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So far this season we have focused on the different types of broadleaf weeds that are common in Colorado lawns and landscapes.  Now we would like to familiarize you with what we call “grassy weeds”.  What is a grassy weed?  Simply put it is any kind of grass foreign to your lawn, and there are many. 

Most people are familiar with the name of the most infamous type of grassy weed, crabgrass.  However, many people confuse crabgrass with quackgrass, tall fescue or any other grass that has taken up residence in their lawn.  We want to take some time in this post to allow you to see the difference and talk about controlling these types of nuisance grasses. 

This picture is of quackgrass, also a perennial, so it will come back yearly. The only chemical control for this type of grass is a non-selective herbicide like Roundup. Usually two days after mowing, the weed will be two to three inches taller than the turf. During this stage using a nitrile exam glove under a cotton glove dipped in Roundup and carefully rubbing the taller blades of the quackgrass will give you control.
The picture above shows a clump of tall fescue in a bluegrass lawn. Like bluegrass, fescue is a perennial and will often green up earlier in the spring than your bluegrass. Control methods are very limited for this type of grass. Either dig up the infected clumps or treat it with Roundup before reseeding or sodding.
This is a picture of young crabgrass in the middle of June. Look for the small lime green sprouts circled in yellow.
The is a picture of maturing crabgrass infestation along the sidewalk in bluegrass turf later in June. This is very typical of crabgrass to sprout along the edges as well as thin areas. Notice the wider tipped grass that is lime green in color!

The biggest difference between crabgrass and the other two types of grassy weeds is that crabgrass is not a perennial but an annual.  In other words it germinates, sets seed, then dies, usually after the first hard frost in the fall.  A single crabgrass plant has the ability to produce 150,000 seeds, and they can remain viable in the soil for up to 3 years. It normally doesn’t germinate until very late May or early June.  So keep that in mind in April when you think that clump of something in your yard is crabgrass, it is more than likely tall fescue or quackgrass.

The best control for crabgrass in your grass is to prevent it.  At EcoTurf, our first two applications of the season include a pre-emergent to prevent crabgrass, This is why it is important for us to get the first round completed in March, even if sprinklers are not turned on yet. Pre-emergents work in the soil to prevent crabgrass from breaking through to the surface.

EcoTurf of Northern Colorado

1101 Automation Drive #664
Windsor, CO 80550

Servicing all of Northern Colorado including Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Eaton, Evans, Johnstown, Severance, Timnath, Wellington