What's popping up in your gardens!!!

May 6, 2011

Dandelion. The new herb?

Ok, ok, I know what you're thinking. Dandelion? How could I possibly use a weed that's taking over my front yard? Well the time has come to embrace the dandelion. Believe me, it's much easier than constantly fighting it, that's what's coming up in my gardens so far! :) Eventually you'll find yourself touting the benefits of dandelion to all of your friends. Every part of the plant can be used, and clearly it's easy to grow. All you have to do is get past what we've always been led to believe. Dandelion is a useful plant.

If you're willing to try one new thing this year, make it dandelion. Dandelions prefer to grow in full sun but will grow in just about any lighting situation as you all may know. Dandelions can be added to your herb garden or they can be grown in a block or row in your vegetable garden. The thick-leaves produce a tender, thicker leaf with less bitterness. 'Verte de Montgomery' is very similar to the wild varieties in your yard, which are ripe for the picking and are just as tasty.

Dandelion leaves are high in vitamins A and C and contain high levels of potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Use the flowers fresh, making sure to remove all the stem. To prevent the flowers from closing after cutting, place them into a bowl of cold water and take them out just before eating or serving them.

(Do not eat Dandelions that have been in contact with lawn fertilizers, herbicides or any other synthetic chemical contaminants!)

The roots can be harvested at any time. Chop the dried roots into 2'' (5 cm) pieces and roast at 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) for about 10 minutes. Grind the roasted pieces, adding a quarter teaspoon to your coffee or hot chocolate for a new flavour. The leaves are delicious in salads and are a fine substitute for spinach. The flavour of bacon is the perfect complement to dandelion leaves; they also work beautifully in fresh vegetable dishes. Many soups and casseroles benefit from the addition of dandelion leaves.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue;
But they don't get around
Like the dandelions do.
~ Slim Acres

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Interesting, love the poem at the end, how cute. Thanks Rosemary

  2. I LOVE DANDELIONS...Hubby does NOT !! I even make a pillow with a Dandelion on the front! The poem is too sweet!!

  3. I saw a TV program from Denmark. There were the growers of large dandelion field. They pointed out the importance of our people have in us bitter substances. Sweet, salty and acid eats the most, but the bitter .. Exciting to read what you wrote. Some things are new. Wish you a great weekend! Zinnia

  4. I had no idea they were all that. I saw them at the farmers market last week...who knew?

    Thanks for the well needed info.