Do I Have POA

jhnlngnMay 4, 2012

Starting last spring my lawn developed patches of lighter colored grass that seeds this time of year. I seem to be the only one in my neighborhood getting it. I've looked on Michigan State's weed ID website and it looks kind of like annual bluegrass. The only thing is, the blades look much smaller/narrower. I'll try posting a few pics and I can get more if that would help.

John

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tiemco

Yup, that's it. There are hundreds of species of poa annua, so you can get a lot of variation in color, growth habit, etc.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 3:23PM
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jhnlngn

Thanks for the bad news. lol Well what is the best way of dealing with this? I have read about Tenacity, which it sounds like is best to use in the fall? Should I just take some Roundup and kill it off and replant the spots with some new topsoil/compost and seed?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 4:06PM
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hogan_nj

I also have a question. If you have a healthy lawn next to it, could the healthy grass be taken over by the poa?

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 10:39PM
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jhnlngn

I'm worried about that too hogan.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 10:53AM
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hogan_nj

I am 99% sure I have a long strip along side my driveway that looks a lot like poa. It is a lighter green and has those seed heads. I thought at first it was from a different kind of grass seed I over seeded.

So now come sept I need to remove the sod and start over?

Man I am the only one in neighborhood that spends so much time on lawn care and seem to have the most problems.

I mow high,water deep and infrequently,and fert. 3x a year. I did notice it is an area that does not drain well. Same side as downspout and I have a mostly clay soil.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:05AM
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jhnlngn

I think I'm probably just going to use some Roundup or something and kill off the spots of it that I have, then reseed the areas.

I'm much like you. Up until last spring I had the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. Then this stuff comes along and what a mess. It seems to have started in areas that had some grass damage due to moles and deer bedding down. My soil also has a lot of clay in it, so maybe that is our problem too?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:41AM
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JesseSLC

Yikes, that sure looks like POA. Cut it right before the roundup.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lawn Care Plano

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 11:55AM
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tiemco

Poa annua has had a long time to adapt, and it is a problem for pretty much anyone who wants nice turf. The act of renovating your lawn actually makes it more favorable to poa annua, as the seeds can stay in your soil for years, waiting for optimal conditions. Typically poa annua is a winter annual. It germinates in late summer when soil temps drop below 70 degrees. Usually you don't notice it at this time because it isn't producing seedheads, and is relatively small. Once it warms up in the spring it takes off, usually earlier than most cool season grasses. The seedheads produce a lot of seeds that become viable very quickly. The plant then dies off in the heat of summer (there are perennial types that don't die) as it is an annual. The seeds then lie in wait till soil temps to drop. A regular regiment of preemergents in summer and early spring over time should reduce poa annua pressure. There are a few specialty herbicides that are available to help eradicate it as well, like Prograss, Velocity, Tenacity, and Xonerate. Good cultural practices help, but ultimately they won't eliminate poa annua altogether.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:11PM
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hogan_nj

How often is a regular regiment of pre emergent? Is Dimension what I want to use? Now I guess mulch mowing is a bad idea? Last question, since the poa is on one side of driveway and the other side is not effected can I bag one side and mulch mow other?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 12:34PM
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tiemco

Dimension is a good one that lasts long enough to suppress poa. Again, apply when soil temps fall below 70. Don't want to measure soil temps, then late August is a good time. Apply again in early spring before your grass wakes up. Be sure to water it in per the directions on the bag. Bag mow when you see seedheads. I would bag mow everything when seedheads are out just to be sure.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 5:46PM
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hogan_nj

What is the allowable amount of pre emergent that can be used per year? Thanks for reply by the way.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 6:50PM
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jhnlngn

I think part of my problem has been that I switched to an organic program a few years ago. I've been using corn gluten meal as a fertilizer and pre-e. I wonder if it's just not strong enough to suppress the POA?

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:13PM
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tiemco

Corn Gluten Meal's preemergent activity is marginal at best. It's been around for twenty years and it's never really proven to be a good preemergent.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2012 at 9:58PM
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jhnlngn

So if I want to keep the poa from returning is my best bet just to scrap the organic program?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 8:32AM
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tiemco

"So if I want to keep the poa from returning is my best bet just to scrap the organic program?"

Just the preemergent part.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 9:56AM
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jhnlngn

Cool. So what preemergent should I be looking into?

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 12:09PM
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tiemco

Dimension (Dithiopyr) is good, so is Barricade or Stonewall (Prodiamine). Halts is OK, but I don't think it lasts very long, so timing is a bit more critical.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2012 at 6:58PM
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jhnlngn

Thank you! What do you think my plan of attack should be with this stuff? Just use round up and kill it all off?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 11:07AM
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moisha

trust me, I have had poa grass for the last 3 years. Have no idea where it came from. I have tried every thing to get rid of it. We have actually, this spring, filled up 4 -30 gallon garbage cans of the stuff. It is from Hell. My husband got the bright idea to use 20 Mule Team Borax on it. We used it up north to kill creeping charlie in our Kentucky blue grass. It did the trick. The poa turned a ghastly shade of yellow, seeds and all. now we just take a spade and slice it off.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2012 at 2:46PM
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jhnlngn

Thanks for the info, I'll look into that stuff. Have you been able to control it since you used the Borax? Will that stuff kill off the good grass as well?

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:13PM
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grass1950

I think she is saying that Borax didn't work.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 1:30PM
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tiemco

I wouldn't put a lot of borax on your yard, as too much in the soil can be toxic to any grass, and it doesn't leach out very quickly.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2012 at 5:28PM
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