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Nuisance of the Week:
Spurge
August 12, 2002

 
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Spurge Control

Prostrate spurge is one of the more difficult broadleaf weeds to control.  It is a summer annual that must come from seed each year.  Therefore the best control is a thick turf that prevents weed seed germination. Plants that do come up eventually form a mat that tends to smother whatever is underneath.  If there are only a few spurge plants, they can be easily pulled up and discarded. However, there are often so many that this is impractical.

Though young plants (photo above) are much easier to control with herbicides than those that are more mature (photo left), even they have proven difficult to kill.  Several years ago K-State Research and Extension conducted a study on the phytotoxic effects of certain herbicides on buffalograss.  During the application, we noted the presence of a large number of small prostrate spurge plants.  We decided to rate the plots for percent control of spurge.  The results were interesting.  We found that three herbicides provided more than 90 percent control: Drive, Turflon II Amine and DMC Weed Control. 

Turflon II Amine and DMC Weed Control are no longer on the market.  However, metsulfuron, the active ingredient in DMC Weed Control is available under the Manor and Blade trade names.  Manor and Blade are labeled for bermudagrass, Kentucky bluegrass and Zoysia.  All three currently available herbicides are available only to commercial applicators.

Two other herbicides in the study, Dimension and Turflon Ester, offered more than 80 percent control and Trimec provided 78 percent.  Dimension results were surprising because it is a preemergence herbicide with some postemergence activity that is commonly used for crabgrass control.  These herbicides are available to homeowners.

A new herbicide that has shown promise for spurge is SpeedZone.  A recent study has shown SpeedZone to be better than Trimec when each is used at the 1 fluid ounce per 1000 square feet rate.  SpeedZone is a combination product that contains 2,4-D, MCPP, Dicamba and Carfentrazone-ethyl.  It is labeled for all commonly grown turfgrasses in Kansas except buffalograss.  Though labeled for bentgrass, it cannot be used on golf course greens. It is available only to commercial applicators.

 


Nuisance of the Week Archives

Nuisance of the Week is brought to you in cooperation with the Kansas State University Research & Extension 
Written by Ward Upham, Extension Associate

 

 

 
 

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