Guide to Annual Bluegrass Identification & Control

Annual Bluegrass
Annual Bluegrass
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Type of Weed: Grassy Weed

Poa Annua

Annual Bluegrass

Annual Bluegrass, also referred to as Poa Annua, is a common winter annual grassy weed in North Texas and other southern states.

This weed thrives in areas of lawns that are over saturated, over mowed, where soil is too compacted, and soil with high levels of nitrogen.

Its seeds germinate in late summer to early fall, grow in the fall and flower in the spring. This weed typically dies off in the summer, but can adapt and survive if the turf is overly watered.

How to Identify

Annual bluegrass has a shallow root system that produce upright stems that can reach up to 1 foot tall. These stems may root at the lower nodes and grow in a bright green tufted clump.

Its light green leaves are smooth, have linear margins, and have unique boat-shaped tips. It has V-shaped collars, no auricles, membranous sharp pointed ligules, and its leaves fold in the bud.

In the spring, it produces light green to white panicle shaped seedheads with dense to open clusters of flowers. These flowers produce an enormous number of seeds, allowing it to spread rapidly, while also being able to lay dormant in the soil for years before sprouting new plants.

Control Methods

Control Difficulty: Difficult

For small immature patches of annual bluegrass, mechanical control of digging up can be effective. Digging up larger patches may be effective prior to the weed flowering, but the use of chemical control after is ideal for any seeds that may be remaining in the soil.

In late summer to early fall, apply a selective pre-emergent herbicide before the weed has a chance to germinate. A second application may be needed 8 to 10 weeks later for continued control. In late winter to early spring, apply a selective post emergent herbicide during the growing season.

More than one application may be needed for aggressive patches in your turf. To further prevent seeds from spreading, mow your turf once you see the seedhead form but before the flowers have a chance to set to seed.

Prevention Tips

Having a dense, healthy lawn is the best way to prevent any weed from entering and sticking around. Proper irrigation will ensure that your turf won’t be overly saturated. Routine aeration and fertilization will break up any spots with compact soil and balance out areas that are too rich in nitrogen.

Lastly, ensure that you are mowing your lawn at its turf’s proper height. All of this combined with using a selective pre and post emergent herbicides throughout the year will be the best way to protect your lawn from this aggressive weed.

If you need further help managing Annual Bluegrass, our team of highly trained technicians are experts with grassy weeds and can help get your lawn back to its proper health.
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