Sticker Bur Control

We get many questions throughout the year regarding control of stickers in the home lawn. Some of the stickers come from the Bur Clover plant, and others come from the Field Sandbur plant. Control for each type of sticker bur relates to the time of the year that the seed germinates.

Bur Clover (Medicago sp.) is an annual weed that has a similar appearance to the white clover plant. The plant has round stems and three leaflets which are oval or egg-shape. The flowers of bur clover are numerous and yellow in color. Because it is a cool-season plant, the seeds will germinate in the fall into the winter. Application of a pre-emergent herbicide such as Pendulum 2G or Corn Gluten Meal in mid-September and again in November will work well in controlling this prolific weed. Controlling this weed after it has emerged from the seed is best done when these winter clovers are young and actively growing. Do not wait until late winter when these annual broadleaf weeds are flowering and mature, as the herbicide will not work very well. Multiple applications of a selective post-emergent herbicide  may be necessary to control this weed. As always, read the label to determine if a product is safe to use on your lawn type, and do not apply post-emergent herbicide under the drip line of trees.

Field Sandburs, or grass burs, are generally not a problem in a well maintained lawn. With proper fertilization, mowing and irrigation, you can produce a lawn that is dense enough to prevent sandbur from becoming a problem. However, if sandburs do become a problem, timely applications of pre-emergent herbicides do a good job of controlling them. Field sandburs (Cenchrus echinatus), unlike the bur clover, is a warm-season annual weed. It is best controlled by application of a pre-emergent herbicide such as Pendulum 2G, Hi Yield with Dimension or Corn Gluten Meal, beginning in early-February in Central Texas, with a second application 6-8 weeks apart for light infestations, or with applications continuing every six weeks through September for heavily infested areas. As always, the pre-emergent herbicide needs to be watered in thoroughly with about ½” of water. Post-emergent control of sandbur may be accomplished by several applications of a post-emergent herbicide called Image. This product does a better job of controlling field sandbur when it is young than when it is mature. Check the label for more specific instructions.

You now have guidelines to go by to eradicate those nasty stickers from your lawn!