Weeds in any lawn are an eyesore. Unfortunately, it happens. Every season has its own type of weeds that pop up. Spring weeds are the most commonly seen. Spring brings crabgrass, broadleaf, nutsedge, and dallisgrass types of weeds.

Any type of weed can be difficult to get rid of but dallisgrass is one of the most difficult perennial weeds to kill. It can take years to rid your lawn of this type of weed. Killing a grassy weed, like dallisgrass, takes time to not damage the grass itself.

St. Augustine, Bermuda, buffalograss, and zoysia are not immune to the spread of this evasive weed. Dallisgrass roots don’t die when the weed dies in the winter. It just comes back year after year.

Dallisgrass produces seed stalks that can reach several feet above the height of the grass. These stalks are attached to patchy clumps at the ground. The leaves at the base of the plant are more coarse than turfgrass and grow twice as fast as grass after mowing.

Dallisgrass has underground stems called rhizomes. These rhizomes grow outward and can be used to decipher dallisgrass from crabgrass and other weeds. Rhizomes can survive beneath the soil for years before emerging.

Dallisgrass weed seeds begin germinating in the winter. It’s important to apply a pre-emergent treatment in February and October to help reduce the amount of seeds that germinate. Because dallisgrass is difficult to rid your lawn of, the best way to get rid of this weed is to dig up the plant. Make sure to get the entire root and place it in a trash bag immediately. Seeds can fall off and get back into the soil and start the process all over again. Once the weed is removed, re-seeding or re-sodding is recommended for the area so other weeds don’t take over the weak spot. Herbicide treatments will help kill the weed but it will take multiple applications to kill the roots safely without harming the lawn.

Dallisgrass grows rapidly in moist soil. Lawns that have poor drainage or are overwatered, may experience excessive weeds in weaker areas of the lawn.

Pastures that have an abundance of dallisgrass often use this weed for animal grazing. Farmers and ranchers pay close attention to the weed seeds that sprout along the branches of the stalks. Field mowing is often done before seed heads appear. These seed heads can be harmful to animals if the seeds are infected by ergot and ingested. Ergot is a type of dallisgrass poisoning that can cause sudden movements, twitching, and easily spooked animals. If the animal becomes too spooked, it could harm itself or others in its path while running away. Treatment is available if an animal is poisoned by dallisgrass seed heads. In more severe poisoning, the animal may need to be put down.

Farm and ranch animals are not the only animals that can be affected by dallisgrass poisoning. Wildlife and household pets that eat infected seeds can become sick as well.

Helpful tips:

  1. Apply pre-emergent in February and October to help reduce weed seeds from germinating.
  2. Keep on an herbicide treatment schedule.
  3. If pulling weeds, get to the root and don’t allow seeds to fall off and spread. Bag immediately.
  4. Reseed or resod weak areas.
  5. Keep grass height at 3-3.5”. This will help choke out weeds. The fuller the grass equals less weeds.
  6. If a pet or animal shows signs of poisoning, contact the veterinarian immediately.
  7. Hire a professional. Professionals can keep your lawn treatments on schedule and help eliminate dallisgrass and other weeds.

Don’t let dallisgrass take over your Rockwall lawn. Contact Safe Earth Pest Control today. We provide services for all your pest control and lawn care needs. 214-321-2847