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Lawn Weeds - Oxalis

Oxalis is considered a weed. It appears in late September in lawns in the Mediterranean. However it may be worth considering living with it and mowing it, as it does present a lush green appearance during the winter months. But be warned Oxalis does kill everything underneath it. So when it disappears around April time, you are left with dying Oxalis and no grass. 

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Oxalis (Oxalis corniculata L.) is a perennial herb that is considered a troublesome weed in many lawns and gardens. This broadleaf weed, 
also known as creeping woodsorrell, has clover-like leaves with yellow, purple or green flowers when in bloom. Oxalis in the Mediterranean starts to appear in or around October when the weather is cooler and the soil moisture increases, and starts to die back and turn yellow in April. Oxalis spreads throughout the landscape by spreading at the stems from the roots and through the vast production of seed. Although oxalis can be difficult to kill, methods are available to keep this weed under control.

Here are some Oxalis control options for you ...


1) One method is to apply pre-emergence herbicide before the Oxalis appears in Autumn. You can use a handheld spreader for gardens or small areas of turf. You can purchase pre-emergence herbicides at home improvement and hardware stores or local nurseries, but be careful as some will also kill the lawn. We have a tested herbicide that will kill oxalis in lawns - see products page for details.

2) Pull out any emerging oxalis by hand. This is a difficult one, especially in a lawn. Some oxalis may grow in the lawn or garden despite pre-emergence herbicide treatment. The best way to prevent spreading is to pull each weed out entirely with the root.

3) Apply our Lawns in Spain "Oxalis Killer" herbicide as necessary during the growing season. If using concentrated herbicide, mix with water in a garden sprayer according to the directions. Be careful when applying non recommended broad leafed weed killers as some will also kill the grass.

4) Our herb-ono granular and pre-emergence weed killer (see lawn care products,) applied during the growing season of the Oxalis can substantially reduce its numbers, but will not eradicate it. The first application will turn the colour of the oxalis leaves to a much lighter green. The second application after 3 - 4 weeks will see the leaves curling and starting to turn yellow or brown. 

5) If you do nothing, oxalis will flower and multiply very quickly and take over your lawn. Do not let it flower.

6) You should also mow your oxalis regularly in the winter to keep the oxalis leaves from cutting out the light from your lawn, which will ultimately kill the grass during the growing season of the oxalis.

7) Before applying any weed killer treatments, make sure you have surviving grass below the oxalis, otherwise when the oxalis dies you will think that the weed killer has killed the grass as well. If you find there is no grass in your oxalis patch then you will have to re-seed or re-plug the lawn BEFORE applying any weed killer, otherwise you will have brown soil bare patches in your lawn when the oxalis is dead. 

Combinations of treatments 1), 3) and 4) will solve your oxalis problem over a couple of seasons.

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