Summer Weeds: Spurge
Prostrate Spurge (Euphorbia humistrata) is a summer annual broadleaf weed. It can be found in dry and/or nutrient-poor soils along with compacted, weakened or disturbed turf grass and mulch beds. It appears early near driveways and sidewalks, as temperatures start to get warmer. Prostrate spurge can also be found in cultivated fields, brick walls, and parking lot cracks. It germinates from seed in June and July in Indiana. Spurge spreads with low-growing prostrate stems than form a dense mat as they invade the turf canopy. Its ability to establish and grow in multiple soil/climate conditions and highly compacted soils, as well as its ability to withstand low mowing heights, make prostrate spurge a common turf grass weed throughout the state of Indiana.
How Do I Know If I Have Spurge
The leaves of prostrate spurge are pale green, hairy, egg-shaped, widest at the apex, and located opposite of each other on the stems. Stems which are pinkish in color and distinctly hairy. Prostrate spurge continually flowers from July to September. It produces large quantities of viable seed throughout its life cycle. These flowers are small but numerous. They originate from the base of leaves located on the upper-stem, and are composed of several male and female flowers within a cluster. It produces a fruit that consists of a 3-lobed, 3-seeded capsule with stiff hairs on its surface.
How Do I Prevent It From Taking Over My Lawn
Feed your lawn. A well planned lawn application will provide the nutrients your lawn needs to produce dense, green turf. Spotted spurge is not a competitive weed. So a thick lawn will help keep spotted spurge out and prevent weed seeds from sprouting. At Green’s Lawncare And Property Services, we can provide you with a lawn care package that will help keep your lawn thick and healthy all year long.
Mow high. Mowing at the height best for your lawn type allows the grass to grow thick and develop a deep root system. Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fescues, the cool season grasses we find in our Indiana lawns should be mowed at a height of 3. 5 to 4.5 inches. Instead of bagging grass clippings, leave them on the lawn to help recycle nutrients back into the soil.
Water deeply. Watering deeply and infrequently helps your lawn crowd out weeds by encouraging deeper root growth and thicker, stronger grass. Watering too little or too frequently encourages shallow root growth. This can lead to a thin lawn and bare spots that weeds will take advantage of. As much as possible, rely on rain (nature’s sprinklers) to water your lawn. And only use sprinklers when needed to achieve the 1 inch of water per week that most lawns need.