At a recent virtual Grantham Garden Club event, Cat Buxton spoke about the value of dandelions. Not only are they important pollinators, but they help enrich the soil. They have a wonderfully deep tap root which brings nutrients to the surface. According to Harvest to Table, a dandelion's taperoot is commonly 6 to 18 inches deep but can penetrate to a depth of 10 feet. Cat recommends snipping off the stems and flowers rather than digging up the roots. Soil thrives with little disturbance and diversity above and below the ground. So don’t kill your dandelions. Cut off the stems and flowers and enjoy some dandelion greens in your salad or recipes. The leaves are packed with vitamin A and K and calcium. They make nice wine too.
After the dandelion petals have gone, there is an intricate geodesic dome made up of wings each connected to a single seed. As children (and maybe recently) we have all picked up fluffy dandelion and blew off the winged seeds just as the ever-wise Mother Nature planned. The simple dandelion brings health, beauty and fun into our lives.
I am reminded by something that President Abraham Lincoln said. “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.” Next time you see a dandelion, look a little closer and get to know it better.