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Comparing Crabgrass with Dallisgrass

August 4, 2017

Since I am getting a lot of searches for Dallisgrass info, here is a repeat of one of my previous postings.

One weed that gets confused with Crabgrass this time of year is Dallisgrass.  Folks see Dallisgrass in their lawn and the first thought is that their Crabgrass preventer did not work.   Dallisgrass is a perennial grass that is common in the south and surrounding states to the north.  Since it is a perennial grass, it comes back every year from roots so a spring applied preventer to take care of annual grasses like crabgrass that grow from seed each year only helps to stop some germination of new plants.  Often the only choice is to kill this grass with a weed killer like Roundup.   The downside is that Roundup will kill all vegetation in the area that you spray, however you can seed that area a week later.  (If you plan on using Roundup to kill Dallisgrass, be sure to use the one that kills all vegetation and not the one that is now sold to kill weeds in your grass without harming the good grass.)  You may still have Dallisgrass next year so turf experts suggest you work on the problem for a couple of years.  One thing that helps is to encourage your good grass with regular feedings and mowing at taller mower heights.  The seed heads provide the best way to identify Crabgrass and Dallisgrass.

On the other hand, if you have crabgrass, you can spray with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer.   This spray is most effective on young crabgrass.

Dallisgrass is often confused with Crabgrass. Dallisgrass seed head on left and Crabgrass seed head on right.  (click photo to enlarge)

Dallisgrass can be confused with Crabgrass (click photo to enlarge)

Crabgrass in Bermuda grass lawn (click photo to enlarge)

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