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grassy weed seed heads

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A weed’s life cycle has great impact on the selection and success of a given control procedure, so it is important to learn the life cycle characteristics of a weed when you first learn its identity.

Grassy weeds are usually more difficult to identify than broadleaf weeds. Grassy weeds are true grasses or monocots. A grass seed germinates and emerges as one single leaf. It develops hollow, rounded stems and nodes (joints) that are closed and hard. The leaf blades alternate on each side of the stem, are much longer than they are wide and have parallel veins.

Common Grassy Weeds:

fertilizing according to soil test recommendations, making sure adequate nutrients are available during periods of active turf growth;

Water following application according to the herbicide label direction.

The bottom line is that turfgrass breeding, selection, and evaluation has greatly improved turfgrasses. However, even new and improved turf selections are incapable of competing with weeds when mismanaged or planted into unfavorable environments. If producing high-quality turf is important, cultural practices and environmental alterations that enhance turf growth relative to weed growth are the basis of a sound weed management program.

For Established Weeds

Summer Annual Broadleaf Weeds
Many of the most problematic broadleaf weeds are annuals. Here you will find specific summer annual weed information, with weed names, photos and control methods.

Organic Preemergent

Cultural Practices that Help Prevent Grassy Weeds

The most effective and proven method of preventing crabgrass from starting is to use a preemergent herbicide. I can’t stress this enough. If you want to prevent crabgrass from ever starting, you have to use a preemergent.

Yellow and Green Foxtails (Summer Annual Weed)

Foxtails are a summer annual grassy weed. They get their name from the seedhead that resembles a fox’s tail. They can spread quickly in sunny areas but less so in shade. The same preemergents that control crabgrass will also control foxtails.

Crabgrass is yellow-green in color with short, wide leaves. While the seedling look similar to other plants, they soon begin to distinguish themselves. In young plants, like the one in the photo to the left, the leaves are twice as long as they are wide. These young plants begin by growing prostrate with three or four stems branching out in a starfish pattern. As the plant matures the stems will curve in an upward direction. Each plant can produce as many as 700 new tillers (new leaf blades). At full maturity, each leaf will grow to be a few inches long. Crabgrass leaves have tiny hairs on both sides of the leaves.