grass id please?

adidas(6/7)October 20, 2013

This grass was put down as a weed block (hay)but it contained seeds and every summer this stuff grows to 4ft, smothers everything in its path and dies back around Sept. It is very easy to pull...I've taken a pic of its fine, hair roots...but there's so much of it! If other things could coexist w/it I wouldn't mind but it seems to make only the deer happy...mind you they don't seem to eat it they just like to lie in it!

Not sure that this matters but I'm in N. VA but up on a small mt. which has its own micro climate...10 degrees cooler than surrounding area.

Can anyone tell me what it might be? I don't need a definitive id...just some possibilities.


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Pic of roots

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:36AM
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The "smothering" affect.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2013 at 7:38AM
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It's impossible to be sure with just a few short leaves but based on the shallow roots and the area you live in i'm guessing Japanese stiltgrass. It's an annual and so if you don't deal with it before it goes to seed you will continue to see it every year. I'd carefully apply glysophate to the mass of it, and then put down a pre emergent to deal with the seeds. Diligent hand pulling of any new growth for a few seasons will be necessary. After dealing with the bulk of the problem, I have eradicated several invasive broadleaf weeds and grasses on my property simply by weeding every day for 20 minutes. I don't wait for the weeds to get a foothold.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2013 at 11:40PM
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Thanks for your input! It is definitely stiltgrass...physical description matches AND the deer won't eat it!

I can't bring myself to go the chemical route. This property is wild...early spring there are ephemerals...these get going way before the stiltgrass. Then there are patches of sedge, goldenrod, dogbane etc that I assume over time would maybe...hopefully...become stiff competition for the stiltgrass.

Before I knew what this stuff was I was pulling it out and removing it....worst thing I could have done....spread seeds all over AND left bare dirt. This fall I have left the stiltgrass in place, bought all the mulch I could afford, collected coffee grinds, cardboard, leaves....anything I could find and I am covering all the worst patches w/this. My understanding is that the seeds are very small and require light to germinate. They also don't like rotting if I can "smother" the bulk of seeds then maybe what does come up will be more manageable. I understand that w/all this smothering some other plants may be affected but in my experience they won't be killed just set back a bit and maybe not at all if we get enough rain to rot all this stuff down. I just wish I could hear from someone else who may have attempted smothering w/stiltgrass...have you ever tried this method?

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 7:11AM
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