Weed group: Summer annual
Characteristics: Purselane and Spurge often grow together. Purselane however, will have tiny 5 petal yellow flowers and about 3 weeds before it begins to seed. Its red stems and alternating leaves are a bit more fleshy than Spurge. It forms a dense mat over your grass, killing it. Heavy seeder.
• Cultural: Becomes a vigorous grower where soil is kept moist and warm.
• Natural: DO NOT scalp your lawn in the spring. If seeds cannot contact the ground nor get sun light they will not geminate. Hand pull the weeds from the center, over the tap root when soil is damp. Any of the root that is left will likely generate a new plant. Continue to pull young plants before they produce seeds. I also use 20% horticulture vinegar (see Nature’s Wisdom below) in a 24 ounce spray bottle and spray weeds that come up in my drive or the cracks in the sidewalk.
• Chemical: A pre-emergent herbicide, a crab grass preventer, can be used successfully. In order to be successful however, it needs to be used ideally before the temperature reaches 60 degrees and the seeds germinate and begin sprouting. You can spot treat landscaped beds but there is the risk. Use a small 24 ounce small bottle so that you can target the weed and control the spray. Beware of wind drift into other plants. Post-emergents can be applied to young plants. Prevent spring weeds by NOT scalping your lawn in the spring. If seeds cannot contact the ground nor get sun light they will not geminate. The best weed control is a healthy managed lawn.