Local homeowners fought the good fight last spring, as the annual emersion of ‘stickers’ made their debut in everyone’s lawn, seeming to explode in population turning yards into treacherous terrain.
The problematic grass burs can be a problem to homeowners, especially those who enjoy bare-footed strolls, as the sharp, spiny burs that are a part of the inflorescence buries itself into flesh, clothing, and sometimes thin-soled shoes!
These summer annuals that do very well in the dry summers around Southeast Texas, germinating in late spring and continuing to germinate until late summer or fall, stopping only after it is hit with a freeze. As those chill hours were sparse last winter, most Southeast Texas lawns experienced a huge crop of ‘stickers.’
Maintaining a healthy lawn with proper fertilizer, mowing, and watering will surely help keep this weedy plant from ever coming up in your lawn, unfortunately, most don’t realize they have a problem until it’s too late.
Once the lawn has a grass bur issue, an effective weed control should be implemented simply by using a pre-emergent herbicide such as Pendimethalin, Benefit, or Oryzalin, which may come as a granular or liquid form.
In order to keep a healthy lawn and ‘choke out’ the pesky stickers, A&M University recommends applying nitrogen in the fall, thereby increasing the density of the lawn. Nitrogen will also help lawns resist winter weeds, as well as improve its spring recovery, however they do recommend application 6 weeks prior to the first frost, and again in the spring after the last frost.