Is this crabgrass? How to kill?

stunshawFebruary 23, 2013

Take a look at this photo and tell me if you think it's crabgrass. We bought a house in September and we're already seeing these weeds emerge and the grass hasn't even started turning green yet! I live in Tennessee and the weather has been shifty for the past couple of months (50 degrees one day, 35 the next). Apparently I need to do something now, but what should I do? I'm thinking about puling them with a Fiskars weed puller followed by some Roundup to kill any roots that were left. Is this a good idea?

Thanks in advance.

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Crab Grass seed does not germinate until soil temperatures reach the mid 50's for several days, so even in Tennessee this would not likely be Crab Grass. It does look like Annual Ryegrass ("Lolium multiflorum") , however. Many sources recommend this for a cover crop, nurse crop, while others think this grass to be a "weed". Once established it is difficult to keep under control.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annual Ryegrass

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:41AM
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I'd say you're probably right about it being ryegrass. Thank you for the info. The sod was put down several months ago and I bet it contained ryegrass seeds. :(

My delimma is what to do about it. I did some research and found that ryegrass dies off in the late spring. That's good, but at this time my yard looks like a mess. Imagine what you see in that picture all throughout my yard with some areas worse than others. It seems I could take 2 routes. I'd like to here anyone's input on this.

1. Try to kill it off using some herbicide with glyphosate (Roundup) and be rid of it all. How hard would this be? What would be the best method - physically pulling them out or spraying?

2. Plant more ryegrass seeds so that it feels in the empty patches. I've heard ryegrass can also be used for lawns to get an early green look to them and can look nice if well attended to. Would anyone out there recommend this?

This is all very interesting to me. Thanks guys!

This post was edited by stunshaw on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 21:17

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 6:20PM
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One of the major problems with Annual Ryegrass is that is self seeds quite prolifically, so applications of poisons such as glyphosates may kill what is growing but will not harm the seeds that grass might grow, so you will need to spray that poison again and again.
The best defense is to grow a turf dense enough that it fends off this "weed", or if it is growing in a garden cover the soil so the grass, and seeds, cannot grow.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 6:46AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Quackgrass would be my guess.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 8:14PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I would tolerate it for this spring assuming it is rye grass, it won't be too long before the rest of the lawn should be greening up. Just keep it mowed and prevent seed production. Pull one up. If it is sending out roots sideways with buds on them, they it is more likely to be quack grass and I would nuke it with glyphosate now before the rest of the lawn starts to green up.

If it reappears next year, then get your little squirt bottle out with glyphosate in it and individually spray the plants about this time when they are easy to spot. If you pull it out, then try to spray, the spray will have little or no effect. With annual rye, you don't have spreading root runners. Simply pulling out the growing point will kill the plant.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 2:25AM
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Not Quackgrass. I have Quackgrass growing all around me and none of it grows like that. The Annual Ryegrass I have does grow like that.

Here is a link that might be useful: Annual Ryegrass images

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 7:22AM
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