If you live in Florida, especially near the beach, then you know how easily sand spurs can find places to grow, in sidewalk cracks or in children's play areas. In their more benevolent living form the spurs are intended by mother nature merely to allow the offspring to hitch a ride. After death when their dried up husks fall to the ground the spurs are especially worrisome since they may become contaminated with animal feces and e-coli that can be introduced beneath the skin and into the blood stream. Serious and unwanted infection can result in addition to the pain. Best to vent your anger at the sand spur plant and its offspring for your child being stabbed rather than at your child or another human being. This is best accomplished by dealing with the spurs while they are alive and still attached to the plant.
You will need the following tools:Needed for all methods:1.) good pair of garden gloves (rose checker gloves work best)2.) pair of garden scissors3.) brown paper bagAlso needed per method that is selected:Method I4.) Box of BoraxMethod II4.) charcoal starter5.) 100' to 300' outdoor extention cordMethod III4.) Dutch hoe
Method IWARNING: This method will also kill everything else in the area and render the soil infertile.BoraxInfo-commercial advertizement...BORAX, OR SODIUM TETRABORATE, - is a combination of sodium, boron and oxygen, and is mined from the soil in its crude form. Boric acid is a crystalline material derived from borax. Caution: Remember, boric acid and all boron products can act as a stomach poison when ingested. While 20 Mule Team Borax is extremely effective in controlling or eliminating ants, termites, weeds, lice, fleas, spiders and roaches, the Dial Corporation notes, "This product has not been tested nor received approval from the EPA for use as a 27 pesticide." Even so if you mop or spray the floors, voids, sill boxes, tunnels, backs of furniture, appliances and other areas where you see insect pests with borax - you will be surprised on how great the material controls virtually all pests. It has been used for years to make cellulose insulation insect free and fire retardant. It also is great for removing stains in carpeting and/or odors in urinals, etc. - so mop to remove odors and to help clean - in doing so you will also control pests "accidentally." Method IICharcoal starterBasically an electric heating element capable of producing temperatures in excess of 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful and do not get burned.Method IIIScuffle hoeOne loose blade that cuts the roots when raked to and fro beneath the plant and soil.
First use your scissors to remove the spurs from the plant and put them in a bag.Key #1: Borax concentrationUsing just a sprinkle of Borax may actually have the reverse effect and cause the sand spur plant to thank you by making even more luxurious spurs. The key is NOT to sprinkle just a little Borax but to pour Borax at the base of the plant.Key #2: Method of application Work it into the soil with a pointy object. Now pour a little water over the Borax at the base of the plant - just enough to encourage absorption by the roots - not too much but just enough that the Borax soaks in.
First use your scissors to remove the spurs from the plant and put them in a bag.Lay the element on the plant and then plug in the cord. When the plant is incinerated unplug the cord and find the next plant. Repeat until all plants within the radius of the extension cord have gone up in smoke.
First use your scissors to remove the spurs from the plant and put them in a bag.The if the plant is rooted in sand or soil you can use a scuffle hoe to cut the roots. Put the cut plant into the bag with the spurs and find the next plant. Be prepared to repeat this method each and every week. If the plant is rooted in rocky crevices or cracks then revert to using Method I or Method II.
If you have any thirst for revenge allow your thirst to be satisfied in this step rather than venting it on another human being.(Be sure you still have on your gloves!) Remove the little green monsters from the bag, along with their mommy plants, if Method III was used. Think of all the pain and risk of infection the offspring spurs and mommy plant cause.Now beat the spurs flat with a ball pean hammer and then nuke them along with their mommy plants (if any) in the microwave or fry them in a skillet on the stove or roast them in a roasting pan in a hot oven! DIE, LITTLE MONSTERS, DIE!Now take pride and satisfaction in knowing that you have protected others from experiencing the same torment and pain suffered by you or your child and that the parent plant has likewise paid (or will pay soon, if Method I was used) for the wrongful deeds of its offspring that produced such painful and highly infectable wounds while pretending that it was just trying to hitch a ride. SUFFER SAND SPUR MOMMY PLANT, SUFFER AND DIE! .
In 2014 so far I've pulled up enough to fill about twenty full-size 40-gallon trash cans just to keep the living space clear of em! My forearms, knees, fingers and back have all adapted over time to doing this specific kind of miserable work.If only I could put this much time into more pleasing things like my garden.
I read recently sand spurs love exactly that- sand and basically crappy soil. The same material also stated you could actually choke them out by growing grass, which would mean beefing up your soil a little. Hurricane Matthew was gracious enough to bring some into our yard last year and I am trying this method instead of the attempting to uproot all of them, mainly because I'm afraid I'll miss too many and still have a mess on my hands. Hopefully combining the two methods together will help me... possibly you as well. Good Luck.
I'm not sure if anyone is still following this post or not. But I recently learned that adding lime to your soil will kill the sandspurs. They don't like sweet soil. Lime is good to add to your grass anyway. I just pull my sandspurs, root and all, as I see them. I have very few in my sandy dirt Florida lawn. I also have 3 or 4 different kinds of grass growing. St. Augustine/Floratam, Bahia and centipede. the latter is my favorite since it grows out not up and is accustomed to the sandy dirt. Well, hope this helps some.
ned103, I have to do the same thing ... just pull them out roots and all! I carry around with me a 5 gallon bucket on the hunt for these pesky weeds! Your advice to apply lime sounds effective and affordable! Will give it a go! Thanks again!
I use a collapsible 24' x 4' x4' chicken wire pen. Plain wire loosely rapped at the corners allow it to be fold and moved into hard to reach corners or set in various weedy spots, like right up to the flower beds. My three white Peking Geese do the rest. Two things to keep in mind. They need water ( 5gal bucket ), and some shade if it is going to be a hot sunny day. What they don't eat, they walk it down. and no plant likes that, and that will kill most of them. Resist the temptation to feed them, as this will offset the natural " find it and eat it ". You can tell when they are finished eating all their going to eat. Time to move on. After you move the " corral " to it's new location, wash all that natural fertilizer into the soil, and pull up or remove what they wouldn't eat. If you don't have geese, ducks will do ( use water pan ) or chickens ( requires top ). Ducks and geese are easy to train to the corral. Chickens need to be baited in. I have used this method for so many years, I can't remember when. Good luck to everyone.
Anyone have any experience in using preemergent chemical to control sand burrs? Here in Western Kansas dry land growing anything that will choke them out is a pipe dream. Other water sources are too precious to use for irrigation for this purpose. I heat that geese are death on them, but that would mean fencing to keep the geese out of what I don't want them uprooting. Thanks...