It’s Winter so it’s time to start controlling bindii before they become a pain in spring & summer.
We all have memories of running barefoot in the back yard, and stopping in our tracks when we realise what’s just happened. Bindii weeds are hard to eradicate for good, but not impossible.
Every summer, many people and their pets have to contend with pesky, prickly bindii weeds in their backyard. Unsurprisingly, we’re all keen to control it so we can comfortably sit or walk barefoot on our lawns.
Bindii (soliva sessilis) is a common lawn weed originally native to South America. It’s now well established in many places around the world and has become particularly invasive in Australian backyards and sports fields. It’s a low-growing weed that first appears in winter with small feathery leaves similar to parsley, before developing a small bright flower. When it goes to seed in spring, it produces the prickly seed pod we all hate.
Luckily, there are many easy and effective ways to control and remove bindii weeds. Management methods include removing bindii by hand, spraying your lawn and prevention measures like keeping the lawn well maintained. We’ll explore each method and look at their pros and cons.
Control Bindii with Lawn Maintenance
Like many nuisance weeds, the presence of bindii in your turf is telling you something about the health of your lawn. A healthy and well-maintained lawn is far less likely to be invaded by weeds.
If bindii is in your turf, it could be telling you one or several of the following things:
- You’re mowing your lawn too low
- Your turf needs feeding
- Your soil is compacted and needs aerating
- Your soil is too acidic
Water and fertilise your lawn regularly and raise the mower height to avoid scalping the grass. Turf that is cut too low can develop patches, inviting weed invasion. A high turf naturally prevents weeds by smothering them.
Any bindii that develops can be effectively removed by hand pulling. That being said, manual removal can be very tedious in a badly infested lawn or large area.
Preventing bindii invasion through regular maintenance can be difficult and time-consuming, especially when you’re hit with extreme weather conditions. Dry weather, in particular, can cause lawns to thin out and die back.
Kill Bindii by Spraying Your Lawn
The most effective way to stop bindii from infesting your turf is to spray them in late winter or early spring as soon as the leaves appear and before the prickles develop. While it’s best to do this in early spring, herbicides will also work later in the year.
The easiest control method is to blanket-spray all affected areas of the lawn with selective herbicides. This should kill bindii within 7-10 days. Most weed killers contain bromoxynil and MCPA. Herbicide products are sold under various trade names in small packs and will also kill other broadleaf weeds.
Using the Right Spray for Your Lawn
The concentration of the active herbicide will vary in different products so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. Some products also contain dicamba. This is useful when other weedy clovers or oxalis species are present but is unsuitable for buffalo lawns and can harm nearby trees and shrubs.