Has someone managed to control Florida Pursley on their farm? It is has become a nightmare... We have tried manual weeding, herbicides...but it just keeps on coming

Has anyone encountered Florida Pursley weed on their farm? It has become a nightmare for me and we have tried everything (manual weeding, herbicides…but with no luck. It just keeps growing almost immediately after weeding and it doesn’t matter whether it is wet or dry, it just keeps on growing.

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According to the University of Florida, Florida Pusley ( Richardia scabra) is a fast growing annual that reseeds rapidly. Its deep tap root helps it survive in our dry season. It is most often found in thin turf and disturbed areas. The University recommends thick healthy turf or mulch as a defense as Seeds must be shallowly planted to germinate.

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Thanks for your response Bonnie. Mine is not growing in grass but in crop fields and it grows so fast . Herbicides haven’t helped even when applied on young plants. We have tried manual weeding several times and trying to do so when the plants haven’t flowered…but they just keep growing. Just within days and they cover the whole field.

Can you try mulch around the plants? ECHO is using burlap coffee bags now, a donation from a distributor.also they have used vet over grass and straw.
Since, like many weeds, the Richardia needs some light to germinate, a layer of mulch would accomplish a deterrence,

Bonnie Jean Clancy :leaves: :hibiscus: :leaves:

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Hi Lydia,

I’m no expert on Pusley specifically but there are folks in Florida who are! I imagine you have already tried what Anderson et al. (2021) summarized in the EDIS document on Biology and management of Pusley in Turfgrass and Landscape Planting Beds. I’d encourage you to reach out to one of the authors directly for any updates on management techniques. Perhaps Chris Marble (marblesc@ufl.edu).

The only other idea I had was to use a smother crop in the off-season when you aren’t growing crops. Mucuna and lablab are two potential ideas but be careful to not let mucuna go to seed as it has weedy tendencies. You can see how we used it as a smother crop to control weeds here: Can you plant a cover crop into grass?

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Thank you very much Bonnie. I had to goggle the burlap coffee bags. They would be practical in a small garden… Unfortunately mine is in maize, coffee plantations. I am trying out jack beans in the banana plantation and we do mulch around the coffee plant. But the Pursley just keeps on coming. I have advised my people to ensure proper mulching around the coffee plants. But it is a little difficult in the maize field. We just planted , applied both pre and post emergency herbicide…but within three days, as the coffee was germinating, and so was the Pursley .

Thank you Stacy. I have looked at the link on that macuna. The pictures were impressive and that’s something that I might try after harvesting. I have just recently bought the hand planter shown in your pictures and it was good to see that it can be used even in grass. It makes the investment in it so worth it …although it it’s assembly and use has been a bit of a challenge for the people in the field.

Pursley has been a huge issue and together with Striga, they decimated field and fields of maize in my garden and all the neighbourhood.