Do you have a sticker weed problem on your yard or lawn? Having trouble getting rid of them? You’re in the right place.
Stickers are amongst the worst types of lawn weeds due to their invasive nature. They also annoyingly stick on your clothes, and will easily find their way into your house.
Worse, they come with spiky seeds that are sharp enough to injure you or your pets. They can even puncture bicycle tires.
So, how can you get rid of these annoying weeds? Well, there are several ways –the top among them being using herbicides. In fact, there are several types of herbicides that you can deploy against stickers.
Alternatively, you can manually weed them out with hands or gardening tools. Other solutions include controlling them using organic/natural weed control mechanisms.
This guide contains all the information you need on how to identify and deal with stickers.
What are sticker weeds?
Before even looking at how to get rid of sticker weeds, let’s first look at what they are.
Stickers refer to a group of weed plants that have sharp pines/burs that stick easily on clothes. They grow on different types of soil, but favor moist soils with turf or lawn grass. They are annual weeds, which grow in cool weather, before developing fully when it is hot.
There are different types of sticker weeds, which are known by different names. They include:
- Grass stickers
- Lawn burs
- Field sandbur sticker plants
- Bur clover plants
- Yellow vine
Some of these sticker weeds names essentially refer to the same or plants that are closely related to each other.
How to identify sticker weeds?
Even after learning the different types of sticker weeds and their names, identifying them can still be an issue. However, there is a simpler sticker weed identification trick – learning their physical characteristics.
One of the top distinguishing features of sticker weeds is their leaves. They have bright green, lobed leaves, similar to those of parsley. They are also arranged opposite to each other on the stem and are hairy.
Secondly, sticker weeds are usually low-growing plants, with branching-out growth habit once the plant becomes established. They also produce small and inconspicuous flowers.
The flowers of the sticker plants are what develop into seeds, another distinguishing feature. The seeds are also hard to spot, but they feature hard coating and sharp burs or pines, which are easily felt – by injuring you or sticking to your clothes.
How to get rid of sticker weeds from your yard
Sticker weeds are very hard to control; once they are on your grass, getting rid of them is an uphill task. That being said, there are several ways that you can use to remove them from your yard.
1. Mechanical control
One of the ways to get rid of sticker plants in your yard is through mechanical control, i.e., manually removing them. Unfortunately, it is also the hardest solution.
Mechanical control involves one of two things:
Pulling the weeds out with your hands
If you love weeding your lawn by hand, this is perfect for you. Simply locate where the weeds are growing on the grass and pull them out. Be sure to pull from the center and a single swift movement so that the plant and the roots come out.
Something to remember when pulling out sticker weeds is to always wear the best gloves for pulling weeds. The spiky seeds or burs are particularly sharp and can cause painful injuries if you don’t have gloves.
Also, to make your work easier, pull out the weeds in the morning, and when the soil is moist.
Using gardening tools to remove the weeds
If you don’t like to get your hands dirty, then gardening tools are a better option. The best tool is a hoe. We recommend the Truper 33039. Use it to cut out the sticker plants from their roots and then get rid of them.
Note: While pulling out the weeds will remove them from your grass, they can still grow again. Therefore, you will need to repeat the process several times until the roots die off.
Also, make sure to pull the weeds when they are young (before flowering). This way, they won’t propagate their seeds, which is how they spread.
2. Using herbicides
Using herbicides is another solution you can use to kill sticker weeds that have infested your yard. These chemicals target various parts and physiological processes of the sticker plants, killing them and/or preventing their propagation.
So, which herbicides can you use? Will roundup kill stickers? Yes, Roundup is a good example of herbicide you can use against burweed stickers.
Others include herbicides with disodium methanearsonate, known as DSMA, or monosodium acid (MSA).
When it comes to herbicides, there are also pre-emergent ones that target the weeds before they sprout, or while they are young. Top ones that you can use for sticker weeds include those containing Oryzalin and Benefin.
Note: With herbicides, you should be very careful about the ones you chose. For example, some types of roundup weed killers are not selective and will kill everything including your lawn grass.
Therefore, you should go for selective ones such as roundup for the lawn if you don’t wish to kill your grass.
3. Natural weed killer remedies
Natural weed remedies are another solution you can give a try when attempting to control sticker weeds. There are several organic solutions that people claim to work, including:
- Salt – applying to the roots of the weed plants
- Boiling water – pouring on the leaves and stems of the weeds
- Soap water – spraying the leaves of the weeds
- Burning the weed plants
- Vinegar – applying to the leaves
Natural remedies can be a good idea if you don’t like using chemical herbicides in your yard. That being said, they do come with a few drawbacks.
To start with, most are not selective and might not distinguish between the stickers in the grass with the grass itself.
Take, for example, salt. While it might help to kill sticker weeds, it will also kill any grass growing where it is applied. On top of that, once the salt is absorbed into the soil, it will “poison” it and prevent growth of any plants in the area where applied for a while.
Secondly, natural remedies, while effective in killing weed plants, might not kill the roots or the seeds. Therefore, more often than not, the weeds will re-germinate, and you will have to repeat the process several times.
Sticker weeds in the yard is a nightmare that many people dread. The weeds can ruin even the most beautiful lawns, unconducive for you and your family. Luckily, there are several solutions you can try against them.
If you are having a hard time with stickers, the above are some of the top remedies. From pulling them manually to chemical herbicides and natural remedies, you have a lot of options. Just choose one that works for you and put an end to stickers ruining your lawn.
IW’s Chief Editor and a lover of green spaces.