Originally published at UAEX-Miller County Facebook Page
Spurweed, aka sticker weed lawn burweed, stickers in my yard, or even sand bur (which is altogether a different devil of a plant and still equally as unwanted)!!! I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately on this little problem plant. Well, if you’re having the same issues, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
Bad news first. At this point (meaning May) there’s not much you can do about them.
You can fertilize your grass to get it high enough to buffer the seeds (stickers), so you and the dogs can walk – but that’s about it.
Good news: It should be dying REAL soon.
The spurweed is a winter annual weed that germinates in the fall, producing a ground-hugging plant with parsley-like leaves. It grows in the fall and winter, blooms with tiny white flowers in late winter to early spring, then sets the seed which is the problematic sticker.
This fall, either use a pre-emergent herbicide, or spray with a post-emergent herbicide with 2,4-D in it between December and February to kill the weeds before they set more seeds next spring. There are numerous formulations of two and three way mixes of 2,4-D, dicamba and MCPP. Make sure you read the label before purchasing that they are safe for your particular southern grass. For instance, Bermuda tends to be more herbicide tolerant than St. Augustine or Centipede. A metsulfuron product will work for your more sensitive grasses such as centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia but keep in mind that metsulfuron can be damaging to oaks, pecans, other trees and shrubs so make sure to not spray a metsulfuron product on roots or under driplines of sensitive plants.
In summary: you can use a pre-emergent herbicide in mid October to mid November or you can wait for the weeds to germinate and then easily kill them with a broad leaf herbicide such as 2, 4-D somewhere in the time frame of December to February. THE KEY IS TO MAKE THE APPLICATION EARLY ENOUGH IN THE WINTER SEASON TO PREVENT SEED SET! If you can do this, you will greatly reduce the population for next year, but if allowed to go unchecked, you will have more and more stickers each year!!!
Contact your local extension agent for more information.