Our Lawn Care Expert's Top Tips For Dealing With Stubborn Purslane

Stubborn weeds can make it feel impossible to maintain a perfect lawn. They often grow quickly and can take up space in your yard. To make matters worse, weeds are typically tricky to get rid of, especially purslane. You may have noticed this common weed in your lawn before. It includes dark red or pink stems and green leaves with rounded tips. Purslane also grows outward rather than upward. If this description fits some of the weeds in your grass, you might want to find out what Ryan Farley, CEO of LawnStarter, has to say about how to deal with them. He recommends ensuring your lawn is lush and full to help keep purslane out.

"One of the keys to controlling purslane is helping your lawn to outcompete it," Farley explained while speaking exclusively to House Digest. "Make sure your lawn is well-tended with fertilizer and regular aeration and dethatching, keep it well watered, and set your mower height fairly high. This will help it overshadow and crowd out purslane." The lawn care expert went on to share more tips for tackling purslane.

How to treat purslane

When it comes to maintaining a lawn, there is a lot to stay on top of. From keeping your lawn green to dealing with pesky purslane, lawn care can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, Ryan Farley shared advice on treatments that will help kill the common weed and prevent it from returning. "For really stubborn stuff, there's no substitute for roundup or other chemical herbicides," he said. "If you're going to pull it by hand, do it when the plants are young, and be extra thorough." All it takes is one leaf fragment for purslane to grow back, so you must make sure no parts of the plant remain in your lawn.

If you have purslane scattered throughout your lawn, you may be worried about whether it could impact the health of your grass. It's understandable to be concerned about impaired grass growth or discoloration, but you don't have much to worry about as long as you tackle the problem early on. "It's more of an opportunist than anything," Farley said of purslane. "If your lawn is healthy, it won't get in the way much. Once it takes over, though, it tends to sprawl and create bare patches in your lawn."

You can preserve purslane to enjoy as food

You can pull purslane out of your lawn or treat it with weed killer, but you don't have to. You can also eat the stubborn weed instead of getting rid of it altogether. That's right — purslane is more than just a pesky weed that refuses to die — it's actually edible. In fact, it is incredibly nutritious. There is a long list of health benefits associated with eating purslane. For example, it is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. If you are looking for ways to work more of these nutrients into your diet, you may want to consider purslane.

For those with the weed growing in their lawn, there is a way to preserve specific sections that you can use as a food source. "You'll definitely want to create a mulch barrier around any plots of purslane you want to keep," said Ryan Farley. "Make sure it's at least 3 inches deep and a foot wide, and regularly pull any purslane that gets too close to that perimeter."