How to get rid of grass burrs includes ways through which you can tackle the summer annual grassy weed. The biggest problem with this particular weed is its prickly thorns that are a part of its bloom.

Get Rid of Grass Burrs

They are commonly found in home lawns, open fields, roadsides, and parks and are quite a task to remove when stuck to your clothes. 

How Do You Get Rid of Grass Burrs?

You get rid grass burrs in one or a combination of ways. First carrying out a soil test and then all the way to covering your lawn in a blanket – figuring out how to get rid of grass burrs can become very overwhelming. 

Grass burrs, also known as sand burrs, are spiny and hard to remove. Not only are they nettlesome, but they can be potentially dangerous. On a brighter note, you can create conditions that make it difficult for them to survive and return. Here are the nine simple, easy, and effective steps to help you get rid of those lingering burrs for good:

– Carry Out a Soil Test

The first and foremost step that needs to be done is testing the soil of the lawn, park, roadside, etc., which is the most affected by the weed in the fall or winter. It is sensible to implement preventive measures before the growing season.

Determining the soil moisture will help you understand weed germination and development. It loves to grow in dry and sandy soils, but this does not stop it from growing in other soil types. 

Carry Out a Soil Test

With favorable conditions, you might face weed in abundance, but with different conditions in the coming year, the weed might not be enough to cause any problems. For example, some weeds might sprout as early as spring, while others in summer or fall.

To conduct the soil test, contact your local agricultural extension office for guidance or to help you interpret a soil test. 

– Modify the Soil

The weed thrives in poor, nutrient-deficient soils, so you should make amendments to the soil after the soil test results come in. Change the pH level of your soils by adding fertilizers rich in nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) and improve the fertility of the soil. 

The amount of NPK fertilizer to be applied depends on factors like the soil test results, the turfgrass type, and the application area. A healthy and dense grass is essential in combating the burrs, which is only possible when you have the right soil growing under your grass. 

– Reseed Bare Spots

After modifying the soil, the next step is to spread grass seeds across the grassless spaces in your lawn with the onset of spring. This step effectively controls weeds and keeps your lawn green and healthy. 

Reseed Bare Spots

This will allow the grass to fight with the robust grass bur plants that, fortunately for you, do not flourish in amended soils. Ensure no patches are left behind to allow the burrs to grow and develop enthusiastically. 

Unlike burrs, lawn grass multiplies many times through root nodes. Burrs only germinate through seeds. This distinguishing factor allows lawn grass to occupy the bare patches much more quickly. Eventually, the burr seeds will not be able to do much about it as they will have no space left to grow. 

– Regular Lawn Mowing

Mowing the affected areas regularly in the growing season ensures the removal of grass burr seed heads before they have a chance to form. The mowing height requirements are different for every kind of turf grass. Cut so that the grass can establish roots and remain healthy. However, one-third of the total grass length is a safe-cutting option. 

This method is the most effective when carried out two to three times a week for the first two weeks of spring when the burrs are the most intrusive. Always collect the clippings in a bag and dispose of them safely. 

Mowing regularly, when combined with fertilizing and watering, will create favorable growth conditions for the turf grass, which will surely put off the weed’s growth. Remember, weeds do not grow in regularly mowed lawns is the key.

– Removing the Grass Burrs by Hand

This step is slow and should be attempted when you have spare time. Identify the areas where the grass burrs grow by digging up the plants along with the roots with a shovel, a weeding tool, or a hoe. You can utilize your hands to pull out the weed too. 

Removing Grass Burrs by Hand

To make the process smooth and moist your soil, removing the full weed plant and the roots from moist soil is easy. Make sure you wear garden gloves throughout the process to protect your hands and having a bucket on hand to collect the weed helps a ton.

Cast away the plants by either burning them or by throwing them in your garbage disposal container to minimize the risk of them getting replanted. 

– Give the Burrs a Blanket Ride

This method is as interesting and unique as its name. It is not a professional method, but it does produce effective results. It is an alternative step when you don’t want to pick out the weeds by hand. 

It would be best if you had an old blanket or a spare cotton bedsheet and moved it across your lawn. It takes about two to three running over before the lawn becomes safe for your kids and pets to move around. 

What does the blanket, or the cotton sheet, actually do? The burr seeds are tiny and have multiple spines that quickly connect to the fabric. Once you remove the blanket, you will be amazed that most seeds get removed, making your lawn burr-seed free. 

If you habitually do this weekly, you will see a major difference in the growth of grass weeds


– Irrigate Your Lawn

The burrs have a hard time surviving on a healthy and prosperous lawn. They cannot compete with water.

You must water your lawn, making up to one inch per week. The grass grows at a faster rate when watered, which forces the weeds to die due to lack of space and the lack of thriving conditions, like poor soil. A better option is to water them seldom and thoroughly instead of watering them several times a week with small gaps. 

– Solarize

This particular step or method will help you if you have a large area overflowing with burrs or when they are not overflowing but still are present in a considerable amount. 

To canary out this step, you need something big that is heavy and opaque. Avoid using a landscaping fabric as it has a small hole that allows moisture and light to penetrate.

Multiple layers of thick, black plastic or a tarp are best suited for the task. You can even lay down several newspapers as layers to suffocate the weed.  

All you need to do is seat your selected cover over the area you wish to overpower. The cover should be able to extend four to six inches beyond the targeted area. Use weights, like branches, timber, and rocks, to press down the edges. 

Lay the cover in fall and take it off at the end of spring, or lay it in spring and take it off by the end of fall. This step ensures that the adult weed plants are killed and the seeds are taken care of simultaneously. 

– Herbicide Application

By now, you must have dealt with the burrs, but if they continue to be a problem, the ultimate solution rests in fungicide application. The fungicide needs to be added before the weed’s growing season, spring

Most herbicides claim to be the best in preventing and killing the burrs. Some herbicides have a shorter life span, and some have difficulty applying as the burr seeds germinate continuously during the growing season. 

Effective herbicides include bensulide, oryzalin, and pendimethalin. Be sure to read the product label to know if the herbicide suits the type of grass on your lawn. 

Herbicide Application

Use pre-emergent herbicide to get rid of the burrs for good. However, it needs to be applied before the burrs’ growing season. You can also use MSMA (Monosodium Methanearsonate) or DSMA (Disodium Methyl Arsonate) based herbicide if the grass weeds grow. These herbicides will rid you of the grassy weeds once and for all. 

If you prefer organic herbicides over chemical herbicides, use orange oil. Burrs are tough to get rid of; that is when you need a strong herbicide. Because of its weed-repelling properties, it is an active ingredient in most herbicides. 

Apply the product as per the directions on the label. The best time to apply orange oil is between May and July. Always remember a healthy lawn is the best preventive measure! 


You are now geared to get rid of grass burrs through easy and effective ways, using the information you obtained from our article!

Before you leave, here is a quick recap of the key points once more:

  • Knowing your soil type is the foremost step that will help you in creating unfavorable growth conditions for the burrs.
  • Covering the bare patches with grass will leave no room for the grassy weeds to grow. 
  • Moistening the soil before pulling out the weeds by hand will make the process much smoother. 
  • Irrigating your lawn will give the weedy plants a hard time surviving.
  • Applying herbicide is a fool-proof method of getting rid of the burrs for good. You can choose between organic and chemical herbicides. 

Now that you have all the recommended techniques, you can get rid of grass burrs expertly. Fetch your tools and protective gear and make your space weed-free. 


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