Gnat Bytes:

Extension News for South East Georgia

Ouch! What are these stickers in my yard?

Bur weed wl

The stickers you find on little weeds growing in your yard in April or May is typically from a plant commonly called lawn burweed a.k.a. spurweed, stickerweed, sanbur and sandspur. The weed germinates in the early fall months as temperatures cool and remains small or inconspicuous during the cold winter months. However, as temperatures warm in the early spring, or about the same time as spring sports activities, lawn burweed initiates a period of rapid growth and begins to form spine-tipped burs in the leaf axils. The sharp-tipped spiny burs of this weed can cause minor irritation to the skin. Lawn burweed attains an overall diameter of up to 6 inches and a height of about 3 to 4 inches.

Lawn burweed can be easily controlled during the winter months. December, January and February are ideal months to apply herbicides for the control of this weed. However, the weed can also be effectively controlled in March. Don’t wait until after bloom. By then the seeds or “burs” have formed and will be able to still inflict painful wounds.

Atrazine or combination products “two-way” 2,4-D, and dicamba and three-way mixtures of 2,4-D, 2,4-DP, MCPP and dicamba. will both offer good control. Atrazine will give both pre and post emergent control of burweed, which means that it will help keep the weed from coming up and if the weed is already up then it will take effect against it. The two-way and three-way mixtures are most effective against plants that have already geminated an are going.

Please be aware that all products are not equally safe for all turf grasses. Please read the label or contact your county agent for specific recommendations for your lawn.