Question: How do I eliminate dallisgrass from my lawn? How can I be sure that’s what I have?

Answer: Dallisgrass is a perennial weed that dies back to its dense, clumping root system after the first freeze each fall. And then it comes back even stronger the following spring, spreading itself across big parts of your yard.

You can recognize dallisgrass by its deep green, clumping habit. Individual clumps are as large as large dinner plates, but they quickly grow together to form dense stands. You need to get there with a remedy before it gets that far along.


One of the other things you’ll notice about dallisgrass is that it sends up new seed heads within 36 hours of your mowing the lawn. The seeds are marked with black, peppery specks, and they mature very quickly. That makes mowing critical to keep them from forming, because every dallisgrass seed is viable – they do not require pollination!

Your remedies:
We no longer have the herbicide known as MSMA. It was our dependable and long-proven control for dallisgrass in existing turf, but it left the marketplace about five years ago.

Now there are two methods of keeping dallisgrass in check. Both require that you get involved early, while there are only a few clumps here and there.

Use a sharpshooter spade to dig and remove each clump and all of its associated root masses. You can replant new sod into the void right away.

Cut the end out of a 1-gallon milk jug. Discard the lid. Place the carton down firmly onto the dallisgrass clump. Mix up a glyphosate-only herbicide (no other active ingredients added), and insert the nozzle of your sprayer down into the milk jug. The jug will serve to confine the spray, so the patch of dead weeds will be only as large as the jug. Give the glyphosate 15 days to kill the dallisgrass before you replant with desirable sod.

As you are able, encourage your entire neighborhood to work to eliminate this noxious weed from your street. It works best when we all work together.

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