If you’re looking to get rid of stickers in your yard or driveway, you need to know about these four steps to follow.
Got a beautiful yard you’re trying to maintain? If so, then removing stickers in the grass is on the list. After all, weed (sticker types specifically) take a lot of joy out of having a lush green appearance.
For starters, stickers are prickly. They’re painful to step on barefoot (especially for pets). Plus, they’re quite ugly in appearance.
Regardless, they’re not poisonous. So you can deal with them on your own, and in a cost-effective manner too (where you shouldn’t need a professional).
Below, we’ll show you how to get rid of them. We’ll lay out a 4-step process that should make things straightforward!
But First – Types of Grass Stickers
Stickers can be classified as a form of weed (sometimes called grass burrs). They even commonly grow on weeds, so you may end up having weeds with stickers on them.
The most common types are:
- Stickers weeds
- Bur weed
- Lawn burrs
- Grass burrs
- Grass stickers
Regardless of all the names, it’s really the same problem. And the solutions below apply regardless.
Step #1: Assess the Gravity of the Situation
How serious is the sticker infestation?
Is it taking over your entire yard? Or is it just starting to show up in tiny amounts?
Maybe the issue is in a nearby yard (like your neighbors), and you fear it might spread to your own landscape.
For Light Infestations
You’ll need light maintenance work to remove stickers in the grass. You shouldn’t require expensive or drastic measures with most being DIY.
Your options include:
- Culture Control
- Home Remedies (vinegar)
Culture control is simple. It’s about knowing what stickers thrive on, then growing a yard that’s inhospitable to them.
Home remedies are simple to make. They’re sprays that are neither environmentally harmful nor dangerous to your health.
The only problem with those options is that they require time. Culture control is a multi-week process and requires some scheduling. Home remedies are similar, requiring a little preparation beforehand.
For Serious Infestations
You’ll need to get rid of all the weed (and possibly the landscape) you’ve got, before growing your yard anew.
There are two ways to go about that. They are:
- Manual Labor
Both routes are effective, but each has its own drawbacks.
The herbicide will get rid of weeds without you having to sacrifice your lawn. However, the chemicals aren’t environmentally friendly.
They’re dangerous if you’ve got pets or children around, so follow this option with caution.
Manual labor forces you to remove your landscape. You’ll need a lawnmower, a lot of free time (which you may not afford), and a specific mowing routine.
Step #2: Dealing With Light Infestations
Dealing with light infestations is all about timing. You need to know when sticker weeds grow and germinate.
Sticker weeds start growing in late autumn, fully germinating by spring. So dealing with the problem from late winter to spring isn’t going to be effective.
By then, you’ll have a full infestation underway.
Basically, controlling an infestation before it gets worse happens after spring, and by the beginning of autumn. During that timeframe, your options are as follows…
Option #1: Culture Control
You want to grow your yard in a way that makes it weed hostile. And as a rule, wed stickers thrive in dry environments that lack greenery.
That is, weed stickers don’t like competition for soil, water, or resources.
So keeping your yard lush and green is your first step. Tall lawn grass is a starting point. You’ll need to frequently water your yards to that end.
Next, we recommend fertilizers. Curbing weed growth means growing your plants as fast as possible.
Option #2: Home Remedies
Vinegar is a sticker killer. There isn’t a special recipe you’ll prepare, and applying it is quite basic.
Here’s how to go about it:
- You’ll need a thin lawn to get started, so mowing might be a necessity here. This remedy heavily relies on vinegar, which can kill lawn grass. But, you can easily skip that option if the stickers are far from your grass.
- Start by raking up excess stickers on your lawn. You’ll want to save your vinegar to kill off what remains afterward. Use a trash bag to collect and discard the raked weed.
- Get a white vinegar spray bottle
- Start spraying. Light spraying won’t cut, and you’ll need to really dowse your whole lawn with multiple shots. Basically, if your whole lawn doesn’t smell of vinegar, you aren’t spraying right.
- Spray repeatedly. That is, you’ll need to spray your lawn on a daily routine. You shouldn’t stop spraying until all the weed is dead. Afterward, simply collect the dead weed in a trash bag.
- From there on, you shouldn’t need any more spraying. Simply focus on regularly watering your lawn, and keep an eye out for weeds and stickers the following season.
Step #3: Dealing With Serious Infestations
Let’s say you’re late to react. You’ve found stickers, but they’re all over your yard while growing thicker in multiple areas.
Simple home remedies won’t work here. You’ll need a major rework, and what you pick is a matter of priorities.
Option #1 – Manual Labor
You’ll need to mow down your entire yard. While a difficult option, it’s one that involves the least chemicals (and planning beforehand).
If you don’t have time to mow your lawn, then we recommend hiring a landscaper for the job. Make sure they have experience dealing with stickers beforehand.
Assuming they don’t, here’s a small routine to maintain while mowing:
- Attach a bag to your lawnmower. Your goal is to collect the stickers as you cut your yard. You don’t want their seeds spreading all over the place (which will cause them to grow again).
- If you can’t get a lawnmower (or if your yard’s too small for one), then use a rake. You’ll be collecting and dispatching the weeds by hand. Again, a bag is required to dispatch what you collect.
Option #2 – Herbicides
As we mentioned earlier, herbicides are dangerous to use. But, they work well if you don’t plan on cutting down your landscape.
Herbicide is best used during times of non-vacancy.
That is, if you (and family) are traveling, on vacation, or away from home for a few days, then herbicide works well. But, assuming you can’t afford some days of travel, we recommend temporarily relocating while your yard’s being sprayed.
MSMA (Monosodium Methanearsonate) is a common chemical herbicide. It relies on arsenic (a poisonous metal), but in tolerable doses.
Do note that MSMA is banned (or is restricted in use) in many parts of the world. Be sure to check your local laws beforehand.
In the event that it is restricted, you’ll usually find that only professionals can apply it. In that event, you’ll need to call a professional to administer the chemical.
Also, keep in mind that the best time to apply MSMA is during the spring-summer period (when stickers are at their lushest).
Next – Making Sure the It Doesn’t Regrow
A key part of clearing stickers is to get rid of all the seeds.
You don’t want large quantities of seed flying around and lurking in the yard. This means you’ll have to do cleanups season after season, which is quite tiresome.
To circumvent that problem, you can apply a chemical solution (but not MSMA this time).
What Are My Options?
The chemical you’ll use is preventative. You’ll need to apply it before the time stickers start to grow again.
Apply pre-emergent herbicide. Pendimethalin is a good option and can be applied as early as spring.
What’s important is to apply your herbicide after winter. You want the ground to be fully thawed so that the chemical can take full effect.
Try to coordinate your cleanup activity with your neighbors. That is, your neighbor’s yards may have similar burr weed problems.
Syncing the time you get rid of stickers (especially for a chemical route), makes sure they stay out of your yard for longer. It decreases your chances of stickers growing on your lawn again.
You should also discuss the chemical option with your neighbors beforehand. Make sure they’re OK if you’re going for heavy chemical use.
Try to see if they might be sensitive (or struggle) with the options you pick.
Stickers are a problem, but they’re not the end of your lawn.
You can keep them out of your landscape for good. It all comes down to proper routine, yard care, and knowing which remedies to apply (and when).
Done right, you’ll enjoy a lush green yard without worrying about prickly nonsense again!
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