Friday, August 3, 2012

Prostrate Spurge

Prostrate Spurge is amazing plant. It seems to thrive under conditions where nothing else will grow. We have some growing on our sidewalk in full sun with its root in the cracks between sections. It is even invading the greens and other areas out at the Golf Course. Because prostrate spurge grows from a small taproot it is easy to remove large plants by hand. Spurge will survive in harsh conditions where the turf grass has long-since departed. Spurge must reproduce by seed from year-to-year. Encouraging turf grass density in the fall and spring should be fairly effective for limiting the presence of spurge in turfed areas. Spurge is most likely to invade when spring conditions have opened the turf from drought or grub damage. Prostrate Spurge is a late-germinating summer annual, ideally suited to fill-in voids in the turf during June, July and August. Since it comes back from seed every year, you can also help prevent prostrate spurge by applying a pre-emergence herbicide in spring before the seeds germinate. Usually one application, followed by a light watering, in late April or early May will eliminate most annual weeds for that summer – provided the soil is not disturbed afterwards, and weather patterns are normal. If the weed has been a serious problem you may choose to make a second application, however, about sixty days after the first, for added protection.

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