week at about 3 inches, the tallest setting on my mower, and mulch the cut grass back onto the lawn (I don't bag it).
  5. I aerate the soil and top-dress with a well-screened compost once a year.
  6. I water using a Rachio, which I love.

I've been managing this way for about 2 years now and am curious what the end state will be?

Aside from getting the periodic side-glance from neighbors who prefer a world without dandelions, what will happen? Will the lawn remain a mix of grasses, clover and dandelions or will one weed become more dominant? Are there any weeds that are so bad that if they appear I should work hard to remove them?

  • 2
    Some neighbors will hate you. May 8, 2021 at 15:18
  • I upvoted this because it's a funny answer. Some neighbors already hate me, probably! For what it's worth, I ended up smothering my lawn with mulch and replacing it with flowers. Now I have fewer dandelions than many neighbors :)
    – greggles
    Jul 26, 2021 at 22:32

2 Answers 2


Over time,your lawn will become largely a mix of dandelions and clover, because both will out compete the grass for nutrients and water. Since you don't use any chemical treatments, you could harvest the dandelion leaves and use them in salads or in cooking generally, they're a very useful source of healthy greens. Some varieties of clover can be eaten, but 'clover' is a catch all term for several types of clover like plant. To reduce the spread of dandelions, particularly in the surrounding area where you live, snap off the flowers when they appear to prevent seeding; the seeds are windblown and your neighbours will not appreciate having to regularly root out dandelions from their gardens.

  • We were out mining the driveway yesterday for dandelion leaves for making Jiaozi ( dumplings ). And I've seen people pulling dandelion leaves from my verge to takeaway. May 17, 2018 at 21:37
  • 1
    @GrahamChiu - is the verge a good place to take from, how close are passing cars?!
    – Bamboo
    May 17, 2018 at 21:44
  • 1
    It's a low traffic situation, suburban street. I have lichens growing on the nearby trees which suggests that the air quality is quite high. May 18, 2018 at 0:22
  • 1
    What I would really worry about are dogs ... yuck.
    – Stephie
    May 18, 2018 at 5:06
  • Clover fixes nitrogen, so if you have clover then you should have greener grass than you otherwise would. Mowing doesn't do much to keep it down, but personally I can live with it. May 18, 2018 at 20:57

dandelions and clover are harmless for lawns, if anything they're beneficial. Dandelions have big tap roots, which dig into compacted soils and bring nutrients to the surface. Clover is in the Pea (Fabaceae) family and is a nitrogen fixer In fact having these in your lawn is indicator your soil is compacted and nitrogen deficient.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.