My friend and I are completing an ecology study as to why dandelions grow at all. We were wondering if anybody knows the conditions that they prefer? I wold be very grateful if somebody could reply with the answer, thankyou
They prefer growing where ever you dont want them! They will spread and grow and become so very happy the more you try to rid your yard of these! The more you complain, the healthier the plant. Becky
They thrive in well drained soil that is not rich in nitrogen.
They also grow in compacted soil that is not well-draining. Dandelions are not fussy and will grow just about anywhere, so they are not very useful as "indicator" weeds. They are opportunists that just need a little bare dirt. They create more bare dirt by spreading their large shady leaves close to the soil, to shade out any competition.
There are many other weeds that are better indicators of soil and growing conditions.
Here is a link that might be useful: Using Weeds as Indicators of Environmental Conditions
I'm going to start a new tradition with my children. Dandelions are a tap root and grow deep down soaking up rich nutrients. They are GREAT for the compost pile. Send your kids out as if it were an Easter Egg hunt. The more dandelions the pick, the better off your compost pile will be. Not to mention, your kids are going to have a blast.
Dandelions grow in my fast draining and deeply boggy soil. One bed is greatly amended and the other is not amended, right against the house and limey soil. One is sunny and one gets sun about two or three hours out of the day. So every condition, every way.
Hope this helps!