Time to control burweed and other winter lawn weeds


Lawn burweed is a low growing weed with ferny, bright green leaves.

Image by John D. Byrd, Mississippi State University, Bugwood.org
Published: Friday, March 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM.


If you have ever walked barefoot through your lawn in spring and thought you were stepping on sandspurs chances are lawn burweed has infested your yard. Lawn burweed, also known as spurweed (Soliva sessilis), is a common turf weed easily identified by its low ferny foliage and sharp, spiny seed pods that ripen in late spring. Now is the time to spray this weed to prevent these prickly pods from forming.

What are winter weeds?

Many of the weeds commonly seen in winter are cool season annuals. These weeds come up from seed in the fall, grow through winter, flower and set seed in spring, and then die as temperatures warm up in April and May. Henbit, hop clover, chickweed and lawn burweed are all examples of winter annual weeds that can be found in yards throughout our region

Currently many winter annual weeds are still fairly small, and burweed has not started to produce its sharp, prickly seed pods. Even though they are not very noticeable at the present time, now is the right time to treat lawns infested with burweed and other winter weeds. Once spring arrives it will be too late to control burweed and other winter annuals because their seeds will already have ripened, ensuring a new crop of weeds next winter.

Having a completely weed-free lawn is not very realistic, and weeds do have some benefits. Many winter weeds provide a valuable early food source for honey bees and other pollinators who are already out foraging. Consider leaving weeds in less noticeable areas to help support our local pollinator population.

How can I control them?

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