Dealing with painful burweed stickers in your yard? The most effective way to eliminate them is by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in late winter or early spring, followed by a post-emergent herbicide in early fall. For a natural approach, solutions like white vinegar or corn gluten meal can also help combat these pesky invaders.
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As an outdoor pesticide applicator, I’m no stranger to dealing with poison ivy and other unwanted vegetation. But come August, there’s a new irritant that clings to my pants after every job — burweed stickers. These little spawns of hell make my workday uncomfortable and remind me of the importance of lawn care. If you’re battling the same issue, here’s how to tackle these stubborn weeds.
[Read More: Poison Ivy ID and Treatments]
Burweed stickers, commonly known as grass burrs or sticker burrs, are a pesky annual weed that can turn a leisurely walk across your lawn into a painful experience. These invasive weeds have sharp spines on their seed pods, making them a nuisance for homeowners. If you’ve ever stepped on one barefoot, you know just how painful these pesky stickers can be. The good news is that with the right approach, you can rid your yard of these annoying stickers and enjoy a healthy lawn once again.
What are Burweed Stickers?
Burweed stickers, also known as lawn burweed, sticker plants, or grass stickers, are an annual weed characterized by their small stickers or spine-tipped burs. These burs are the plant’s seed heads and can easily get stuck in shoes, pet fur, or bare feet. The plant itself is a low-growing weed with yellow flowers, making it somewhat inconspicuous until those pesky seed pods develop.
Pre-Emergent Herbicide: A Proactive Approach to Burweed Control
Burweed stickers, with their sharp spines and invasive nature, can quickly become a homeowner’s nightmare. One of the most effective strategies to combat this pesky weed is to stop it before it even starts. This is where pre-emergent herbicides come into play.
A pre-emergent herbicide is designed to target weeds during their earliest growth stages, specifically before the seeds have a chance to germinate. By applying this type of herbicide in late winter or early spring, you’re essentially cutting off the life cycle of the burweed before it can begin. Think of it as a protective barrier for your lawn, preventing the emergence of these unwanted plants.
Timing is crucial when it comes to the application of pre-emergent herbicides. The soil temperature and conditions during late winter to early spring are conducive for burweed seeds to start their growth cycle. By applying the herbicide before the winter season concludes, you’re ensuring maximum efficacy. It’s akin to setting a trap for the burweed, stopping it in its tracks before it can sprout and spread.
Post-Emergent Herbicide: The Backup Plan for Persistent Burweed
While prevention is the best approach, sometimes, despite our best efforts, burweed stickers find their way into our yards. Maybe the pre-emergent herbicide application was missed, or perhaps it didn’t provide complete protection. In such cases, a post-emergent herbicide becomes the next line of defense.
Post-emergent herbicides are designed to target weeds that have already sprouted. These herbicides work by attacking the young burweed plants, ensuring they don’t mature and produce more seeds. The ideal window for this application is early fall, specifically from late September to early October. This is when the young burweed plants are most vulnerable and the herbicide can do its job most effectively.
When selecting a post-emergent herbicide, it’s essential to choose a product that’s formulated to combat broadleaf weeds or, more specifically, burweed stickers. The active ingredients in these herbicides are tailored to target the unique properties of these weeds, ensuring maximum impact. Always read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee the safety and health of your lawn.
The golden window for this application is the early fall period, specifically from late September to early October. This is the phase when young burweed plants are at their most vulnerable, allowing the herbicide to work its magic most effectively.
When scouting for a post-emergent herbicide, it’s crucial to opt for a product tailored to combat broadleaf weeds or, more pointedly, burweed stickers. Herbicides such as 2,4-D, simazine, dicamba, metsulfuron, mecoprop, and fluroxypyr have proven to be potent against burweed.
- Low, economical use rate of 1 to 4 pints per acre
- Controls many broadleaf weeds & woody plants
- Use in turf, pastures, rangeland, ditch banks, fences…
While burweed stickers can be a formidable foe, with the right herbicides and timely application, you can maintain a lawn that’s free from these prickly pests. Whether you’re taking a proactive approach with pre-emergent herbicides or tackling already-sprouted weeds with post-emergent solutions, the key is consistency and timely action.
For those who prefer a more organic approach, there are different ways to tackle burweed stickers naturally:
White Vinegar: A vinegar solution, due to its acidic elements, can be an effective natural herbicide. Mix one gallon of water with white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply to the burweed. This method is best for light infestations.
Baking Soda: Sprinkle baking soda on moist soil areas where burweed is prevalent. Baking soda makes the soil surface more alkaline, which can deter the growth of stickers.
Corn Gluten Meal: This is a natural preemergence herbicide that can prevent the growth of burweed seeds when applied in late summer or early fall.
Lawn Maintenence Tips For Burweed Stickers
Maintaining a healthy lawn is the easiest way to prevent weed problems, including those from burweed stickers. Here are some preventative measures:
Mowing Regularly: Using a lawn mower with a bag attachment can help collect and dispose of burweed seed pods. Ensure the mower height is set to promote healthy grass growth and deter weeds.
Hand-Pulling: While not an easy task, pulling out the entire plant, including its roots, can be effective, especially for light infestations. Always wear protective gloves to avoid the sharp spines.
Promote Healthy Grass: A dense, healthy lawn can crowd out potential weeds. Water, fertilize, and aerate your lawn to promote healthy grass and deter the growth of stickers.
Burweed stickers are a pesky little weed that can cause much discomfort. Whether you choose chemical-based weed killers or natural methods, the key is to act early and consistently. The best defense against these noxious weeds is a strong, healthy lawn. With the right care and attention, you can enjoy a yard free of those pesky, painful burweed stickers.
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Last update on 2023-12-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API