Dandelions are very difficult to battle without using chemicals if your lawn is covered with them. In previous years I have spend hours and hours pulling hundreds of weeds by hand. With each yank I hoped to get the entire root.
Let me tell you after years of experience this is a tough job. It is made even tougher when you wake up the next day to find a whole new legion standing at attention where you once thought you had pulled them all out.
Even cutting them down with a lawn mower is only a short term fix. Chopping them down does not keep them from growing so your lawn may look dandelion free from a distance, the underlying devastation continues. If you have a reel mover, the tall dandelions just don't get cut that easily either.
This year I gave up the one by one pulling technique. Although it makes me look like an environmental martyr, I realized with the state of my lawn, it is pointless. Also, if I wanted to use only a reel mower to cut my grass and not a gas, powered mower, I would have to get my lawn back into reasonable shape and then keep it that way. I can pull a few rogue dandelions.
So what is my attack plan this year. Let me tell you. Regular vinegar (5%) works well. I sprayed a bunch of dandelions and after a week they looked like they were not going to survive. However, the grass around the dandelions didn't look so hot either. I am using natural fertilizer and compost to feed the grass to grow back.
The corn gluten meal I spread in April, I think had little effect but I am not giving up on it as my lawn is in such bad shape. It still must be helping provide nutrients.
Another technique you may have to resort to to get your lawn back to a manageable state is to do a one time weed and feed. I know this goes against some people's stand on using chemicals, but if your lawn is infested with dandelions, this may be the only way. However, you have to swear that once the dandelions are gone, you nourish your lawn and then manage the dandelions by pulling them out, blasting them with vinegar and using corn gluten meal as a preemergent.
The last thing I do after I cut my grass with the reel mower is I do a pass with my rechargeable weed wacker and cut down any stray tall dandelions. I figure that keeping the stem low cannot be good for the survivability of the dandelions.
So my advice if you have a lawn infested with dandelions and you want to use your reel mower is get your lawn under control. Do a full court press to eliminate the dandelions using vinegar spray, weed wacking, conr gluten meal and perserverance. If you have to as a last resort, use the weed and feed correctly one time and carefully. Get the grass growing again and maintain that lawn free of the weeds.
I cut my grass today and my Great States reel mower cut it beautifully. It is not easy to push nor is it that hard either. I love the exercise and if I miss the tall stuff, I pull out the battery powered weed wacker. See the eNowShop.
One by one pulling is a hopeless cause. I took me three years to change my strategy and this one will be far more effective.