Monday, October 03, 2005
Sand Spurs...Can't Live With 'Em, Can't Nuke 'Em...
It is silly and unproductive to hate a plant, but I really hate this plant. I'm not sure how far north Sandspurs range, but anywhere north of Venezuela is too far north for me. I don't like 'em.
They like sandy soil and can tolerate drought, cutting, fire, and most other nonchemical means of control. The points are lightly barbed and really pointy and painful.
Sandspurs are sneaky. As you walk, they leap onto your socks, cuffs, and shoe laces, so that later you will be impaled as you take off your clothes.
The plant, a grass, is just trying to spread it's seeds, but I hate 'em too much to be impressed by their clever survival adaptation.
If you mow more often (who wants to mow at all?) to prevent seed production, the plant produces the spikey seeds sooner and on shorter stalks.
If you burn, the sandspur says, "Why thank you for the lovely nutrients and lack of competition"...and grows accordingly.
One thing that has helped...some, has been to drag an old terry cloth towel through an area where they have started growing. The spikey seeds practically leap onto the old towel. After dragging, the towel is burned or thrown in the garbage.
I used to get stuck twice by these spikey seeds. I always seemed to stick my fingers when I tried to pull a sandspur from some other punctured area of my body. It's hard to grab one and avoid the spikes.
Then my father in law said, "Lick your fingers before you grab it"
It works! I guess that tiny bit of moisture softens the tips of the spikes enough so they bend instead of driving through your skin.
Useful stuff from Pure Florida...
Posted by R.Powers at 5:25 PM