What are Grassy Weeds?Grassy weeds are “unwanted grass types” that grow in home lawns. They are actually grass but since they are of a different variety than the lawn they are invading, we call them weeds. For example, if you have bermuda grass but you get some patches of crabgrass or dallisgrass, then we call these “grassy weeds”. We also want to get rid of these weeds because they do not look nice in the lawn. Luckily for you, we’re the weed control pros. 

With the heat wave hitting most of the United States this year we are beginning to see more and more grassy weeds (also known as junk grasses) all over our service areas. Our technicians are calling in daily to report junk grass growth near the edges of driveways and side walks. There are many types of grassy weeds that can be seen resulting from this heat and listed below are just a few of them!

Tall Fescue:

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What is tall fescue?

Tall fescue grass can be separated into two types, coarse fescue and fine fescue. The most common seen during hot spells by far is the coarse fescue grass. It is not only pesky, but one of the widest bladed grasses we see. Coarse fescue grass can grow as wide as 5/8” and is usually found around extreme heated surfaces such as in the middle of your lawn where there is no shade and or near sidewalks and driveway’s. It is a dark green grass notable for growing in clumps and causing unsightly spots through the lawn.

How to control tall fescue:

Chemical control is always the best but it will also kill patches of surrounding grass. Using something like a Round Up or Glyphosate will surely do the job. But also please remember that Round Up is a Non – Selective herbicide and it does not discriminate between your normal grass and the problem grasses. Unfortunately this grass is not one that comes up easy even with digging, if you leave so much as a small root it can cause the grass to re appear. Once you have controlled, the grassy weed you should reseed the area after to prevent future weed growth in that area.   

Dallisgrass:

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What is it?

Dallisgrass is originally from Argentina and it was introduced to the United States in the 1800’s under the pretenses that it would make a great plant for the southern United States. Instead it has become one of the most noxious weeds known in the southern United States to date. This weed thrives in sandy areas and moist soil making it hard to control. Dallisgrass can grow from 1ft  to 5 ft in height and can be found in clumps. This perennial weed is one of the hardest grassy weeds to control.

How to control dallisgrass:

The best thing to do is prevent dallisgrass in the first place. Like all weeds, dallisgrass will infest lawns that are thin and bare. Keep a well fertilized lawn, water regularly and seed every so often to avoid any thinning in the lawn that will attract this and other grassy weeds from invading the lawn. If you already have dallisgrass the second best thing you can do is hire a professional lawn company to treat the yard. They should be able to use a glysophate product during dormancy to clean out the dallisgrass. If this does not happen or does not work, the task of controlling the weed gets much harder. Repeated treatment of various herbicides are able to keep the dallisgrass at bay but it is not easy. Another step to take is to apply a good pre-emergent weed killer in the winter and in the fall. This will help prevent the spread of dallisgrass as well as many other weeds.

Crabgrass:

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What is crabgrass?

Crabgrass or Digitaria is a warm season annual grassy weed that grows during periods of extreme dryness and heat.  This grassy weed is reproduced by seeds and is common throughout all of North America in June, July and August. The reason crabgrass is such a problem is because one plant can reproduce up to 150,000 seeds within the it’s life span. The weed grows until it is fully matured before it produces seeds in early fall and dies. Mowing the crabgrass is no help as using a mower helps distribute the seeds within the lawn. Crabgrass seeds germinate when it is between 50-75 Degrees. It can be recognized by its light green appearance and ¼ inch to ¾ inch blades and clumping within the lawn

How to control crabgrass:

Like all forms of weed control, the best defense against crabgrass is having a thick, healthy lawn. Crabgrass, like other weed invaders, attack lawns that are thin and bare because there is no competition for space in the lawn. Keep a well fertilized, well watered, and well seeded lawn to prevent the spread of crabgrass. In addition to this, there are many great pre-emergent crabgrass control products on the market. It is important to get these products down early in the spring and make sure they are watered in. This will create a barrier that prevents crabgrass from spreading. If crabgrass does grow, the best thing to do is control it early. It is much easier to control when the leaf is young and just starting to germinate. After the plant has been controlled, reseed the area that has been effected. Filling it in with new seed will prevent the crabgrass from growing again.

How to get the best long term results against grassy weeds?

The best defense against weeds is a healthy lawn. Fertilize regularly, water well and follow the correct cutting and seeding instructions for your lawn time. Taking these preventative steps will ensure that your weed problems remain minimal and make it much easier for you to have a thick, green, healthy lawn that you can enjoy.

If you need a hand getting your weeds under control, the professionals at Dr. Green are here to help. Click here to get a free quote!

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