What is Dallisgrass?
Dallisgrass is a deep-rooted bunchgrass that can commonly be found plaguing lawns in the southern U.S. This weed grows in star-like clumps, with stems that generally grow to between 2 to 6 inches long, while its leaves grow an additional 4 to 10 inches. Dallisgrass thrives in warmer climates, and especially in clay soils, as these have an ample amount of nitrogen.
Where does Dallisgrass Originate?
Originally native to South America, Dallisgrass was introduced to the southern U.S. in the 1800s as an alternative, fast-growing grass for cattle since it grows so well in the southern climate. Unbeknownst to its advocate and namesake, A.T. Dallis, it is actually classified as a pernicious weed and is susceptible to a type of fungus that is actually toxic for livestock.
Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass
Dallisgrass is very similar to another grassy weed many homeowners face—crabgrass. While they may appear nearly indistinguishable, crabgrass dies out in the winter, whereas dallisgrass sticks out like a sore thumb because it is lush and green even through the harsh winter months.
How to Prevent Dallisgrass
As it grows about twice as fast as your normal turf grasses, getting dallisgrass plant infestations under control is near impossible—but it can be done with the right treatment and due diligence in terms of the health of your lawn.
- Making sure the lawn stays healthy with proper fertilization, watering, and mowing helps keep your turfgrass strong enough to choke out other weeds, including dallisgrass.
- This, along with a timely pre-emergent herbicide is the key to really combating this pesky weed, as once it germinates and sprouts, even the most potent all vegetative (non-selective) herbicides have trouble killing it off.
How to Get Rid of Dallisgrass
In the event that it does appear in the lawn, as these things do happen even with the aforementioned care in place, the only way to really treat it is with a strong non-selective herbicide, or dig it up out of the ground by its roots.
If spot treatments are applied with a spray, it needs to be in the dormant season for your turf (winter or early spring), as the dieback will not be as noticeable for your turf around it as it would be in the middle of the spring or summer, and it would be able to bounce back quicker from any effects of the herbicide once spring rolls around. Even then, it may not always kill it off since it has an astounding resilience to all herbicides in general.
Get Professional Help
As part of Aggieland Green's full lawn program, we offer a winter season spray as described above to treat the dallisgrass with an all vegetative weed control product while your turf is still dormant. If your technician indicates dallisgrass is present in your lawn, we will set the treatment up for you, although we are careful to treat at the very beginning of the year only. If you notice it before we do, contact us as soon as possible and we will come and take care of that for you ASAP!