Do you find yourself constantly battling sticker weeds in your yard or lawn? These invasive plants not only ruin the appearance of your landscape but also manage to stick to your clothes and find their way inside your home. Their sharp seeds can cause injuries to you or your pets, and even puncture bicycle tires. In this guide, we will explore effective methods to identify and deal with sticker weeds.
Understanding Sticker Weeds
Sticker weeds, also known as grass stickers or lawn burs, are a group of weed plants that have sharp burs capable of easily attaching themselves to clothing. They grow in various types of soil but thrive in moist areas with turf or lawn grass. These annual weeds develop in cool weather and reach full maturity in hot conditions.
There are different types of sticker weeds, each known by different names such as bur clover plants, burweed, yellow vine, goathead, caltrop, and puncturevine. Although they may have distinct names, some of these weeds are closely related to one another.
Identifying Sticker Weeds
Identifying sticker weeds can be challenging, even after learning about their various types and names. However, there are physical characteristics that can help differentiate them from other plants. Sticker weeds have bright green, lobed leaves that resemble parsley. These leaves are arranged opposite each other on the stem and are usually hairy.
Sticker weeds are low-growing plants that branch out as they establish themselves. They produce small and inconspicuous flowers that eventually develop into seeds. These seeds have a hard coating and sharp burs or pines, making them easily felt by causing injuries or sticking to clothes.
Getting Rid of Sticker Weeds from Your Yard
Eliminating sticker weeds from your yard can be challenging, but not impossible. Here are some effective methods you can employ:
1. Mechanical Control
Mechanical control involves manually removing sticker plants from your yard. This method may require either pulling the weeds out with your hands or using gardening tools.
Pulling the Weeds Out by Hand
If you enjoy weeding your lawn manually, this method is ideal for you. Locate the areas where the weeds are growing and pull them out, making sure to remove both the plant and its roots. It is advisable to wear gloves to protect your hands from the sharp burs.
For easier weed removal, pull them out in the morning when the soil is moist.
Using Gardening Tools
If you prefer not to get your hands dirty, gardening tools can be a better option. A hoe, such as the Truper 33039, is an excellent tool for cutting out sticker plants from their roots. Afterward, dispose of the weeds properly.
Note: Continual weed removal may be necessary, as sticker weeds can regrow. It is crucial to remove them when they are young, before they flower and spread their seeds.
2. Using Herbicides
Herbicides offer another solution for eliminating sticker weeds. These chemicals target different parts and physiological processes of the plants, effectively killing them and preventing further growth.
Roundup is a recommended herbicide for combating burweed stickers. Other options include herbicides with disodium methanearsonate (DSMA) or monosodium acid (MSA). Pre-emergent herbicides, such as those containing Oryzalin and Benefin, specifically target sticker weeds before they sprout or when they are still young.
Caution: When using herbicides, be cautious of their selectivity. Non-selective herbicides can kill not only the weeds but also your lawn grass. Opt for selective herbicides, like Roundup for the lawn, if you wish to spare your grass.
3. Natural Weed Killer Remedies
If you prefer organic solutions, there are natural weed killer remedies worth considering. Some of these remedies include applying salt to the roots of the weed plants, pouring boiling water on the leaves and stems of the weeds, spraying soap water on the leaves, burning the weed plants, or applying vinegar to the leaves.
However, it is essential to note that most natural remedies are not selective and may harm your grass along with the weeds. Additionally, they may not eliminate the roots or seeds of the weeds entirely, requiring repeat applications.
Sticker weeds can be a nightmare for anyone trying to maintain a beautiful lawn. Thankfully, there are several effective solutions available. Whether you prefer manual weeding, chemical herbicides, or natural remedies, choose the method that works best for you. By taking action, you can prevent sticker weeds from ruining your lawn and enjoy a weed-free yard.
For more information on yard maintenance and weed control, visit Ames Farm Center.