Bindii, Jo-jo, Onehunga, Soliva pterosperma – doesn’t matter what you call it – it’s a pest and the bane of backyard cricketers across South East Queensland.
This winter growing annual, originally from South America, produces seed capsules protected by spines. They germinate for several months and while flowers begin to appear in Spring they continue to form prickles at the base right into December, causing shoes to be required every time you set foot on the lawn.
Unfortunately manual removal is usually ineffective. It’s worth a shot if you have only a few plants but typically by the time you notice your lawn has bindii it has spread and pulling them out by hand will only leave you with sore hands and still an infestation problem.
The best approach to ridding your lawn of this pest is a blanket spray of selective herbicide. Ask the advice of your local lawn care specialist but overall a selective herbicide containing bromoxynil plus MCPA is a good choice. A product containing dicamba is recommended if your lawn also has clovers or oxalis species.
Overall, the smaller the bindii plants are, the easier they are to kill so often time is of the essence – if you can get rid of them before the prickles form, all the better. Even if your lawn has prickles already, the application of a selective herbicide will stop more from forming.
After the application the bindi should be dead in about 7-10 days.
And once you remove the bindii from your lawns there are some simple steps you can take to reduce the risk of a re-infestation. By keeping your lawn well-maintained will ensure that the turf offers a lot of competition for these weeds and other varieties. Water and fertilise regularly and raise the mower height so that the lawn is not scalped.