Q: I haven’t had any success in ridding my yard of this weed. I routinely spread a broadleaf pre-emergent in mid-September and a crabgrass pre-emergent in March, however, that hasn’t been very effective in curtailing the weed’s yearly appearance. Please don’t suggest pulling as my wife’s calloused knees can’t take any more!
A: You have spotted spurge. It is a summer annual weed, which means you have to use a broadleaf pre-emergent herbicide in spring. Check the soil temperature to make sure the herbicide is applied before soil temperature at 1 inch exceeds 55̊ to 60̊F. Pre-emergent herbicides for spurge control in turf include pendimethalin (Halts), dithiopyr (Crab-Ex), and isoxaben (Portrait). You can also spot spray in summer with a broadleaf weedkiller like Weed B Gon.