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Dallisgrass YIKES!

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2006
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by JenBH on August 17, 2006 02:37 AM
I hope someone out there can give me some sound advice! I live in a new home that had the back yard hydroseeded in May. I've been trying to take great care of it by watering dilligently through those hot summer months. However, I have been doing battle with what I just learned is Dallisgrass and now I need to learn how to get rid of it. It is VERY wide spread, so hand pulling all of the plants is really not an option. It has been recommended to me that I completely wipe out the entire back yard with Round Up and start over with new seed. Any other (easier and cheaper) suggestions??

by johnCT on August 17, 2006 08:17 AM
Jen are you sure it's Dallisgrass? You're sure it's not crab? How was the area prepared for the hydroseeding? This is a newly established lawn?

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John - Zone 6
by JenBH on August 17, 2006 10:02 AM
Yes, newly established lawn. The man from ChemLawn was out today and he says it's definetly not crabgrass. He seemed pretty certain it is dallisgrass. When they prepared it for hydroseeding they drove a Bobcat tractor around it and turned up the soil and removed the rocks. As far as I know that's all that they did.
by johnCT on August 18, 2006 01:07 AM
Originally posted by JenBH:
The man from ChemLawn
Well Jen, that's your first problem, lol. These guys are normally kids they get to apply their chemicals as they need no prior experience to do it. My neighbor had Chemlawn for years and I used to laugh at the guys that came to preform the applications. It seemed like a different guy every time and half of them couldn't speak the language. Anyway, my point is, don't trust those guys to know what they're talking about because most of them don't. I am in no way questioning your judgement to use that company, but If I were to sub out my lawncare, I would look for a knowledgeable local applicator. Just my humble opinion.

Now in regards to your problem, if the weed is, in fact, Dallisgrass then it is a very difficult weed to erradicate from a stand of turf because it is a perennial grassy weed. basically, that means it cannot be controlled by pre-emergent herbicides and there is no selective herbicide that can be used on it.

If you have a digital camera and can take some close up shots of it and post them here I can try to identify it. There are many similar looking plants that can be mistaken for DG. Here's a good site for IDing weeds...

Weed IDs

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John - Zone 6
by JenBH on August 18, 2006 03:33 AM
I will take picutres and try to figure out how to add them... also, I have a landscaping coming out on Wed. to give a 2nd opinion. As I walked through my neighborhood this morning, I noticed that all of the backyards that had been hydroseeded were loaded with this stuff. However, none of the front yards seemed to have a problem. I'm wondering if it wasn't some junky hydroseed they used. I'll post pictures soon.

Thanks for your help!
by JenBH on August 18, 2006 08:07 AM
This is not my yard, but the empty lot next door. I'll post a second picture, too. Hope I did this correctly!
by JenBH on August 18, 2006 08:07 AM

Second photo of the same plant...

Thanks for any help you can give me!
by johnCT on August 19, 2006 04:13 AM
Jen, judging from the looks of the seed panicles, there are at least two different weeds there. One definitely may be DG, but the other looks more like foxtail which is actually an annual. Still very hard to positively ID them without closeups of the plant structure. Unfortunately there are no selective controls for the DG. Meaning that there is nothing you could apply to your turf to kill ONLY the DG. It will be very difficult to gain control over it. Take a close up pic of the weeds in YOUR lawn and post them.

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John - Zone 6
by JenBH on August 19, 2006 05:29 AM
This weed in the photo is in the lot next door, but it's only 3 feet from my yard. They have completely taken over my entire yard... honestly there are thousands of these same plants. I will try to take more photos tomorrow... it's rainy and muddy today. Thanks again!
by The Plant Doc on August 19, 2006 11:10 AM
I agree with John, Chemlawn is one of the most unreliable lawn care companies out there. It is the "big business" of the lawn care industry, and they have lost touch with the home owners needs, and zero in pretty much on the almighty dollar.
Their salesmen are paid by commission, so in order to close a sale, they drop the price. (Better some $$ then no $$ in their minds)
Their techs have to make a quota of $$ serviced each week. So if their lawns are oversized and under priced, they tend to fly through them, resulting in less then a good job.
Most of the techs will only put up with the company for a season or 2, so it is very rare that you find a seasoned lawn tech working for them.
That is probably why they have the lowest customer renewal rate on any lawn care company in the area.

There is a chemical that can be used called "Drive". Dallisgrass is not on the label, but I have been seeing good control, while the plants are still young. However, once the plant matures, good luck!
I am not sure if Drive is available to the home owner in your state. I believe it is considered to be a "restricted use pesticide" in some states. Meaning that only a licensed applicator may purchase and apply it.
Since it is not listed directly on the label, you may have a hard time getting a lawn care company to use it.

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Mike Maier
The Plant Doc
by JenBH on August 20, 2006 01:44 AM
Thanks for the info. I think my plants are mature because they have that seed pod thing (pardon my lack of vocabulary) on the end of them... I will look into Drive.
by JenBH on August 23, 2006 06:54 AM
AHA! I just returned for a meeting I set up with master garderner's in my area who are affiliated with Purdue University.

We now have a new diagnosis! This is not dallisgrass, but rather, yellow fox tail. I'm not sure if this is good news or bad, but at least now I'm certain of what it is!!
by johnCT on August 24, 2006 02:36 AM
Yeah, that's what I thought Jen. And that is GREAT news actually because unlike dallisgrass, foxtail is a summer annual and annuals can be controlled with pre-emergent because they only come back from seed just like crabgrass. So talk to a contractor about a pre-emergent application next spring and a follow-up one a couple months later. This will control most of it and any that comes up can be pulled by hand.

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John - Zone 6
by JenBH on August 24, 2006 06:52 AM
Yes! I'm so happy! Also, on a side note... Our builder was Pulte. I just want to add that I'm so pleased because they are footing the bill to have the yard sprayed with Q4, then next week they will aerate and overseed for us at no additional cost to us. I'm so happy that this worked out well! We will definetly be doing the pre-emergent next year!

I appreciate your help and your diagnosis! You were right (but I never doubted that you would be!)

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