Why are my Dandelion roots so whimpy?

taniartist1 Posts: 2 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Growing Medicinals

So I have a lovely vegetable garden in raised beds and this winter I let the Dandelions do their thing in the ground and in the beds. I’ve been researching wild crafting and herbalism so thought...I’m ready to dry my own Dandelion Roots for tea! But the lovely giant plants had the tiniest, hairy little roots! Did I let them go to long? Any advice for me on the ones still growing?


  • csinclair461
    csinclair461 Posts: 159 ✭✭✭

    I have had the same problem with radishes, carrots, and sweet potatoes. From what I have read, the soil for roots needs a ph of 6-6.5, and extra phosphorus (from bone meal, wood ash,or rock phosphate). Will be watching for more input here, I haven’t successfully grown root crops in my clay rich yard yet. The dandilions that grow on their own here give me maybe pinky finger sized roots at best.

  • tomandcara
    tomandcara Posts: 712 ✭✭✭✭

    @taniartist1 How old are your dandelion plants with the wimpy roots? The older the plant are the bigger their roots will be.

  • chimboodle04
    chimboodle04 Posts: 286 ✭✭✭

    I agree with @tomandcara - dandelions are perennials so they older they are the more mature the roots will become. I also wonder if the richness of your soil was also inhibiting root development. Dandelions are used to thriving in less than ideal conditions, and I wonder if this prompts them to grow good strong roots that have to dig deep for nutrients, etc... Giving them fertile soil to start with may inhibit this since everything they need is right there, so to speak... Again, just hypothesizing - good to think about though since I too will be planting dandelions soon to help supplement our rabbits food.

  • Karin
    Karin Posts: 272 ✭✭✭

    yes, same as @chimboodle04 you have to harvest when 2 years old or more to get decent roots.

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @taniartist1 if you’re a coffee drinker try roasting the roots, and then grinding them. Brew them up like coffee....this past summer was the first time I tried them and it was fabulous!

  • taniartist1
    taniartist1 Posts: 2 ✭✭✭

    They are probably going on a few months now...some were about 1-2ft! I thought exactly this that they would have great roots but not at all.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,641 admin

    @maimover This is a nice blend for the roasted root "coffee". Dandelion Root, Chicory Root & Burdock Root (all roasted) brewed together. Very good for gallbladder health.

  • nksunshine27
    nksunshine27 Posts: 343 ✭✭✭

    I agree with @chimboodle04 they are a weed if you give them great soil they dont have to work as hard. kinda like having to much nitrogen in the soil makes tomatoes grow lots of leaves but few tomatoes same with peppers. the herbalist school i'm going through talks about this. its like yellow dock if you dig it up where it gets lots of water its roots are white not yellow and they arent as potentate.

  • soeasytocraft
    soeasytocraft Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    I'm wondering how to get rid of the darn things! Far more then we can use! Thought the potatoes would be chocked out but appears they are good companion plants. Big strong roots makes it hard to weed out!

  • maimover
    maimover Posts: 359 ✭✭✭

    @torey that sounds really, really good. Last year I got what I call my “dandelion” digger; about 3 inches wide and works fabulous for getting those babies out of the ground. But am gonna try the blend. Thank you...