Spurge

Description: Greenish-yellow, heart-shaped leaves. Tiny, inconspicuous flowers.
Peak Season: May - October
Treatment: Herbicide

Spurge can be identified by its greenish-yellow, heart-shaped leaves which stem out in an umbel fashion, meaning from a central point (the way umbrella ribs do). The small, inconspicuous flowers bloom from May to October and grow in clusters of around 10 or 12.

When will I see spurge? Spurge is a perennial, meaning it can live for years. Therefore, you may see it in your lawn throughout the year as long as there is no snow. It begins to flower and accelerates growth in May, slows down for the hot summer months, then continues rapid growth as the weather cools in September with the flowering disappearing in October.

How do I get rid of spurge and how long will it take?

Spurge is one of the harder weeds to kill with a selective herbicide, but it can be done. Apply this every 5 to 6 weeks. You should start to see damage and withering to the leaves after the first or second application, with the plant completely killed after 6 consecutive applications. If you don't want to wait for the whole summer, you may consider weeding them by hand. If you choose this option, make sure you pull out the whole root system or they will grow back.

How do I prevent spurge from infiltrating my lawn?

While there is no way to perfectly keep out all spurge, there are a few things you can do to help prevent new growth in your lawn. These include:

  • A Pre-emergence herbicide in April or May to help prevent germination from new growth.
  • Mowing your lawn on the second highest setting to help maintain a strong, healthy lawn and crowd out any potential growth and block out the sunlight.