Karin Butler of Hermanus writes: I have large Berea grass lawns that are hardy and always lovely and green, but recently I noticed this weed (pictured) was taking over. It spreads rapidly and has a pretty white flower that attracts lots of bees, so I’m afraid to spray the lawn and harm them. Any advice for me?
JJ replies: Fortunately, you can treat the Berea (LM) grass with a herbicide without damaging the lawn or harming the bees, as herbicides are not formulated to affect insects. It is important to use a selective broadleaf herbicide and to double the amount of water you add to the concentrate so that the spray is not too strong.
To ensure that the chemicals don’t change the colour of the grass, it is also important to first apply a fertiliser high in nitrogen such as 7:1:3 and then to wait two weeks before spraying. Use Versus, Turfweeder or Super Lawn Weeder and repeat after three weeks. To reduce the chance of harming the bees, spray in the late afternoon, as these insects are most active in the morning.