Weeds are always a nuisance in any lawn. Especially when you are paying good money to have a weed-free lawn. However, understanding what weeds are present will help you understand how they are eradicated. Most common, broadleaf weeds are eliminated with our lawn program. This includes weeds like henbit, chickweed, clover and dandelions just to name a few. But there is another type of weed classified as a Grassy Weed. These weeds are harder to get rid of and most often require at least one specialized application. Grassy Weeds are usually most obvious in warm season lawns but fescue lawns are not immune from them. The most common Grassy Weeds we see in our area are Poa Annua, Crabgrass and Fescue Clumps.
It is hard to control because the plant produces several hundred seeds in a single season. These seeds can lay dormant for several years. Poa Annua has a seed stalk that will typically stand up above the rest of the lawn and becomes visible in late spring or early summer. Poa thrives in cooler weather and will die out in hotter temperatures. The best way to prevent Poa Annua in your lawn is with a fall and spring pre-emergent. However, because the seeds can lay dormant for so long, it can take several seasons to completely get rid it. If Poa Annua does germinate, a special application can help to eliminate existing plants.
The good news…it only lives for one growing season. However, controlling all those seeds can be challenging. Crabgrass is particularly attracted to areas of the lawn that are thin or dried out. Crabgrass can spread so fast that it can quickly take over your lawn. The best way to prevent crabgrass is with a spring pre-emergent. Lawns that are on a regular program and receive a spring pre-emergent are almost guaranteed to be crabgrass free. If you start a lawn care program after it is too late for a pre-emergent, there are products available that get rid of existing crabgrass.
If you have a fescue lawn this is not a problem. However, if you have a warm season lawn, the clumps are unsightly, especially in the winter when the turf is dormant. Fescue clumps cannot be prevented with a pre-emergent. Instead, individual fescue clumps are treated with a special herbicide application.
All of these Grassy Weeds can be controlled by a regular lawn care program, regular watering and mowing. The healthier a lawn is, the more resistant it is to any weeds. Healthy lawns can choke out and even prevent a lot of weeds from getting through. If you are encountering any of these Grassy Weeds, Environmental Turf Management can help, just give us a call.