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Help with a yard overtaken with Spurge.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Holland, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    My buddy has centipede grass and I'd say 70% of his lawn is spurge. Any recommendations on getting his lawn back to looking decent? Any help would be greatly appreciated. In our area spurge is a problem in many yards but I've never seen a yard as bad as his. It's a newer home built in 2009.

    Thanks.
     
  2. MSlawnman

    MSlawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Doesn't look like anyone responded and I'm seeing it 4 years after you posted. I too have a centipede lawn and I too have a really BIG problem with spurge.

    What I'm doing is getting regular soil analysis from my extension service in an attempt to provide everything the centipede needs. For the spurge, I've used 2,4-D when temperature is below 90 degrees and Celcius when above that. The 2,4-D is rough on the centipede though and others on this site recommend against using it.

    I also spend a lot of my free time pulling it up by the roots but with 2 1/2 acres and a pretty bad problem with it that's not a very good idea... although it is very, very satisfying
     
    hort101 likes this.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

  4. MSlawnman

    MSlawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Thanks. Extension service said to use 2,4-D which does knock it back a bit and in some areas actually kills it. It's supposed to be an annual but in our mild temps down here its perennial.

    I am going to use a pre-emergent for next year as I have seen this weed crop up in areas where the centipede gets stressed. Also working on keeping the centipede from becoming stressed in the first place.
     
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    In my experience 2,4-D is not effective. Something with dicamba in it, is slightly better. Weed B Gone now has dicamba in it. Include a surfactant--it might help wet the weed--maybe. However, it is important to start early, when the spurge is still young and tender. Try to spray at the first sign of spurge--when the plants are less than 4 inches across. Mature plants, mid-summer or later, are highly resistant to herbicides. Frost is supposed to kill it--but it comes back next year--self seeds.
    If...you are in the mood to hand weed...each plant has one big taproot in the center. Pull all the branches off the soil and grab them together in one hand; jerk while working the root back and forth. In moist soil, it pops out. In dry soil, it breaks off--no matter--it will not come back in cool weather of fall. If you want to cut the main root with rose scissors or a knife--that works too.

    I think pre-emergent is the way to go if the future. For instance, prodiamine crabgrass control at the maximum rate. Split the full rate in to two treatments: spring and early summer.
     
    hort101 likes this.
  6. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

  7. MSlawnman

    MSlawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Sounds good and I appreciate the reply/information. Definitely going with a pre-emergent this coming season. Right now, switching to Celcious and continuing the hand pulling :)
     
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,998

    I go after spurge with 0.25-0.5 oz Metsulfuron Methyl 60 DF + Quicksilver + Surfactant. In Centipede, you want to make sure the fertilizer/irrigation/mowing is correct before trying this. Centipede is more sensitive than the other warm season grasses, but it will tolerate it if conditions are good. 2,4-D does little to spurge. Dicamba works, but is not for lawns with trees in it with sandy soil. It will actually leach down and start to kill trees. Also, Centipede is sensitive as well. There is Dicamba in Celsius, but the rate is very low per acre.
     
  9. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,998

    Gallery is the winner. I use a lot of Gallery in my state. Spurge surpasses crabgrass and dandelions as weeds in my state. What lawns tolerate best is the 1 lb per acre rate of Gallery and the low to medium rate of Barricade or Dimension. I skip the Barricade or Dimension if grassy weeds were never historically a problem.
     
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,721

    Keep in mind spurge loves strong sun and temperatures above 85. Stops growing at 45, killed by frost. Same as crabgrass. A dry, burned out lawn--when followed by heavy rain is a prime candidate for a spurge disaster. Thin lawns are easily infested. Ryegrass and fescue are more often infested than bluegrass because bluegrass forms a more tightly-knit sod. Spurge is not shade tolerant--therefore a tall height of cut will reduce spurge problems. No need to treat shade areas.
     

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