This weed can't be good...when I reach down to pull it or even brush against it, it flings it's seeds everywhere?!

Caitlin M
by Caitlin M
  32 answers
  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) 360 Sod (Donna Dixson) on Mar 18, 2012
    You are correct. it is gleefully spreading itself when you disturb it. But leaving it there will give it even more opportunity to spread itself. Reach down and gather it up into the palm of your and and carefully pinch it close to the roots and pull it up root and all. I carry a recycled plastic bag with handles in my other hand to have it close by to receive the offending weed and seeds.
  • Addygirl Addygirl on Mar 18, 2012
    Most weed seeds germinate only in the top 2 inches of soil. Weed after you harvest. At the end of the season, most plants (including weeds) rush to make seeds. After pulling plants, wait a week or two and cultivate the surface of the soil to eliminate newcomers.
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Mar 19, 2012
    You might want to yank these weeds when they are still blooming...before the seed pods mature. This will prevent them from flinging their seeds about.
  • We have these too.=( DO weed with a bag to immediately toss. We have several spiny weeds that grow with these so gloves are a must too.
  • Walter Reeves Walter Reeves on Mar 19, 2012
    This is hairy bittercress. Be sure to apply a pre-emergent labeled for it next September.
  • Rule4 Building Group Rule4 Building Group on Mar 19, 2012
    These are all over my yard this year - seems worse than normal. Busily pulling them out before they go to seed as per @KMS! It's certainly spring come early in MD this year, I feel I'm behind, but actually date wise I'm way ahead!
  • Caitlin M Caitlin M on Mar 19, 2012
    Thanks everyone. I don't recall seeing them last year at all, I think we waited too long to the mow the lawn this season :-/ I am also still trying to figure out what is an intentional plant in our yard...this is our second spring in this home. I think my hubby weeded too much too soon last year as I am now finding some good surprises and I waited too long to weed this year! Live and learn... :)
  • Nicole B Nicole B on Mar 19, 2012
    What is the name of this weed.
  • Sheryll S Sheryll S on Mar 19, 2012
    Which is it? If you have it, It will surely be in my yard also. Can you tell us if it is the spiny one or the round leafed one? A sharper pic????
  • Cheryl G Cheryl G on Mar 19, 2012
    I also have a bunch of those....which I never had before - probably a result of our mild winter........ugh!
  • Joann B Joann B on Mar 19, 2012
    I HATE this weed, we have them every where again, I pull them out before they flower, but I guess the seeds blow from across the way and the seeds can live for eons :( I call it a torpedo weed just cause those little seeds go everywhere !!!
  • Donna M Donna M on Mar 19, 2012
    I call it pop weed because that's what it does - pop seeds everywhere. Try and pull them before they go to see. It seems to be the first thing that comes up every spring and the hardest to get rid of.
  • Cheryl C Cheryl C on Mar 19, 2012
    maybe cover with garbage bag before removing and can control the seeds blowing everywhere.
    • Barbara Barbara on Jun 22, 2017

      I used a plastic grocery bag, we had tons of them and it kept most of the seeds from blowing into a nearby flower bed.

  • Bonnie M Bonnie M on Mar 19, 2012
    Do they grow in Indiana?
  • Renee F Renee F on Mar 19, 2012
    pulled some of this today! ugh!!
  • Karen S Karen S on Mar 19, 2012
    I have those all over my yard and garden. I experienced the "pop" for the first time a couple of years ago. I wanted to get them out early this year but didn't make it. We had practically no winter this year. They are certainly interesting. They will pop at you when you get within a few inches of them.
  • Deborah C Deborah C on Mar 19, 2012
    When I was a kid, I thought they were neat. Not anymore! I don't know its name, the rosette of leaves remind me of cress.I usually don't see them till the seed pods are ready to pop.
  • Chris T Chris T on Mar 19, 2012
    What bothers me is those "sticky" weeds !
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 19, 2012
    Walter identified the weed, a Eurasian import named hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). It germinates in the fall or winter and grows during any warm weather. For herbicide recommendations, see this article from NC State's Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research & Education: (And if you're so inclined, the leaves are said to be edible.)
    • Allan Allan on Jun 15, 2017

      I now live back in the UK, I lived abroad for almost 16 years and I'd never seen this weed before in my life. Now it's colonised my country, it grows anywhere and everywhere and I cannot get rid of it, it's worst if left, but even weeding when it's emerging doesn't help. I only won my battle (sort of) by planting lots of Montbretia, a lovely red and orange flowering plant with lots of long leaves giving great ground cover. weeding by denial of light and space!

  • Diane B Diane B on Mar 19, 2012
    Douglas I check out this web site and there is nothing that I could see that will assist centipede lawns. It had taken over some lawns in this area. I have actually seen pods on plants no bigger than a finger nail and not even 1 inch tall. It makes me want to cuss! But I do get my exercise in by hand pulling this.
  • Janis J Janis J on Mar 19, 2012
    Hairy Bittercress: Our lawnmower transferred the seeds from the front to the back last year. This year, I started early and started weeding before the seeds sprouted. Still weeding and it's in the seed stage but for every plant I get, that means less next year. To think I used to think this plant was so pretty in the flower stage. I used to be amused at the way the seeds popped all over the place. Now I know. :(
  • R G R G on Mar 19, 2012
    I've seen this in a lot of container plants from the nurseries and in nursery plant farms. Poor home owners get this and it's the dickens to get rid of. They use to call it horse's tail. There was one product that a homeowner could use and it went by the name of 'Finale'...I think it was made by Agro. Roundup won't touch it.
  • Bill B Bill B on Mar 20, 2012
    You can try a pre-emergent that you can buy at Home Depot or elsewhere and water it down afterwards. Pull weeds till it takes affect
  • Caitlin M Caitlin M on Mar 20, 2012
    It is impressive the way it pops it's seeds in 'defense.' Some may cringe when I say this, but I am not (yet) into having a perfectly manicured lawn...when it's mowed it looks good enough for me, lol, nice and green. I am currently tending to the landscaping and gardening, more fun...would rather have less lawn and more perennials. :) @ RG, that's scary that you have seen it in potted plants at nurseries...cringe! Good luck to all with your weed battles!
  • Kelly S Kelly S on Mar 20, 2012
    I have them in WA as well. They will grown in the top layer of anything, gravel, rubber mulch, sand, moss, anything!. I pull them before they flower. Repeatedly. I don't want to put heracide in my flowers for fear it will kill them as well. It helps with my stretching exercises, lots of hand weeding!:)
  • Rachel Rachel on Mar 23, 2012
    Ok and i thought it was just my lawn. i saw some spray in a Lowes called "weed stop for lawns" will that help. I am new to the hold lawn thing. My neighbor has already cut his lawn.
  • Douglas Hunt Douglas Hunt on Mar 23, 2012
    Rachel, check to make sure the spray is safe for the type of lawn you have.
  • 512181 512181 on Feb 19, 2015
    I have this weed in Maryland as well. I believe it germinates in the fall here, just like chickweed. They grow fast in the spring and produce their seeds early, sometimes before you get out to the garden. The trick is to kill or pull them in the fall or the very early spring before they go to seed. Those little white flowers are not nice- get them out when they start to flower! I have also heard it called shot weed for obvious reasons.
  • 512181 512181 on Feb 19, 2015
    Here is an article about shot weed.
  • Ellen Ellen on Apr 14, 2015
    The trick is to pull it out when it is in FLOWER. or before it dries enough that the seed pods burst open when you touch it. If you are diligent and don't live too close to neighbours who aren't as particular, in a couple of years your crop will be very small. It is very easy to pull, as are all weeds. My garden had only a few this year. This is one of the first plants in the Spring to bloom so early vigilance is necessary. No need for chemicals if you just weed.
    • See 1 previous
    • Michele Mcmahan Michele Mcmahan on Jun 23, 2017

      to true, Ellen. Northern Indiana produces thistle plants with roots 2 feet long. I just weeded 4 beds this spring after a hiatus of 2 years. So they had plaenty of time to establish.

  • Alton Alton on Jun 06, 2015
    I always use my shop-vac on all weed to get all loose seeds before pulling the plant just in case , also works on bugs in the garden .
    • Lagree Wyndham Lagree Wyndham on Jun 25, 2015
      @Alton Good Idea, but I must say I have now heard it all. never thought to use shop vac for bugs in garden.
  • Pamela Rascoe Brown Pamela Rascoe Brown on Jun 15, 2017

    I believe the stuff is called Preen, I'm sure there's more than one brand, but by sprinkling it in the area it prevents the new seeds from germinating.