Poa

Capt08(6)May 15, 2014

I've recently started getting into organic lawn care this year and stumbled upon this site. I'm no expert but I try my best to care for my lawn after firing my lawn care service 2 years ago. They were chopping my Tall Fescue lawn down to about 1 1/2 inches and overcharging for extra additives in the spring and fall. I decided that I would care for my lawn myself.

I have read many great ideas on this site and tried them out this year to help keep my lawn chemical free. In March after the snow had melted off my lawn I noticed the grass was completely full of thick thatch which I'm assuming was because of the bad winter we've had and the chemical winter fertilizer I applied in late November after my last mowing. I decided to apply organics to my lawn going forward to minimize the thatch in the spring.

Now in May after using alfalfa pellets, Milogranite, organic corn meal, unsulphured molasses with vinegar, baby shampoo since March my lawn looks great! Soon to be applied Texas Tea and Sea Bird Guano. My lawn has looked so much better than the past 3 years of owning my home. The only problem I'm facing now more than the last few years is Poa Annua. It is the only weed growing on my lawn from what I can see. I read about using Pre em but I've missed that window. These are the chemicals I found on Amazon.com: Dithiopyr 40 WSB (Preemergent Herbicide Equivalent to Dimension Ultra UNI1003), Prodiamine 65 WDG Generic Barricade 65 WDG and Tenacity.

So my question is can I still use one of these to kill the current seeds or should I just wait until the late fall to apply? I'm not sure which chemical to use at this point as they all claim to kill Poa. Tenacity kills weeds but I've read that it doesn't kill Poa off as well as the others do and it also leaves white patches on the lawn. My lawn area is so small that I'm not sure how much to use of the concentrated chemical without harming the lawn or using too little that it won't kill off the Poa. I have a shared roughly 50 sq ft fescue lawn in zone 6 in Staten Island, NY. If this will brown (or whiten) my lawn for the next month or so in order to kill off the Poa I would rather wait until the fall. My neighbors on the entire block are infested with Poa. Is it even worth fighting it off? Also, I have no idea where to send a soil sample off to as Google isn't that helpful. If anyone knows of a place where I can send a soil test I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for any advice.

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Capt08(6)

Close up

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 10:57AM
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Capt08(6)

Full lawn

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:00AM
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yardtractor1

Poa annua seeds in the spring as you've seen, then germinates in the late summer. Therefore, a pre-m needs to be applied in August to be effective against Poa A.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 11:19AM
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Capt08(6)

Thanks yardtractor. So it doesn't matter which Pre Em I should use? Will Tenacity take care of the problem or should I go with Barricade?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 12:45PM
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yardtractor1

I haven't noticed any difference between dithiopyr or prodiamine effectiveness as I've used both in alternate years. Both seem to work pretty well. Ymmv. You should get opinions from others on that (post that question on the regular lawn forum or talk to a reputable feed and seed store rep.) I haven't been impressed with granular mesotrione (the AI in Tenacity) It just doesn't work nearly as well as spray application on bare soil (which gets good results), but you can't get the spray into the soil when the turf canopy is in the way.

P.S. Looking at your picture. I'd ask the neighbor what they are using as it appears there is a distinct lack of poa in their lawn defined at the property line. or am I mistaken?

This post was edited by yardtractor1 on Thu, May 15, 14 at 15:51

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 2:21PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Any plant poison that will kill Poa annua, annual blue grass, will also kill off the more desirable grasses. This is a cold weather grass and the seeds germinate in the fall and the plants grow in the winter so a pre emergent, such as Corn Gluten Meal, should be spread in early August to prevent the seeds from gaining a foot hold in the lawn.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 8:43AM
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yardtractor1

"Any plant poison that will kill Poa annua, annual blue grass, will also kill off the more desirable grasses."

Dithiopyr, prodiamine and mesotrione in granular form have little if any affect on established cool season grass. They do interfere with seedling establishment of nearly all grasses, both undesirable/weed or or desirable/turf type grasses.

Mesotrione in liquid form (Tenacity) must be carefully applied or it can kill the turf along with the poa annua.

More accurately: SOME plant poison that will kill Poa annua, annual blue grass, MAY also kill off the more desirable grasses. Round-Up comes to mind.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:55PM
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yardtractor1

I missed your question about soil testing. Logan Labs in Ohio does a very comprehensive test at a reasonable cost. For an additional fee they do analysis with recommendations for improving the soil. I've been very satisfied with them.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:27PM
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Capt08(6)

@yardtractor, the property line had new sod placed a couple of years ago so that is why there isn't much poa on his side of the grass. I'll try the granular chemical to see if it will take care of the pos. Any idea of when I should put it down maybe late August early September?
Thanks for the info regarding the lab test from Logan labs. I'll look them up.

@kimmsr, I did put down some corn gluten meal about a month ago but I guess I didn't put enough or I missed the cut off time. I'll add again in earlier spring and instead of 8lbs I'll add 12lbs

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 4:23PM
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yardtractor1

Dithiopyr and prodiamine are effective for about 90 days and I believe granular mesotrione is good for only 6 weeks. I would suggest you put dithiopyr or prodiamine down by August 1st or even slightly before to insure you catch poa germination. I can't recommend the use of the granular meso--too short a period of protection and I can't attest to its effectiveness.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:03PM
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Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)

Dithiopyr, prodiamine, and mesotrione are synthetic, man made, products that should not be discussed on an organic forum. Suggesting the use of says that person is not an organic grower.
Annual Bluegrass germinates in the fall, mostly, although some spring germination has been observed so if the Corn Gluten Meal was put down in April the Annual Bluegrass was already germinated and the CGM will have no affect on it, although it will supply some Nitrogen to the grass.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:14AM
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Capt08(6)

@Kimmsr, after reading your reply I decided not to go with a chemical on my organic lawn. I just bagged my clippings and discarded. I did find a weed preventer on Amazon that is organic.

Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ATKQX66/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER.

I believe weeds germinate in the spring and also in the fall if I read correctly on this forum. I put this organic weed preventer down on August 12th and hopefully it'll suppress the Poa for fall germination. So far my lawn greened up nicely and I have had no sign of Poa. I will reapply in the Spring.

Thanks for keeping me on the organic path.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Bromus

An organic lawn is not a monoculture. It should include a diverse community of endemic "climax" grasses and forbs. In most cool season lawns this includes poa. Poa is not an enemy!

Now if your lawn is all poa, then you have issues (probably excessive wear&tear), but the picture of your lawn looks fantastic. Focus on the basics: mowing, irrigation, and fertility. Take a deep breath and relax. Think of your lawn as a shimmering tapestry, a culture on a petri dish...

If you would prefer creeping bentgrass over poa, then acidify your soil with a sulfur amendment. These two grasses battle each other in this pH way.

-B

    Bookmark   September 16, 2014 at 3:40PM
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