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Need Help Identifying Grass

Posted by YardMan77 Ohio (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 23, 12 at 11:43

Hello All.
I have been pulling my hair out trying to identify a grass that is prolific in my yard. I am trying to grow a KBG lawn but this grass seems to thrive and take over the KBG. I have attached a pic of the grass. It is very stemmy and the seed spikelets are very close together. I appreciate any help as I am trying to rid my yard of this. The back yard has a very good stand of KBG but the front is overrun with this stemmy grass. I have tried Certainty on it but seems to be ineffective.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

Another pic of the grass/weed I need help identifying.

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

It's hard to tell but does it have tiny white flowers? Can you take a picture in the shade or under an umbrella?

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

It does not have tiny white flowers. I have attached another photo taken in the shade. I think it may be rough bluegrass but not really sure. Thanks

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

One more pic

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

YardMan77 wrote:
I think it may be rough bluegrass but not really sure.

Hi YardMan77. It's great to have you onboard. I doubt that is Rough Bluegrass because Rough Bluegrass (a.k.a. Poa trivialis) isn't really rough. It's actually a soft, smooth-feeling grass to the touch. It's called Rough Bluegrass because it produces a rough-feeling seed stalk. The blades, themselves, are soft and pleasant to the touch. Also Poa trivialis is lighter green, almost fluorescent green.

It's hard to positively identify grasses from a picture on the screen, but that might be Quackgrass. That spiked seedhead is consistent with quackgrass.

According to the authors of the Color Atlas of Turfgrass Weeds, quackgrass is found in "the northern one-half of the United States, north of a line that extends through North Carolina, Oklahoma, Colorado, and California."

It's also found in other parts of the world too, like Asia, Europe, Canada, and the cooler parts of South America, Australia, etc.

You already know quackgrass is a robust grass; hard to kill. Multiple chemical sprayings might not kill it, but the multiple sprayings will take a toll on your regular grass. Some folks just use quackgrass as a lawn grass substitute. You might not mind it in your backyard and side yard.

It's also hard to pull, but it can be done with practice--a lot of practice [laughter]. I've pulled some from my neighbor's front yard (zoysia) that borders my front yard. (Can't have his quackgrass invade my front yard :-) and he's happy that I help out. But really quackgrass is so green and thick that it kind of blends in well with a low-cut, thick zoysia lawn. It doesn't really mar a low-cut, thick lawn's appearance much at all.

But you have Kentucky Bluegrass that is cut higher than zoysia so maybe your tall-cut quackgrass doesn't blend in well with your Bluegrass. It's all in the eye of the beholder I guess.

The Scotts Lawns book says this perennial "reproduces by seed that is formed from May to September and by rhizomes....Small parts of a rhizome left in the soil when the weed is pulled or hoed will grow into new plants."

Quackgrass is rough to the touch on upper surfaces. It has "hollow stems with wheatlike spikes at the tips."

My other neighbor has some quackgrass in his side yard that occasionally gets submerged with water during really heavy rainfalls that happen a few times in the Spring. The quackgrass seems to handle the heavy rain well. His zoysia didn't.

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

Thanks ZoysiaSod!

I was wondering if it could be quackgrass. The question is how does it keep on coming back? I killed most of my lawn last fall and reseeded. Unfortunately, I think alot of the bluegrass seed didnt take due to the dead grass and lack of seed to soil contact.

We moved in the house in 2008 and I had one the neighbors bring in truck loads of topsoil from a construction site where they were tearing down old buildings. Probably brought the quackgrass into my yard from the topsoil. Well, I guess you live and learn. Never do that again.

Anyways, hopefully I can control the outbreak with Certainty. I put down Certainty about 3 1/2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, we are going through quite a drought right now and I dont want to spray again. Just wish there was an easier solution to get rid of this noxious weed.

Again, thanks for the great reply ZoysiaSod

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

I just seeded some Zenith Zoysia that is finally coming up. However, I think one of the bales of hay/straw we used to cover it was tainted with some other plant. It's only growing in one large section, but I don't know if it's a weed or grass. Anyone able to help?

RE: Need Help Identifying Grass

I'm not sure exactly sure from your picture what type of weed this is. Can you take a closer pic. Can you just spray that section with roundup and reseed?

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