Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) is a succulent, annual weed common in vegetable gardens, lawns and flower beds. It thrives in warm, moist conditions and can be identified by its red stems. A single purslane can produce 240,000 seeds that can germinate immediately or wait up to 40 years, according to scientists at the University of California, Davis. Controlling purslane takes a two-pronged effort---both prevention and chemical control---and lots of patience.
Clean mowers and gardening tools prior to using in an uninfested area to prevent purslane from getting a foothold in the landscape.
Water the infested area; when the soil drains, hand-pull any purslane that you find. Because digging in or disturbing the soil may unearth other seeds, this procedure may need to be repeated frequently.
Dig up, with a long handled hoe, larger patches of purslane. Remove the plants from the area and dispose of them.
Apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch to gardening beds. The thicker the layer of mulch, the better, because cutting off light will not allow the seeds to germinate.
Apply pre-emergent herbicide, according to package directions, to areas where there are purslane seeds. Water the area after application to activate the herbicide.
Apply post-emergent herbicide, according to package directions, to control actively growing purslane. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, recommend treating the weeds at the seedling stage.