I recently reworked a small section of my lawn (200 sqft). This work included solarization, tilling in some compost, rolling flat, spreading seed, top dressing with compost and rolling again. With the help of a water timer, I've been keeping the area moist for the last 2 weeks, to allow for germination. The grass germination seems to be pretty good, not great, but ok. However, this has also allowed weed seeds to also germinate. The most prevalent and the most worrisome is purslane. There are purslane seedlings everywhere! In some sense, this is not surprising as I've been battling purslane weeds in my yard all year and it's all over the neighborhood. But, it's kind of demoralizing. I know that this weed can easily overpower grass seedlings and ruin my chances of success.

At this point, what can I do to control the purslane but allow the grass to grow? I'd prefer the least toxic option possible, but I realize that I might not have many options.

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    On the bright side, once the grass does get established, I don't think purslane will germinate there anymore (unless you remove your lawn some day, since the seeds can last a long time). I would just pull them meticulously for now (or hire someone else to do it). It's a whole lot easier when the weeds are tiny, though. They can grow back fast (like the next day fast) when they're older if you don't get all the roots. Pulling may be an everyday task for a good long time, though. Can you put more grass seed down in patches the purslane was in, after it's gone? – Shule Aug 21 '16 at 1:43
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    I have resorted to pulling the weeds by hand. Not a 100% effective, but I have at least prevented the purslane from over-running the new grass. So far so good. – Pbaz Sep 13 '16 at 18:18
  • @Shule why don't you make that an answer? (maybe get this off the unanswered list) – J. Musser Dec 15 '16 at 23:53
  • @J.Musser Why not? :) – Shule Dec 16 '16 at 9:05
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Once the grass does get established, I don't think purslane will germinate there anymore (unless you remove your lawn some day, since the seeds can last a long time). I would just pull them meticulously for now (or hire someone else to do it). It's a whole lot easier when the weeds are tiny, though. They can grow back fast (like the next day fast) when they're older if you don't get all the roots. Pulling may be an everyday task for a good long time, though. If you can you put more grass seed down in patches the purslane was in, after it's gone, that might work out.

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