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They sometimes haunt gardeners, but for children, dandelions are considered to be beautiful flowers. Have you ever had the chance to see a field full of flowering dandelions? What a magnificent scene! They look like little pieces of sunshine swaying in the wind or a field of gold!
Dandelions can be found throughout the world. They are a perennial plant that flowers during springtime. Animals appreciate it, especially groundhogs, bees, and seed-eating birds. If a winter is long and cold and followed by a cloudy spring, the flowers will be slow to flower. If spring comes early, and is sunny, warm, and somewhat rainy, dandelions will flower early.
In spite of what you may think, dandelions are very useful. Because they are non-toxic, we can cook dandelions. Young leaves are often used in salads too. Dandelion flower buds can replace asparagus while dandelion roots can replace coffee. Dandelion flowers can even be used to make wine. Finally, dandelions have medicinal properties.
Ideas to explore dandelions with children:
If I haven't succeeded in convincing you to embrace the presence of dandelions, here are a few ways you can control them. Aerate the soil, add compost, correct the pH level, add calcium, avoid cutting the grass too short, maintain a thick lawn (over-seeding), manually pull dandelions and be sure to remove the roots, and water with scalding water. Honestly, I must admit that even I prefer seeing this beautiful flower grow on my neighbour's lawn than on my own.
Claudine RichardEarly childhood educator
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