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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weed Control in Lawn of Spurge

Q. Our Association Lawns are infested with a weed that spreads rapidly. We have been told it is spurge. Some owners have been told by a nursery that spurge control is accomplished by spraying in June and approximately every 6 weeks through the summer. Others have said that spraying can't be done when it is very hot. Please give your opinion on this matter.

Prostrate or spreading spurge
A. If this is spurge you are fighting it is a very poor competitor with a lawn. Most of it can be kept out by increasing the competitiveness of your lawn by following a few rules:

           Keep the lawn dense by keeping its fertilizer program current.

           Make sure it is getting water at the right times and avoid stress during the summer months and starting in February for spurge.

Closeup of the small leaves of a spotted spruge. Not all spruges have
spots on their leaves but all spurges have white sap or latex. So if you
want to know if your weed is a spurge, break the stems and look for the
white sap or latex.
           Irrigation system must apply water evenly to the turf area. Get rid of mix and match nozzles and make sure the system applies water head to head.

           If this is fescue, all irrigation heads must pop up out of the ground a minimum of four inches. Replace irrigation heads that are less than this with four inch popups.

           Do not use line trimmers to trim grass around irrigation heads or along hard surfaces like sidewalks.

Use a steel edger, not line trimmers to edge turfgrass areas.

           Mowing height must be 2 ½ inch minimums.

           You can use post emergent herbicides (weed killers applied after you see it up) such as Trimec or similar but the best weed killers are applied pre emergent, before the seed germinates in the spring. Visit Helena chemical in town to get your chemicals and visit with them about which chemical has been working best and the timing of it. Do it this winter before spring.

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