Sandbur and Puncture Vine
Sandburs and puncture vines are often confused for one another but are very different weeds. They both have extremely sharp seedheads that can cause considerable pain if stepped on and are unsightly weeds in our lawns. Sandburs are grassy weeds. They are summer annuals that germinate in the spring and die at the first hard freeze. The plants themselves blend into turfgrass until they produce their characteristic sandburs in clusters above or beside the leaves. Puncture vines are broad-leaf weeds. They are also summer annuals that thrive in the heat and die at frost. They generally grow along the ground, have small compound leaflets, and yellow blooms. The blooms are followed by a seed with one very sharp spine that can puncture bicycle tires.
Neither of these weeds is much concern in thick, well-maintained lawns. If these weeds are present, pre-emergent herbicides applied in March can offer control. Fertilome’s “For All Seasons” is a good choice. Since sandburs are grasses and puncture vines are broadleafs, these plants have different chemicals that control them once they have germinated. Sandburs can be controlled with Fertilome’s “Weed Out with Crabgrass Killer” or Bonide’s “Weed Beater Plus Crabgrass & Broadleaf Weed Killer”. The earlier these products are sprayed in the summer, the better control they will have. Puncture vines can be controlled with Fertilome’s “Weed-Out” or most other broad-leaf weed killers that are safe for lawns.