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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Warm Season Grasses in Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

There are several "dead patches" of grass sprinkled throughout lawns in the county. Some of these patches are remnants of the crabgrass from last year, while others are more troublesome. These troublesome areas are starting to show a little bit of green coming on the "dead" stems. These types of patches are actually warm season grasses growing in your cool season grass lawn.

Warm season means just that. The grasses grow better in warm weather. They will green up about a month later, then brown out a month or more earlier than the rest of the grasses in the lawn. The warm season grasses can be escaped zoysia from a neighbor, or a weed type such as nimblewill. The end result is the same – these grasses are perennials, meaning they come up from the same root areas each year. This fact makes selective control, meaning getting them killed without killing the grasses you want, almost impossible. The control consists of letting these areas green up, then spraying them with glyphosate (Roundup), then reseeding. Since they don't green up early enough for the spring seeding times of March 15 until April 1, the best success is to usually spray these areas in early August and reseed from August 15 until September 10.

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