Wet weather causing dandelion proliferation?
I seem to have many more dandelions in my lawn this year than in previous years. Could the wet weather that we have been experiencing be causing the proliferation?
— George Bendat, Gurnee
Gauging the extent of dandelion occurrence is quite subjective, and there is no hard data on the subject. When and where they are observed can affect perceptions of how many there are. Extended warmth, sunny days and plenty of moisture encourage dandelion growth, but their numbers are more importantly linked to growing conditions in the previous year. That is because dandelions are perennial weeds, which means they reappear from roots already in the ground. Controlling them is best done before they go to seed. The weather last growing season (in 2016) may be a factor in this year’s crop in your lawn.