Prostrate Spurge is an annual weed that sprouts in the late spring, grows over the summer, and dies in the fall. If you break open its stems there is a white milky substance.
Some Prostrate Spurge in your lawn over the summer is normal and nothing to worry about...it will die on its own. If you have a lot it, here are some possible solutions:
Mowing too short
Mowing short gives the weed seeds the needed sunlight to germinate and grow. It also reduces the grasses ability to thrive in hot weather. Mow high all spring and summer (3.5-4.5 inches).
Old grass types
Older grasses just don’t do well in the heat and don’t grow upright enough to tolerate tall mowing. Peplacing your old lawn with a new one that can better compete is the best solution to reduce weed infiltration. If replacing the lawn isn’t an option, Super Seeding into your existing lawn.
Damaged areas that are bare are breeding grounds for annual weeds. Weeds fill in the soil to keep it from washing away. Spot seed any damaged areas in the spring and fall.
New to organic lawn care
The natural weed inhibiting compounds in our organic fertilizers take a while to build up in the soil and become really effective. The longer you’re on an organic program, the more effective it will be at preventing annual weeds.
Prostrate Spurge is an annual weed that will die over the winter. The best defense for annual weeds like prostrate spurge is to prevent them from sprouting in the first place. The best way to prevent prostrate spurge from sprouting is to maintain a thick healthy lawn and mow it high (3-4 inches). Super Seeding in the late summer will thicken your lawn to help prevent annual weeds like spurge from sprouting next year. Applying Liquid Corn Gluten Meal in the spring will also help suppress germination. If you do have prostrate spurge now, the best option is to pull it. It is one of the more satisfying weeds to pull!