Weeds

Weeds

Q: Can you take care of our weeds in the walkways, driveway or flower beds?
A:  No, not usually.  That requires a different pesticide license and we are only associated with turf.  Often, other plants, like flowers or shrubs, may be in the vicinity of weeds and the herbicide may damage or kill plants you want to keep.  We use a high pressure system to get rid of weeds and the small droplets from our equipment can easily be displaced by a light breeze.  As much as we want to help, there isn’t much we can do in that department.
Q:  In the summer months, what is this grass growing higher than the rest of the lawn within 24 hours of mowing?

A:  Most likely, it’s not a grass, but a weed.  A common weed in recent years with this characteristic is yellow nutsedge.  Nutsedge is a type of sedge, which is caused by an abundance of water.  “Nut” refers to the roots.  At the bottom of the roots are nuts (bulbs).  If the bulbs are not appropriately wiped out, this weed will come back each year.  Nutsedge can double in population in one year!  Many herbicides are labeled for nutsedge, but very few control it.  Every pesticide labeled for this weed will state “suppression or control of nutsedge”, you are left to figure out which one you get.  The goal is to get control, killing this weed down to the bulb.  Suppression looks like control, the plant dies, but the bulb remains intact.  A bulb that was suppressed may not send a new plant until the following year, making results of the herbicide difficult to assess.  If you take the time to spray for nutsedge one year and next summer, it is not any better or worse, use a different herbicide!  Since this is a very fast growing weed, reproduces rapidly and is only up in the summer months when you are limited at spraying herbicides in the heat, will make this a very difficult weed to control.  It may take a couple years to completely eradicate nutsedge, but most of the population shoud be controlled in the first year .  Control of this weed is included in our program, no additional charges.  If this weed comes up in between visits, that is a good time to take advantage of our free service calls.  The more we stay on top of it, the better control we are going to have!

Q: Towards the end of the season, there are sections of my grass with little tiny spiked balls on them. Is this good or bad?

A:  Bad.  This is a weed called kyllinga.  The spiked balls are actually seed heads of kyllinga, which you do not want to reproduce.  Unfortunately, this type of sedge is the most difficult to control and resembles grass very closely.  Kyllinga is about the same height of grass, but has a different shade of green and tends to have a glossy appearance.  Very few herbicides even have this particular weed on their label and to get control of it, requires a lot of extra care.  When this plant is killed, it will get a reddish-brown when most plants would get a yellowish-brown.  Many times this weed will look it was killed (controlled), but it was only suppressed and can easily come back!  Using the right herbicide and limiting water flow to these areas is the only solution.  If negelected, kyllinga coverage could double in just one year.

Grassy Weeds

Weeds – By definition, is an undesirable plant.  You may have a weed in one state, but that same plant could make a desirable lawn in another state.

  • Grassy weeds tend to take more of an effort than your traditional broad leaf weed. They either require added herbicides or it could require glyphosate (RoundUp), which will kill even the good grass.

Roughstalk Bluegrass
Annua Poa
Annual Ryegrass
Creeping Bentgrass
Nimblewill
Bermuda Grass
St. Augustine
Dallisgrass
Crabgrass
Foxtail
Nutsedge
Kyllinga
Goosegrass

Roughstalk Bluegrass

  • Type of perennial bluegrass.
  • Usually comes in bluegrass sod or cheap bluegrass seed.
  • Comes up early spring.
  • Lime green, with long, burgundy colored stems.
  • Grows in patches.
  • Goes dormant in the summer, but will come back annually.
  • Prefers wet, moist locations.
  • Solution: RoundUp before it goes to seed.

Annua Poa

  • Another annual bluegrass, but this one can be prevented.
  • Tends to come with bluegrass sod or cheap seed.
  • Comes up early spring.
  • Light green in color and grows in patches.
  • Goes to seed like most types of grass, but the seed heads grow low, making it difficult to mow. The white seeds head can be an eye sore, especially in a lush green lawn.
  • As summer comes, the light green patches die off, turning yellow, making it even more of an eye sore.
  • Bi-annual weed (spring and fall).

Annual Ryegrass

  • Found in a contractor blend of seed.
  • Used for its quick growth, both germination and growth can happen within 2 weeks.
  • May be good if trying to sell a property quickly or for non-residential purposes.
  • If trying to establish a healthy, thick lawn, avoid this grass seed!
  • Will die off as the heat comes.
  • Light green and may grow tall, even in cooler weather.
  • Its an annual plant. Mowing frequently to prevent it from going to seed could help get rid of this grass, but most won’t come back the following year without doing anything.

Creeping Bentgrass

  • Very similar to the grass on putting greens, but not wanted on a residential property.
  • Soft appearance, teal green in color.
  • Can be mowed very low.
  • Very susceptible to disease and heat stress. Not durable, but resilient.  The common eye sores and the shade of green, make it less desirable.
  • Usually creeps from beds, forested areas, and/or golf courses. Bentgrass is invasive and can take over a lawn.
  • Solution: glyphosate

Nimblewill

  • Just about same characteristics of bentgrass.
  • Distinguishable by the clusters of grass blades near the top (mowing height). These clusters turn brown as winter comes (illustration below).

Bermuda Grass

  • Warm-season turfgrass.
  • Stays green all year long in the South, goes extra dormant (brown) in the Northeast.
  • Spreads mainly by rhizomes/stolons that grows along the ground. Very invasive!
  • Teal green and very stemy.
  • Solution: glyphosate

St. Augustine

  • Warm-season turfgrass.
  • Stays green all year long in the South, goes extra dormant (brown) in the Northeast.
  • Teal green and big, broad grass blades.
  • Solution: glyphosate

Dallisgrass (Fringe-Leaf Paspalum)

  • Warm-season turfgrass.
  • Disappears in the fall as it goes dormant, in the Northeast.
  • Army green, grows erect and in clumps, broad grass blades and is very hairy. There are many little hairs on baldes, giving it a fuzzy-like feel to it when touched.
  • Emerges early summer and can resemble nutsedge from a distance. As you get closer, it looks more like a mutant crabgrass.
  • Solution: glyphosate or certain selective herbicides

Crabgrass

  • Preventable under the correct Lawn Care Program
  • Teal green and grows in clumps.
  • Emerges and begins thriving the end of June to September. Starts dying off as weather cools in the fall.
  • Grows and reproduces very quickly. If not prevented, it will add costs to seeding in the fall.
  • Hearty plant that takes up a lot of space when dead. For this reason, to establish a thick lawn effectively after being a victim of an outbreak, ripping out crabgrass could be required.  To save money, patience is required and seeding can be done without a rip out.  Both procedures could require more seed the following year, but more so the latter.  Whether or not seed was effective, most cases, crabgrass can be prevented in a half decent lawn when a program is implemented in the beginning of the year.  Depending on soil analysis results, you may not want so spend the extra money on a rip out.

Foxtail

  • Same characteristics as many other summer grassy weeds.
  • Distinguishable by the seed heads, resembles a foxtail.
  • Not preventable, but selective herbicides are available.

Nutsedge

  • One of the most notorious weeds, in recent years, come summer time.
  • Emerges late June, until September.
  • Water causes it (sedge). Usually, the path of water on a property and where the water will settle will bring this weed out.  Over-watering could cause this to appear anywhere.
  • Grows extremely fast! Mow one day, the next day it’s taller than the rest of the lawn.
  • Even scarier, this weed will reproduce just as fast! This plant spreads by rhizomes/stolons, across the wet areas.  Starting mid-summer, this plant will go to seed.
  • Looks like grass, but it’s a fluorescent lime color and has a waxy look.
  • DO NOT pull out of the ground! This can be said about all weeds, but with nutsedge in particular. There is a nut at the bottom of the roots, almost like a small onion.  If the nut is not removed, more plants will emerge than there was before!
  • More than 90% of the herbicides that are labeled for nutsedge, do not get good control of this weed. The pesticide labels for this weed, states suppression or control, which will take a full year to determine.  Control is what is desired, for this weed, killing the plant all the way down to the nut.  Suppression looks like control, the plant will yellow out and wilt, but will come right back the following year.  If no improvement is noticed year to year, most likely, the right herbicide isn’t being used to get control.  Keep in mind, not having the right watering schedule could be a bigger problem than using the correct herbicide.
  • Nutsedge comes up in 3-4 annual waves throughout the summer. After years of observing, nutsedge could emerge in one section of a property early summer, but not in other parts of the property until later in the summer.  If neglected, this weed will at least double in population, in just 1 year!
  • Take advantage of FREE service calls that we offer to help eradicate this weed.

Kyllinga

  • In the sedge family and many of the same characteristics as nutsedge; color, glossy, attracted by water, fast growth, and rapid reproducing, but much HARDER to control.
  • Far less herbicides are even labeled for it, compared to nutsedge.
  • Instead growing tall like nutsedge, it will stay the same height as the rest of the lawn, making it hard to distinguish between the good grass.
  • Grows in large clumps, can emerge in the thickest lawns, and a bad population of kyllinga could choke out the good grass.
  • Often, homeowners think the control of kyllinga is their grass dying. Suppression/control of kyllinga gets more like a cherry, brown color, instead of a blonde color that grass usually gets.  This darker brown can also occur during the transition of summer to fall, as it’s going dormant.
  • Try to fix the water problem for best control of kyllinga. Since kyllinga resembles grass so closely, it looks like the lawn is being killed off, each time it’s sprayed.  Kyllinga is resilient, if wet conditions don’t improve, control of kyllinga may occur, but could easily come back to the favorable conditions.
  • Late summer, shown in the illustration below, kyllinga becomes a little more obvious producing spike like balls, which is their seed heads.

Goosegrass

  • Very similar to crabgrass, but has long white stems
  • May requires an additional herbicide to treat, if not prevented.
  • Summer annual weed.
  • Not an issue in lawns, just requires a little extra attention.