Summer is the time of year where hot temperatures and lack of moisture leads to thinner lawns and the appearance of weeds. One such weed that thrives in these types of conditions is Crabgrass' Summer friend, Barnyard Grass. Tough to get rid of, Barnyard Grass can be prevented, and controlled using a few different methods.
What is Barnyard Grass?
Barnyard Grass (Echinochloa Crus-Galli, for all you Latin Nerds out there) is a Summer Annual that is very similar to Crabgrass. It's a grassy annual, that loves heat and drier temperatures. Unlike Crabgrass which bears it's ugly head around May, Barnyard Grass makes it's appearance around the month of August. Similar in looks to crabgrass, Barnyard Grass has thin, hairless stems with "shooter" leaves off the main stem. When mature, seed heads appear on the end, ranging from 2 to three inches. What gives barnyard grass away, is it's unmistakable maroon base (as seen in the above picture).
Why Does My Lawn Get It?
Stressed from the Summer heat, lawns that become thinned and disease can form bare spots within the turf. Barnyard Grass seeds that are laying dormant in your turfs soil begin to germinate. Without healthy turf to compete with for nutrients, Barnyard Grass takes over. Barnyard Grass is very common in both Cleveland and Columbus, and spreads quickly from untreated areas of grass into treated areas. Seeds often travel through the wind, and from birds eating and doing their business in your lawn.
How Can I Prevent Barnyard Grass?
There are three ways to prevent Barnyard Grass.
- A well planned lawn fertilization program will provide food to your lawn all season long, keeping your grass in top shape. If your lawn is thick and healthy, Barnyard Grass will not be able to grow and compete with your turf for nutrients.
- A proper watering and mowing schedule also helps keep your turf strong. Watering your lawn properly throughout the season will ensure that your lawn does not go dormant, and allows the fertilizer to do it's job. Keeping your lawn mowed at 3-4" can help cut down on disease. Mowing too short can put undue stress on the turf, inviting disease.
- Finally, putting down your Crabgrass Pre-emergent down too early can shorten your protection window from Barnyard Grass. Products such as Dimension not only prevents Crabgrass, but if applied at the proper time, can help control Barnyard Grass too.
Okay My Lawn Has It. Now What?
Recognizing the problem is the first step! After realizing that you have Barnyard Grass, there are only a few products that can get rid of this pesky weed. Quinclorac is the product of choice by professionals to treat and rid lawns of both Crabgrass and Barnyard Grass. Be careful when choosing a weed control product, as most weed control products in the home improvement stores do not contain this ingredient.
The Road To Recovery Starts With This Free Lawn Care Guide
Barnyard Grass is just one of the many problems that your lawn may have encountered over the hot, stressful Summer. That's why Fall is the perfect time to help your lawn recover, getting it healthy before the Winter sets in. Weed Pro's Ultimate Fall Guide will help walk you through this recovery step-by-step, with simple solutions and tips. The best part of this guide is that it's yours ABSOLUTELY FREE by clicking on the link below! So what are you waiting for? Your one click away from getting your lawn on the road to recovery!
Shaun Kanary has been a part of the Green Industry for the past 15 years. As the Director of Marketing for Weed Pro Lawn Care, a Cleveland and Columbus Lawn Care Service Provider, Shaun is a regular contributor to the Weed Pro Blog, and other industry magazine and blogs.
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