I may have mentioned before, but I am relaxed about allowing dandelions in the garden. Lots of reasons – they accumulate minerals and leaves can be pulled off and used as a mulch, birds such as bullfinches love the seed heads and I think the flowers (when looked at objectively and without prejudice) are very pretty. Recently I have discovered another reason to be relaxed about them – they are easy to remove! Obviously they have a reputation for being the opposite – once they get to any size at all they take a lot of digging to remove and if a bit is left behind they sprout again.
When I pulled at a couple of dandelion plants today intending to just pull off a few leaves to keep the plants from getting too large, they came out of the ground whole. The same happened with a dock plant – another one reknowned for being very hard to shift. It seems that the texture of the soil in the bed has become soft and light – almost fluffy – over time. I don’t dig the veggie beds and I mulch them a lot. I guess that the copious mulching is promoting a soil that is alive with all kinds of creatures, who as they go about their daily lives are sifting my soil. A couple of new beds which have not been dug but have not been mulched yet do not have fluffy soil – yet.
I took a picture to show the plants pulled out with the roots intact.
Dandelion root can be used to make coffee. I have done this myself. Clean the root, dry it, grill or roast it until brown. The amount is down to taste. Try it. It is very close to coffee.