The most annoying thing with sticker weeds, also known as Soliva Pterosperma or burweed, is that they can take over your yard quickly, especially if they are growing in dry, sandy soil. If there is no proper control, they tend to spread their seeds throughout an area, making it unsightly.
Acting fast to eliminate pricker weeds is necessary because these plants are invasive and can extend to places where they are hard to remove.
Some homeowners try to control prickly grass by mowing it. While this may offer a better solution to eliminating them, you may unknowingly be spreading their seeds all over your lawn. Besides, cutting down the plants only gives a temporary fix.
4 ways to get rid of sticker weeds permanently
You need a permanent solution to ensure the sticker grass does not return again. The following are some methods you should try.
1. Use a Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Applying a pre-emergent herbicide can help to prevent sticker grass from growing. The chemicals work by stopping the formation of new root cells in infant weed plants.
An example of a product you can use is the Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer. Here is how to apply a pre-emergent herbicide in your garden to eliminate burweed.
- Pour the entire bag of the pre-emergent herbicide into a bucket and weigh it. The application rate should be 4lb per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
- Pour the granules into a spreader.
- Use the default manufacturer presets on your spreader to start applying the granules.
- Start by doing a trim pass around your yard.
- Finish the remaining areas in a grid pattern to ensure you get an even application of the herbicide.
The pre-emergent herbicide will prevent the seeds from the sticker weeds from germinating. But the granules only last for about three months.
Therefore, you will have to reapply for better results. Remember to refer to the product label for specific application directions.
2. Use a post-emergent herbicide
A post-emergent herbicide will kill the prickly weeds and ensure they do not grow back. Products such as Quali-Pro MSM Turf Herbicide will attack the plants after they have already matured.
The chemical formulation will prevent sticker grass from spreading new seeds and sprouting, especially in spring. Here is how to apply them:
- Put one ounce of post-emergent herbicide into a sprayer.
- Add one gallon of water.
- Mix the two contents well.
- Spray the solution on the weeds directly.
Note that some post-emergent herbicides, such as Quali-pro MSM Turf Herbicide, will only work for specific weeds listed on the label. That means the chemicals are simply sticker killers and will not harm your grass.
However, if it is a general herbicide, it will kill every plant that comes into contact with it.
3. Water your lawn regularly
Some sticker weeds do not spread on watered soil. If your lawn is thick and healthy, the plants will not get enough room to grow. The thickness of your yard will smother the seeds of the weeds.
It will also deny these unwanted plants the critical sunlight warmth that prevents their seeds from germinating.
Irrigate your yard early in the morning because this is the time when your grass is receptive to water and will utilize the moisture provided.
4. Uproot the sticker weeds by hand
Uprooting the sticker weeds is a practical method because it removes the roots of the plants. That prevents it from growing back again. However, the option is time-consuming and only applicable to smaller areas.
When pulling by hand, ensure to remove the entire taproot. If you cannot get rid of weeds with stickers by hand, use gardening tools such as a hoe.
Although mowing can help, you need to ensure that the seeds of the plants do not drop everywhere. The solution is to mow with a bag so that the sticker weeds can collect in the bag and stop spreading everywhere.
Also, keeping the yard short and well-trimmed destroys the plants and prevents its seeds from maturing and germinating.
Getting rid of burweed shouldn’t be difficult
So, what kills stickers in the grass? As a homeowner, use pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides to eliminate sticker weeds.
Also, consider keeping your yard thick and short because it will smother the seeds of the burweed. Alternatively, uproot the plants from the taproot to prevent them from growing back again.
IW’s Chief Editor and a lover of green spaces.