It’s Sandbur Season In Bismarck Mandan
We've been in our new home south of Lincoln for just under a year. When we moved in last August I had no idea what a sandbur was. We soon found out what a nightmare these weeds can be. More on that in a minute. Coming from the east side of state and the Red River Valley, there was no such thing. I had never even heard of them.
The first time we let our labs out to go to the bathroom, they both came limping back. That's when we first discovered these sharp little cactus type creatures. The burs get stuck between their paws and are very painful. They also love to cling to clothing, socks and shoes so it's real easy to track them into the house. And, once they get into the carpet you almost have to cut them out with a scissors. If you're lucky enough to accidentally step on one with a barefoot, you'll be in for a treat.
It didn't take long and I realized something needed to be done and fast. Otherwise, we could forget about enjoying our lawn. We have a rather large one at that. 1.5 acres. So, I called a local lawn-care service, and found out exactly what we're up against. Sandburs bloom in late July and August. Sandburs (Cenchrus spp.) according to Gardening Know How this plant is a common problem in dry, sandy soils and patchy lawn. Check, check and check. In fact my neighbor doesn't have a lawn, it's more of a sandbox. The sandbur is light green in color, with a reddish root system. They blend in well with the lawn and you may not even know you have them until it's to late.
The only way to get rid of sandburs is to spray a chemical, and that's only half the battle. The best way to control them is with a well maintained lawn. You need to bag your grass to help stop the spread of their nasty burs(which carry their seeds). Water frequently, (we don't have a sprinkler system) lot's of grass seed, and fertilize in the spring and fall. There are also pre-emergent herbicides, that can be applied in the spring, and that prevent the seeds from germinating. Unfortunately the previous owners did none of this, and we didn't know what we were getting into when we bought our home. It's an expensive proposition to wage war against these sharp creatures.
So far we have won a few battles and you can now walk on most of lawn pain free. However, we have not won the war. I still pull out sandburs daily on our lawn. August is when they really start to bloom. Hunker down, it's going to long fight.