Growing Dandelions from Seed

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You can grow this perennial herb, hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 in the garden in spring and summer, or year-round indoors.

Evenly spread 2 to 3 inches of compost over the bed, then dig it into the top 9 inches of the soil.

Grow dandelions in full sun — six hours or more per day — to get a strong, abundant crop.

Plant the seeds 1/4 inch deep and 2 to 3 inches apart in the spring as soon as the soil warms up to at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. [D]andelion seeds germinate in about two weeks.

Keep the soil moist during germination and through the growing season by watering when the top of the soil starts to feel dry.

Fertilize twice a month with general purpose granular fertilizer. Look for one that lists greens and vegetables on the label. Sprinkle the fertilizer on the soil between the dandelion greens but avoid getting it on the leaves. Use 3/4 cups for every 10 square feet of garden area.

Keep weeds down by gently pulling them by hand throughout the growing season.

You can start harvesting gourmet dandelion greens at 2 inches tall. At this stage they are technically micro-greens. Pick one to two leaves from each plant without dislodging the roots for a continued harvest. You can pick and eat dandelion greens at any stage, but they get progressively tough and bitter as the summer progresses.

After dandelions flower they produce puffy white seed heads that have the potential to scatter widely on the wind. This can cause an unpopular dandelion invasion. The best way to prevent this is to till the plants under or dig them up before they start to produce flowers.

With enough light, you can grow them year-round indoors. Select a 10-inch-diameter or larger pot filled with standard potting soil. Set the pot in a sunny window and use a grow light for dark winter days. Use a standard 125-watt grow light hung 6 inches above the seed tray. As the seeds germinate and start growing, raise the light to maintain the 6-inch space. Provide light for 14 hours each day.

Water when the soil feels dry under your fingers, and fertilize once a week with standard fertilizer. Use 1 1/2 tablespoons for a 10-inch-pot of dandelion greens.

Via eHow.

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About Heretic

I design video games for a living, write fiction, political theory and poetry for personal amusement, and train regularly in Western European 16th century swordwork. On frequent occasion I have been known to hunt for and explore abandoned graveyards, train tunnels and other interesting places wherever I may find them, but there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that I am preparing to set off a zombie apocalypse. Nothing that will stand up in court, at least. I use paranthesis with distressing frequency, have a deep passion for history, anthropology and sociological theory, and really, really, really hate mayonnaise. But I wash my hands after the writing. Promise.

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