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Time to battle spotted spurge.

It looks innocent enough--some gardeners have even told us they thought it might make a nice ground cover--but spotted spurge is an aggressive annual weed. It elbows its way into flower beds, squeezes into cracks in paving, and spreads through lawns. By competing for light, food, and water, this pesky invader retards the growth of more desirable plants.

Its dusty gray-green leaves with reddish markings and undersides make spotted spurge blend into the soil, so plants may get large before you notice them. Once plants are mature, they produce stalkless flowers. The tiny pale yellow blooms usually open only in the morning. Seeds soon follow, and your problems multiply.

Each plant produces several thousand seeds, which help account for the amazing success of this weed. Also, plants mature quickly, going from seedling to seed producer within 30 days.

To control spotted spurge, keep an eye out for newly sprouted seedlings in spring. Hoe or pull these out as soon as you see them: their root system is weak, so they're easy or remove. If you've already waited too long and a full invasion is underway, you can zap the weed with an herbicide labeled for spurge control, such as glyphosate (Kleenup, Roundup). Where spurge has been a nuisance in the past, use a pre-emergent herbicide, such as dacthal, taking care to follow label directions.
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Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:weed control
Date:Mar 1, 1986
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