I thought I’d post a quick note on a nasty weed.This recent warm weather has made many lawn weeds pop. Among them is spurweed (Soliva sessilis)) otherwise known as lawn burweed, stickerweed and sandbur. It is a low growing fine textured plant that eventually develops sharp spines that stick in anything that contacts them.
As of a week ago I had no spurweed in my lawn, but it has now reared its ugly head. This is a tough one to control. I have often said that once a person sees spurweed it is too late to stop it. That’s a little harsh, because if plants are treated before they go to seed, they can be hit with a post-emergent herbicide followed by a pre-emergent one in the fall. That can help immensely. Repeat treatments will still be necessary, but the earlier this weed is attacked the better long-term success will be.
Primary treatment with a mixture of 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP is a good first step. Follow that up with another dose in a few weeks if new plants appear. In the fall, you will probably want to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like isoxaben in October. This will prevent new plants from germinating over the winter.
The biggest problem with spurweed is that seeds can remain dormant in the soil for a long time. That means control is a multi-year process. I’m sorry to be the skunk at the picnic, but this little plant can be a long-term adversary. Stay vigilant!