How to Kill Grass Burrs? get rid of southern sandspur

Southern Sandspur or field Sandbur is commonly called as Burr grass. These are a type of grass weeds with spiny heads. The seeds of grass burr are also very spiny. Sometimes they are painful and hard to remove from skin and clothes. Today we will discuss how to kill grass burrs? Keep reading for details

Is Burrs a Type of Grass?– Yes, It is a type of grass Weeds. Not just one, but the entire family of similar weed grass. Their spiny seed heads are significant identification. These heads are so annoying that no one likes the entire grass for this reason. These weeds are not good for fodder use. Most cattle don’t like it.

How to Kill Grass Burrs?- Killing grass burrs can be troublesome sometimes. But you can kill grass burrs by using any quality pre-emergent herbicide before it grows. Also, you can use any MSMA or DSMA based herbicide after it grows and keeps developing in your garden or lawn area. You can also use lawnmowers and hand-based tools to remove burrs by cutting or plucking them out with roots.

How to Kill Grass Burrs
How to Kill Grass Burrs?

Read my previous post on: Can you use garden soil for indoor plants?

Why is Burr grass considered as a weed?

Burr grass or the Southern sandspur is a common annual weed. They are not that harmful to other grass. Instead, they are harmful to us and our pets.

The tip of these tiny plants contains seed heads. These heads are very spiny and easily get stuck to the cloth and skin. Most of the times it is really painful. Even removing them is a difficult job.

Most of these burr grass has no general or commercial utilization. These grass are useless for gardeners. They occupy the space and consume the nutrients available for lawn grass.

The worst part is that you cannot walk in the grass bare feet if only a single weed like burr is present there. Your kids and pets can’t play freely in the lawn infested with burr grass. This is certainly the most annoying thing about Southern sandspur.

Is your garden prone to grass burr, Can it affect your lawn?- The answer is yes, Most certainly burr grass is the weed that can easily affect your lawn and garden.

According to a recent survey, the majority of affected areas lie between 4b to 9b agriculture zone. So if you live in any of these areas then you should be careful.  You should be more cautious especially if burr grass is common in your garden.

When does garden burrs or sandspur grow in the lawn or garden?

Grass burrs or the Southern sandspur generally grow in early spring. The seeds of burrs start germinating in the temperature above 56-degree Fahrenheit. Seed based propagation is a faster and effective reproduction method for burr grass. This grass can also propagate through its roots.

If we observe it then it is noticed that the temperature is not very high for germination. Some other grass needs an even higher temperature to germinate. This is why burr grass can effectively damage your entire lawn within no time.

How to get rid of burrs grass in the garden and lawn?

Killing burrs grass completely is a challenging task. It is a difficult job but can be done with proper knowledge.

There are three stages in which you can control these invasive weeds. These stages are-

  1. Before growing (pre-emergent)
  2. After Growing (post-emergent)
  3. Before seeding or seed formation (mowing regularly)

Tools and products needed to kill Burrs

  1. Lawn MowerBuy on Amazon
  2. Hand GlovesBuy on Amazon
  3. HoeBuy on Amazon
  4. ShovelBuy on Amazon
  5. HerbicidesBuy on Amazon

Also read my previous article on: How do you get rid of the fungus in the garden soil?

How to kill burrs Grass?

First Step:  precautions should be taken before any of these weeds start growing in your lawn. At this step, a very interesting question arises- How would you know if your garden is going to be attacked by these weeds?

Ok, the answer is with historical facts. If you are living in areas affected by grass burs then you prepare for them in advance. Also if you are purchasing grass seeds from an unknown farm then you probably gonna get some weeds.

So What to do in this situation? You can use pre-emergent herbicides to control the growth of these weeds. Grass burs can be effectively controlled by some pre-emergent herbicides. Using any pre-emergent herbicide is entirely a selection based process. It is an effective way but you cannot entirely rely on this method.

According to Texas-based A&M University, The best pre-emergent herbicides to control grass burrs are Balan, Betasan, and Portrait. You can try these or ask the seller for more details.

Second Step: Once grown, removal is the only method you have. To control these weeds you have to remove each of them carefully.

How to remove Burr grass from the lawn?

You can remove burr grass by two specific methods. These methods are-

  1. Hand Picking or Plucking
  2. Post-emergent Herbicides

You have to remove these burrs on your own. You can use your hands, some Garden tools, and some specific herbicides.

Hand Picking or Plucking is effective only when there are only some weed-grown here and there. It is a difficult task to remove hundreds of weeds by hand. So for the bigger invasion of burr grass, you need some help.

Removing weeds by handpicking is popularly known as a Spot treatment. In this method, we choose a particular affected spot of the lawn or garden. Then pluck each weed entirely with roots by digging holes. After thins level the ground and let it dry for a few days.

Post-emergent Herbicide is another great method of killing Grass Burrs and other invasive weeds.

You can use some Post-emergent herbicides to control the growth of weeds like sandspur or Burrs. These are chemical-based products and can have some harmful effects. Use this herbicide in proper quantity as advised. Excess of this can kill your lawn grass and damage the natural ph balance of the soil.

So always be careful while using any herbicides. Follow the guidelines provided by the seller or given with the labels. Keep these herbicides out of reach from children and pets. You should use these herbicides only if your garden or lawn is heavily affected by these invasive weeds.

Horticulture experts of A &M University suggest using MSMA crabgrass killer herbicide to control grass burrs. You can spray a mixture of 2 Tablespoon crabgrass killer with 6 tablespoon mirror MSMA Herbicide in 1-gallon water to the mature grass burrs. This mixture of MSMA Herbicides is the best way to kill grass burrs in an area of 1000 square feet.

Other Methods to control Burr Grass

Regular Mowing– Land mowers are one of the greatest tools to effectively control burr grass. If you have planned the grass growing in your lawn, then you better know the standard height it should get.

Another information that is important here is about the seed formation in these grass. Different types of grass produce seeds at different height and time. You can trim the grass to a specific height so that the weeds can not produce any seeds.

This method is effective only if you regularly Moaw or trim your lawn grass. Maintain standard height and keep your grass healthy. This method will automatically remove the weeds including burrs as they can not reproduce without seed formation.

Regular Mowing is effective in controlling seed formation in burrs grass. Therefore, They can kill burrs effectively.

Patch Filling: This is an effective method to control weeds and keep your garden green and healthy. You just have to find empty spots or a patch of land with no grass. After identification, just add some grass seeds on that spot. Fill the entire lawn with healthy lawn grass. It will leave no available space for the burrs to grew and develop vigorously.

Lawn grass can multiply with root nodes but burrs need seeds to grow and propagate easily. Therefore more grass will occupy the blank spot faster than any burr grass. Ultimately it is a fight for space and nutrition. So burrs cannot win this fight against a large army of lawn grass.

Blanket Ride: Yes, it is as interesting as the name suggests. This is not a professional method, still very effective.

This method is especially effective when you found some burrs growing in your garden or lawn and you don’t want to remove them with your bare hands.

You just need an old blanket or a cotton bed sheet and run over the grass. Isn’t it stupid?- Yah, It seems so but, trust me it is effective. At least after 1 or 2 run your lawn will be safe to play for kids and pets.

What it does?- The seeds of burrs are spiny and get quickly attached to the fabrics. When you remove the blanket most of the seeds get removed with it and hence your lawn is free. Also if you do this method regularly on weekly intervals then you can effectively control the growth of grass weed.

Regular Watering: Ok, this is not a method nor related to killing grass burrs directly. But watering can keep your lawn grass healthy and healthy grass will reproduce faster. So in a chain reacting it will force the burrs to die in lack of space and nutrients. Also, plucking burrs is quite easy in moist soil.

Will 2,4 d Herbicide kill sand spurs?- No 2,4 D is a specific herbicide designed for Brad leaf weeds. Initially, it can show some positive effects but overall it is of no use for Grass Burrs or Southern Sandspur. You should be careful while purchasing herbicides as most of them are for controlling specific types of weed. Using any herbicide unknowingly can kill your garden plants as well as a lawn grass.

Final Words

I hope you have got your answer to the question-How to kill Grass Burrs? If not then let us do a quick recap. You can kill grass burrs by removing them with hands or by using and pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicides. You can also use lawn Moawers to kill burr grass.

What do you think, Which is the best way to kill grass burrs? Write your answer and suggestion below in the comment section. Keep reading keep gardening.

Live the Green!


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts