Have you ever noticed those tiny yellow flowers that grow on your lawn? You might have been wondering what they are. In this article, we are going to have a look at the tiny yellow flowers that you may find on your lawn, whether or not they are edible, whether they are easy to grow and how to get rid of them if you do not want them there anymore.
What are the Tiny Yellow Flowers on My Lawn?
There are a few different yellow flowers that are common in lawns and other grass areas. The first and most obvious are Dandelions, but you may also find Meadow Buttercups and Black Medick. Dandelions are most common in lawns, but you may find them on trails as well. Buttercups and Black Medic are also found commonly on the trail or other grassy areas.
What Does Black Medick Look Like?
“Black Medick” is a common name for Medicago Lupulina and is in the genus Trifolium. It is one of those flowers that you need to get up close to see because they are tiny.
The leaves of Black Medick are stalked, with smooth edges and near rounded lanceolate shape. The greenish-brown flowers bloom from July – September, each one on the end of its own stalks bursting with soft-hued petals. Black Medick is a little bit like dandelions; there are many different varieties with white, yellow, or red blooms on long stems. The plant grows tall and has leaves similar to alfalfa plants.
Is Black Medick Easy to Get Rid Of?
Yes, Black Medick is quite easy to get rid of. The best ways to get rid of it are:
Tilling the Surface
- Engaging in periodic tilling or turning of the soil’s top layer can hinder the progress of black medick, making it challenging for the plant to firmly establish its roots and spread.
Use of Garden Hoes
- Implementing consistent hoeing techniques can be instrumental in uprooting the black medick plant, especially before it has a chance to seed. The plant’s distinctive thin and wiry taproot demands careful attention during removal.
Note: It’s crucial to extract the entire plant, focusing on the root system, to ensure it doesn’t make a comeback.
Lawn Mowing Strategy
- Black medick has an inherent ability to withstand regular mowing. However, its growth is stunted when faced with taller grass varieties.
- By allowing your lawn grass to achieve a slightly greater height, you can create an environment where black medick finds it challenging to thrive and spread. This natural competition serves as an ecological control method.
Note: Obviously, herbicides can be used but these will just destroy other plants nearby so are rarely a good option, particularly on lawns.
What do Dandelions Look Like?
Dandelions are a type of perennial plant which produce flower head composed of yellow or white ray florets.
Dandelion plants grow in a rosette resembling an artichoke. The leaves themselves closely resemble those from its cousin, the daisy family (Asteraceae). According to folklore, it is said that the name “dandelion” comes from Satan’s teeth. However, this seems unlikely as there is no mention in any known text of the Middle Ages. The French translation of “dent de lion” is the tooth or nail of a lion, and it is possible that this folk name came about due to its shape.
Are Dandelions Easy to Get Rid Of?
Dandelions can be quite difficult to get rid of but you can reduce their presence in your garden or lawn with a little work.
- Before any treatment, cut off the dandelion’s flowering heads. This step is crucial as it prevents the plant from producing seeds, which can lead to further infestation.
- After removing the flowering heads, wait for the dandelion leaves to regrow.
- Approximately 14 days after cutting back, apply a lawn-specific weedkiller to the regrown leaves. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
Autumn Inspection and Treatment
- In the fall, inspect your lawn for the presence of dandelion basal rosettes (the circular arrangement of leaves at the base of the plant).
- If you spot any, treat them with the weedkiller to prevent growth in the following spring.
Note: Any grass clippings treated with chemicals should be disposed of and not added to your compost heap. This is to prevent any residual weedkiller from contaminating the compost.
Natural Treatment with Horticultural Vinegar
White horticultural vinegar is a potent natural herbicide due to its high acetic acid content.
- To use, spray the vinegar directly onto the dandelion leaves, ensuring you also target the area around the roots. This method can be especially effective on sunny days, as the sun accelerates the vinegar’s weed-killing properties.
Note: Horticultural vinegar can harm other plants, so be precise when spraying to avoid damaging desirable plants nearby.
What do Buttercups Look Like?
Buttercups are small, yellow flowers that grow in a cluster, sometimes with one or more leaves.
The flowers bloom around March and die back before they can create seeds. The genus name is “Ranunculus”, and they are easy to recognize because it is the only flower in its family that has five distinct petals when most have four or six. This flower is said to stand for peace and calm because when you are near this plant, you will feel at ease! It also symbolizes hope so even if everything seems to be going downhill you should keep your head up because tomorrow will be another day. But I think the most powerful meaning of this genera is optimism.
Are Buttercups Easy to Get Rid Of?
Buttercups can be quite difficult to get rid of but it can be done.
- Digging: Uprooting buttercups by digging can be an effective method, especially for smaller infestations. Ensure you remove the entire root system to prevent regrowth.
- Hoeing: Regular hoeing can disrupt the growth of buttercups and prevent them from establishing.
- Black Plastic Mulch: A non-chemical approach involves smothering buttercups using black plastic mulch. Spread the sheet over the infested area and secure it in place. The sheet should remain throughout the summer, depriving the buttercups of sunlight and effectively killing them.
Note: This will also entirely kill off your lawn too so it is a little extreme!
- Healthy Grass Growth: Buttercups will typically set seed in late autumn. By maintaining your mowing schedule and keeping robust and healthy grass in your lawn during the summer, you can naturally suppress the growth of buttercups the following year.
So, as you can see, in modern times the tiny yellow flowers in your lawn are often considered to be weeds although historically they all served a purpose. The best way to get rid of them although it involves more work is to hand-pull them to get rid of the roots. Once you have done that, it should be much easier and more effective to eradicate them from your lawn for good! Although herbicides will work to get rid of these pesky plants, be warned that this method will likely kill your lawn too and then you are back to square one with an untidy, patchy lawn.
Garden Doctor Tips
“A good mowing schedule will help keep the lawn clear of pesky weeds and stop the flowers popping up and then producing seeds!”
“The best weed control for all of the above is to pull them up by hand – the hard work will be worth it in the end and keep your lawn fresh and green!”
“If you have pets like dogs and cats, you will want to make sure that your garden is clear of buttercups – they may get an upset tummy if they eat them!”
“Although many people consider the above flowers to be weeds, we don’t, we actually like a little colour in our garden, even if it is on the lawn occasionally!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Dandelions poisonous to dogs?
Dandelions are not poisonous to dogs, but it has been known to cause gastrointestinal upset if they ingest too many dandelions at once or over an extended period of time.
It is not likely to be fatal, but there are some cases of Dandelion poisoning reported in dogs. Reports include dry coughs, difficulty breathing, skin irritation and itching, and increased urination and thirst.
Symptoms usually subside on their own within two weeks without treatment after ingestion has stopped – though if symptoms occur for more than two weeks then veterinary attention should be sought.
Are Dandelion weeds poisonous to cats?
Dandelions are not poisonous to cats, however, if eaten in large quantities, they can cause mild stomach upset. Dandelions only pose a potential danger to cats when their leaves first emerge in early spring as they may produce a powerful laxative effect. Dandelions are most often used as a natural source of horticultural colour and food for humans and pets alike.
Are Buttercups poisonous to Cats and dogs?
Buttercups are poisonous plants that typically cause gastrointestinal irritation in cats and dogs, but if ingested in large doses they could be fatal.
Buttercup leaves, flowers, roots, and seeds can all contain rinobyne glycosides that cause photosensitization in cats and dogs leading to vomiting, diarrhoea, difficulty breathing due (especially for cats) with throat spasms or gagging from fluids in the mouth. Localized intense irritation may also occur around any contact with buttercups. This toxicity is not inhibited by cooking or freezing! The poison gets worse as exposure time increases.
Does Black Medick fix nitrogen?
Nitrogen fixers are plants that capture atmospheric nitrogen and convert it into ammonium ions, nitrate ions, or ammonia gas. Black medick is such a plant; its common name comes from the dark purple colour of its leaves caused by anthocyanin synthesis in response to nitrogen fixation. The scientific name Medicago Lupulina refers to the resemblance of hops (Humulus lupulus) which have a similar head shape when growing in dense clumps on long vines.
Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.