We purchased our home 1 year ago, it appears to have several different types of grass growing. Last year we paid to have someone treat it and after spending the money, didn't seem to reap the benefit. We are attempting to treat it ourselves. Any suggestions?? my husband it quite aggrevated that we have several types of grass and a few spots that appear to be "wild" grass. Don't have the funds to re-sod. But needing good suggestions that will give us hope that this problem will eventually go away. I thought that if we keep treating the grass, along with putting down "Kentuckey blue grass seed" that eventually the "K" grass would eventually grow and over take the weeds and unwanted grass (kinda like how your dandelions do, without treatment, they eventually take over).

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It is very difficult to remove grassy weeds or unwanted grass from a KBG lawn. Most herbicides work on either broadleaf (Weed-Be-Gone) or grassy weeds. Seldom do herbicides selectively work on only one type of grass. A pre-emergence will reduce seed germination and helps to remove annual grassy weeds over time from a lawn, but it will do noting for established perennial grassy weeds. Also, there is no pre-emergence labeled for the control of Tall Fescue, Quackgrass or Creeping Bent Grass.

    A common problem in KBG lawns is the infiltration of unwanted grasses like Tall fescue (TF). Tall fescue is a coarse bladed perennial bunch grass that's lighter green than KBG. Tall fescue has better heat & drought tolerance than KBG. It will not be crowded out by KBG once established, though it's very slow to spread. Tall fescue looks like a weed in a KBG lawn and is often times confused with crab grass. Tall fescue is green and growing in April (in zone 5) while crab grass has not yet germinated. Crab grass is a warm season annual grassy weed that does not germinate until mid to late May in zone 5. Tall fescue is often times used by DOT (KY31) along roadsides because of its heat & drought characteristics. It spreads to KBG lawns via seeds.

    The best technique for the removal of established Tall fesuce is to wipe RoundUp on the blades (use a sponge brush) in early spring. At this time, tall fescue will out grow KBG and its easier to get the RoundUp on the taller, coarser TF blades. Also, because of its better heat tolerance, this can be done in summer when KBG is going dormant due to heat & drought. Multiple applications will be needed to deal a death blow to Tall Fescue. Be careful not to get RoundUp on KBG as it's a nonspecific herbicide & it will kill your KBG. You can pull Tall fescue, but its pretty tough to remove all of the plant if well established. I've had only mixed results pulling Tall fecuse. This grass can regenerate from just a part of the roots.

    Quackgrass is a course balded perennial grassy weed that spreads by rhizomes and is often present in KBG lawns. Quackgrass establishes in thin, hot, dry areas of a KBG lawn This could be compacted areas in full sun (along the driveway or narrow sidewalks) or tops and south sides of hills. Use the same technique as described above to remove Tall fescue. Quackgrass can not and should not be pulled. You will never remove all of the rhizomes when pulling this grassy weed. In fact pulling breaks the rhizomes and forces multiple plants to re-establish in its place. It's a fairy tale that you can remove quackgrass via hand pulling.

    Creeping Bent grass (CBG) is another grass that can invade a KBG lawn and looks out of place. It's a short, medium fine bladed, dense mat forming grass often used on golf courses. Again, its a grass that can not be controlled by pulling. There is no pre-emergencent herbicide labeled for the control of Creeping Bent Grass. It can be eliminated by digging or using RoundUp. Re-seed or sod the affected area once removed.

    Another grass common in KBG lawns are the fine fescues. These are fine bladed perennial and shade tolerant grasses. They may look out of place because their blades are so fine compared to KBG. Thses are usually added to KBG seed mixtures because of their shade tolerance. Seldom do people request the remove of fine fescues.

    Don't waste your money on gypsum unless you know that it will work on your lawn. I've succesfully used gypsum on clay when I lived in Phoenix. The University of Ilinois Extension Service advises against the use of gypsum because it has no affect on our type of clays in NE Illinois. Get the facts for your area & check with your local extension office before you make this investment.

    Maintaining a dense, lush KBG lawn mowed at 3-3.5" can help keep new seeds from germinating, but it will never crowd out the above grassy weeds/unwanteds if already established in your lawn. Good Luck.

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  • 4 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    We inherited this same circumstance when we moved into our house.. the lawn had been sodded, but not cared for and there were several different types of wild grasses growing. It has been a lengthy task, but we now have a pretty good lawn.. probably second or third best in the neighborhood and we manage it ourselves. We started mid-summer.

    The first thing we did was to get our soil tested to find out what it needed to make it better to grow our grass. Turns out we have hard, alkaline clay that is very low in nitrogen. We applied garden gypsum to the entire lawn to help break up the clay. We also added garden sulfur, which helps acidify the soil a little, then a high nitrogen lawn fertilizer. Nitrogen is the first number in the fertilizer analysis (for example 25-5-10 is high nitrogen) and then we watered like crazy.

    These things helped green up the grass pretty quickly. Next was to start to weed and eliminate the wild grasses. We used weed-b-gone to kill off dandelions and other broadleaf weeds. We sprayed them one at a time.. for the wild grasses, we pulled them out.. that's right, pulled them to be sure we got them out. this is most easily done when the ground is wet.. the roots can't hold on so well.

    In the fall, we aerated and over seeded. We spread peat moss and sand (half and half mix) over the entire yard after seeding and put down a starter fertilizer to help the new grass establish itself before winter. The peat moss helps acidify and holds moisture, helping the seeds to germinate. sand settles into the aeration holes and lets water and nutrients penetrate the soil better.

    After the fall seeding was established we put down a granular fertilizer that is contolled release.. lasts up to 6 months (the package says) at the full recommended rate. The rains of winter allowed the fertilizer into the soil and down to the roots of the grass.

    Early spring, we put down pre-emergent to keep the crabgrass and other dormant seeds from germinating. We also applied the granular fertilizer again at half the rate at this time.

    We spot treat any weeds that might pop up with weed-b-gone and put down gypsum every spring.. we cut the grass weekly and have wound up with a pretty nice lawn.. hope you can achieve the same.. it IS possible, but it takes a lot of work. Good luck.. and get busy!

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  • 4 years ago

    It takes twelve seconds for YAnswers web page to display for me to be able to click on [add your answer] button. does this mean my laptop is slow??

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  • 7 years ago

    Sorry, i'm not an expert in this kinda stuff, so...

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