Dallisgrass clumps in bermudagrass
Dallisgrass is one of the most troubling and challenging weeds now in Oklahoma. It’s a perennial grassy weed, often grows in clumps, with big broad leaves. If allowed to grow to produce seedheads, without timely mowing, it produces tall gangly looking seedheads with spiklets shooting out at the ends. Dallisgrass has a pale green color, and really stands out as a weed in bermudgrass lawns mainly in the sun.
Dallisgrass is a perennial, so it comes back year after year once established. Therefore, pre-emergent herbicides to not help. It can reproduce by seeds, causing even more plants to invade healthy turf. In severe cases, there can be more Dallisgrass plants then bermudagrass. However if a homeowner mows properly and the bermudagrass is cared for, Dallisgrass is more often in isolated clumps dispersed throughout the turf.
Until a few years ago, we could use MSMA herbicide to control it as a post-emergent spray. It was still tough then, and would take repeated treatments, but it did work. However, as is the case with several other good products, it’s been taken off the market, and the products that we have available now for Dallisgrass control just do not work well at all. They will stunt it, but it seems to just come back. And because of this, we are seeing more and more Dallisgrass problems in lawns, as more plants are producing more seeds, leading to more pressure from this nasty weed.
For the last few years, we’ve used a new product named Tribute, from Bayer. Upon their recommendations and from OSU research, we add special surfactants and some fertilizer to this mix and apply it in the early fall, just as the weed plant is shutting down for the season. We then follow-up with another treatment a few weeks later, and even a third after that later in fall. We are seeing some reduction in the Dallisgrass population with this program, but it’s not 100%. It may take several years of these special treatments, or even just treating with Roundup or Glyphosate in early spring, in order to completely eradicate the weed. And being a perennial, once it’s gone, unless more seeds blow in, it won’t be back.
Our 6 and 7-step customers at LawnAmerica are serviced with this plan to control Dallisgrass, with their regular round 6 and 7, and with a free service call in between these regular treatments. Other customers who subscribe only to 4 or 5 treatments per year should upgrade to a complete program in order to control Dallisgrass. Most of our competitors don’t even try to control it, or they charge extra for it. But with LawnAmerica, as long as you are on our best 6 or 7-Step program, we’ve got you covered. Just be patient, as it may take several years to completely eradicate this troublesome weed.
For more information, here is a good video from OSU on Dallisgrass: