How To Kill Dallisgrass: 5 Easy & Affordable Methods
Dallisgrass is an unattractive grass species that is native to South America. Over the last two centuries it has made its way to North America and plagues gardens all over southern states of the US.
Understanding how to kill Dallisgrass start off with knowing how it spreads and why it seems so difficult to eradicate. However, this is actually a very easy weed to get rid of; you simply need to understand the timing and growing pattern.
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Dallisgrass is a tough weed that roots itself deep into your lawn. If unchecked, it will spread across your garden and form patches of thick grass blades amidst your regular grass. This will cause your lawn to look unattractive and ‘patchy’.
Dallisgrass was never intended to grow in suburban gardens, so if you’re looking for some easy methods to get rid of it, here are five easy & affordable actions you can take.
What You Will Need To Remove Dallisgrass From Your Garden
These five methods are not mutually exclusive, but are separate from each other in terms of your own preference and monetary means. Pick the method that suits you best in terms of the time of year you’ve chosen to kill Dallisgrass, and how environmentally conscious you are.
In order to rid your garden of Dallisgrass and keep it away indefinitely, you will need the following:
- A lawnmower and/or hedge trimmer
- A garden fork and shovel
- Grass seeds (preferably of the same grass currently growing in your garden)
- Pre-emergent herbicide
- Crabgrass removal herbicide
Depending on your course of action, not all of these items are necessary. However, for the sake of this article I will give you all of the methods necessary for killing Dallisgrass once and for all.
A Quick Word On Timing
Before we look at the methods of how to kill Dallisgrass, it’s important to note that timing plays a factor in the eradication process. During spring is when Dallisgrass shows off its thick green/grey hairy blades that stand out from your regular grass.
Late spring & early summer is the time spikelets will begin to form. These are the seed carriers which will eventually spread the weed throughout your garden if unchecked.
By the time winter arrives, the Dallisgrass will begin to go dormant, changing colour from green/grey to dull brown. This stage of its life leaves it even uglier amidst your garden grass because of the bare patch it creates on your lawn. If left alone, new patches of Dallisgrass will re-emerge again in spring.
5 Methods on How to Kill Dallisgrass
Now that you understand the life cycle of Dallisgrass, you can better understand which of these five methods are the best to choose. Let’s now look at these methods and discuss each one briefly.
Method #1: Manually Removing Individual Dallisgrass Patches
The most environmentally friendly method of removing Dallisgrass is to grab a garden fork and shovel and uproot each patch individually. This will require you to search for each patch and remove it once found. A few points on doing this:
- Make sure no seeds spread during the removal process
- Recognise Dallisgrass patches using the life cycle descriptions discussed above
- Be sure to dig fairly deep, as Dallisgrass roots itself very well into the ground
Make sure no seeds spread during the removal process
Recognise Dallisgrass patches using the life cycle descriptions discussed above
Be sure to dig fairly deep, as Dallisgrass roots itself very well into the ground
Method #2: Preventing Dallisgrass From Spreading
Another good way to systematically rid your garden of Dallisgrass is to maintain your lawn. Use a mower and hedge trimmer to cut grass down during spring & summer. If you do this regularly enough during the right time of year, you will prevent Dallisgrass from forming spikelets—thus stopping seed spreading in its tracks.
For this method to be successful, timing is critical. Be sure not to do this after spikelets have already formed, as you will be doing nothing more than helping the spread of the weed.
Method #3: Leaving No Space For Dallisgrass To Return
Once Dallisgrass has been removed from your garden there are two steps you can take to ensure it doesn’t return. The first of these steps is to plant grass in every empty patch you find. This will take up space and prevent new Dallisgrass patches from forming.
The second step is to water your grass regularly in order to keep it lush. Dallisgrass will grab an opportunity to grow in dry garden areas because it thrives despite a lack of water wherever space is available.
Method #4: Using A Pre-Emergent Herbicide
Pre-emergent herbicides are placed onto your soil and watered in. What this does is it prevents new Dallisgrass seedlings from sprouting.
While this is not the most cost effective or environmentally friendly method of controlling Dallisgrass, it has proven to be one of the more effective.
Method #5: Using Crabgrass Herbicide In Extreme Cases
Simply put, using crabgrass herbicide should be a last resort. It’s not environmentally friendly and will also destroy any other grass or plants it happens to come into contact with.
However, in extreme cases this method is the quickest and easiest way to destroy stubborn patches of Dallisgrass that are already well established.
The secret to keeping Dallisgrass from making your lawn look unattractive is to know exactly where it may appear. Empty spaces and moisture-deprived soil are perfect breeding grounds for this weed. For this reason, the best way to keep it away for good is to look after your lawn regularly and all year round. This will prevent the need for harmful chemicals and herbicides.
These five methods on how to kill Dallisgrass are the most commonly used. Remember that your garden is a mini ecosystem of its own. Once you eradicate Dallisgrass completely, it will find it difficult to return to your yard—especially if you diligently maintain your lawn with trimming and watering.
If at all possible, use non-herbicidal methods to remove Dallisgrass from your property as herbicides are often bad for your overall garden ecosystem.