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I'm fighting a losing battle with these plants (pictured). No idea what they are called, but I always just call them "stickers".

Stickers!

I tried pulling them with the sticker pods intact and disposing of them to prevent them from spreading as much as possible, but that hasn't been effective. I'm thinking about applying a herbicide whenever I see a patch of them, but I'm thinking that by the time they have the seed pods developed it might be too late to do any good because the next generation is on the way.

My question is this: Will spraying herbicides (such as RoundUp) "kill" the sticker seed pods and prevent them from germinating in addition to killing the plant they are attached to?

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    Those look like sand burrs. For tackweed, we used a scorched earth technique: roundup to kill everything, water until the seeds sprouted, roundup to kill everything, again and again, until the tackweed quit coming up. Then we planted with what we wanted. – thursdaysgeek Oct 8 '12 at 19:48
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    Some versions of Roundup contain a pre-emergent herbicide, but glyphosate itself is strictly post-emergent. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 20 '18 at 4:13
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Round Up is a herbicide which kill 'through the green'. The best time to apply is when the plant is growing strongly, the soil is damp, and the weather reasonably fair and not windy. Spray all stems till run off. Repeat applications might be necessary, but if you treat the plant before it flowers and sets seed, then it won't flower and set seed. Once the seeds are formed, Round up will not have any effect on them.

A word about Round Up - try to find glyphosate instead. This is the active ingredient in Round Up without the other surfactants and ingredients which have an impact on the environment. Glyphosate bought as a generic is cheaper, and when mixing it with water to spray or apply by can, adding a dash of washing up liquid helps it to penetrate plant tissues.

  • The trouble is, the plant looks so similar to the grass around it, I have a hard time spotting it before it seeds. – JohnFx Oct 6 '12 at 17:24
  • Have you tried digging it out, specially at this stage with the seeds in place? – Bamboo Oct 6 '12 at 17:56
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@Bamboo-spray until runoff?? That's the exact problem even chemical users can agree on.

It's just as effective to pull them up, which isn't nearly as "easy" but does the work better without poisoning you, the plants you want to keep, wildlife, the soil, etc. A pair of strong, thick gloves and some long sleeves is cheaper and about 1000% times safer than what they're selling you. Plus, it's not going to stop them from coming back next year and the year after.

  • Ever fight a Trumpet vine? duckduckgo.com/… Even with Roundup and borax it took 5 to 6 years to kill off the last little shoot coming up from that 40 foot root system. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 20 '18 at 4:17
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    I'm not that worried about it poisoning me as I am not a plant, and it is a herbicide. – JohnFx Apr 20 '18 at 16:34
  • @JohnFx Some herbicides can prove nasty to humans. Read the labels. Most act by inhibiting some enzyme or other, which you as an animal may share. I expected EPA to have a nice page on this stuff, but they seem to be in a bit of a tizzy at the moment: fws.gov/invasives/staffTrainingModule/methods/chemical/… Their "Read more about herbicide risk assessments:" section now contains refs only to Pesticides, which are a whole different ball of wax. There's a lot of woo out there on herbicides nowadays, but it's not all completely without merit. – Wayfaring Stranger Apr 21 '18 at 2:06

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