July 6, 2022
Three of the most common summer, grassy weeds are dallisgrass, crabgrass, and goosegrass. Here, we are going to discuss how to identify and control each of these stubborn weeds.
Dallisgrass is a perennial weed that grows in a circular clump and these ring formations can grow to cover and smother the surrounding grass in your garden, as well as the actual plant. This weed is coarse in texture and it grows tall and upright. Also, its seed heads are quite large, they have tiny black spots on them, and they grow off the side of its stem.
There is no such thing as a Dallisgrass seed because they have short rhizomes and a continuously growing underground stem. This makes it very hard to control. They tend to achieve root establishment quickly when the soil is moist. They can grow back from the root system every year, making them one of the most troublesome types of weeds.
The answer to how to kill dallisgrass is threefold: lawn health, pre-emergent, and post-emergent attacks. The first method of dallisgrass control is to maintain a healthy, densely planted turf through proper watering, mowing, and fertilization. The second stage in how to kill dallisgrass involves pre-emergent control. The pre-emergent herbicides napropamide, oryzalin, pendimethalin, or combinations of benefin plus oryzalin are effective to prevent dallisgrass seed from germinating. The third stage is post-emergent control treatments to kill this stubborn weed.
Crabgrass is a summer annual grassy weed. The two most common types of crabgrass in the northern region of the United States are the smooth crabgrass weed and the large crabgrass weed. Smooth crabgrass weeds have less hair on their leaves than the large crabgrass species. The latter is also significantly larger than the smooth crabgrass species. Crabgrass weeds, regardless of the type, generally have broad leaves and grow closer to the ground in a star-shaped pattern. Their seed heads are quite fine and small, and they grow out of the top of their stems. They grow from seeds and not from a root system, like dallisgrass. They tend to grow to form a thick mat of weeds rather than in circular clumps, like dallisgrass, with lots of side branches.
Crabgrass can be prevented by using a pre-emergent herbicide consisting of Prodiamine or Pendimethalin, which will act as a protective barrier in your garden. If crabgrass has already found its way into your garden, you can get rid of it by using a post-emergent herbicide. Any variant, be it a selective or non-selective option, will work. However, it’s important to note that a selective variant will target just the crabgrass, whereas a non-selective option will target the entire area you’ve used it on.
Regular lawn maintenance, in addition to using herbicide, is the best way to control crabgrass from infiltrating your lawn. Using fertilizer on your lawn to thicken it could also work to get rid of crabgrass. This is because a thick lawn will suppress the growth of the crabgrass.
Goosegrass is a warm-weather weed that can easily stand out due to its spread-out tufts of grass and grass blades that resemble little fingers. Goosegrass is a resilient grass that can establish itself in a variety of soils, even ones that are compacted and stressed. It is an annual grass, but in tropical conditions, it could be perennial. Goosegrass is especially common in areas where there is a lot of foot traffic or along sidewalks or walkways.
Goosegrass forms leafy tufts which look like they are reclining. The color is emerald green with older blades having a small bit of white on their damaged edges. Another distinguishing trait is that this grass can stick to your clothing if you brush up against it because of all the small little hairs it has. Goosegrass has a strong, complicated root system and readily invades hard, compacted soils found in high-traffic areas. It adapts well to close, frequent mowing and even produces seeds when mowed at very low heights such as when they have invaded putting greens on golf courses.
Something important to note about goosegrass is that it is rarely found in healthy, dense lawns; therefore, there are many cultural practices you can implement to help keep your yard free of this pesky weed. As always, proper fertilization, mowing, and irrigation are essential to maintain a healthy lawn. Since goosegrass does well in compact, poorly drained soils, reducing irrigation so that you do not overwater, along with incorporating aeration to relieve compaction can be a big help. When looking at chemical controls, there are several pre-emergent and post-emergent options, with pre-emergents being applied initially in February or March, and a follow-up application occurring six to eight weeks later if needed. A pre-emergent herbicide serves to prevent goosegrass from appearing whereas a post-emergent controls the weed after it has appeared. Because of its late germination, many pre-emergent herbicide applications miss goosegrass, allowing the weed to grow as if the yard was not treated. If you already have goosegrass in your turf, apply a selective post-emergent treatment to the lawn.