Dallisgrass Weed: How To Control Dallisgrass


An unintentionally introduced weed, dallisgrass is difficult to control, but with a little know how, it is possible. Keep reading for information on how to kill dallisgrass.

Dallisgrass Weed: A Good Idea Gone Bad

The dallisgrass weed (Paspalum dilitatum) hails from Uruguay and Argentina. It was introduced into the United States back in the 1800s as a fast growing forage plant that could survive our southern climes. Its common name is a tribute to A.T. Dallis, who was an ardent supporter of its use and import around the turn of the century. Too bad he made a mistake and his name is now attached to such a pernicious weed.

As it turns out, the dallisgrass weed and its cousins, field paspalum and thin paspalum, liked their new environ a little too much and were soon growing out of control. Dallisgrass naturalized over most of the south. Unlike its cousins, however, dallisgrass is susceptible to an ergot fungus that is toxic to livestock.

Identifying Dallisgrass Weed

Dallisgrass control has become a concern for both private and public lawn areas. It is a course textured perennial that grows in an ever enlarging circular clump, sometimes growing so large that the center dies out while the outer rings continue smothering all the turf grasses they encounter. Its short rhizomes root easily in moist soil, making it difficult to control.

Dallisgrass weed thrives in sandy or clay soils. It loves nitrogen fertilizer and grows twice as fast as regular turf grasses, which can create obstructions for the golfer, hazards for the field athlete and unsightly tufts for the homeowner.

How to Kill Dallisgrass

The answer to how to kill dallisgrass is threefold: lawn health, pre-emergent and post-emergent attacks.

Healthy lawn management

The first method of dallisgrass control is to maintain a healthy, densely planted turf through proper watering, mowing and fertilization. Bare spots should be filled quickly with seed or sod to prevent dallisgrass weed seeds from taking hold. A thick, well maintained lawn, where unwanted seed has no room to germinate, is a sure dallisgrass killer.

Using pre-emergents

The second stage in how to kill dallisgrass involves pre-emergent control. Dallisgrass produces an abundance of seeds on long spikes that grow several feet tall. Each spike carries 2-10 spikelets and each spikelet has two rows of seeds running along its length. The seeds are spread by wind, animals, and by adhering to lawn mower blades. A pre-emergent herbicide that is toxic to crabgrass will also be an effective dallisgrass killer. Pre-emergents must be watered into the soil to be completely successful.

Post-emergent treatment

There are three useful post-emergent treatments for dallisgrass control. Digging out the offending plants is the most environmentally friendly method to control dallisgrass, but it’s also the most labor intensive. Post-emergent herbicides that are used for crabgrass removal will also work well, although they must be applied several times at 2- to 3-week intervals to complete the treatment and prevent regrowth.

Finally, spot treatments with non-selective herbicides can be useful for minor infestations. A cautionary word about this method of dallisgrass control: non-selective herbicides kill any plant they come in contact with. Turf will be killed along with weed. Be prepared to fill in those bare spots as quickly as possible. Follow label directions for re-seeding.

Dallisgrass is a plague on turf lawns throughout the south, but with diligence and a little knowledge about how to kill dallisgrass and how to prevent its return, this pernicious weed can be eradicated from your lawn.


How to Get Rid of Dallisgrass – It Is Easier than What You Have Thought!

There are some types of grass that can look good in the yard, but there are also others that can be an eyesore. One of the perfect examples of the latter is Dallisgrass. It is important that you remain vigilant as it can quickly invade your place. Getting rid of this grass early on is recommended before they become harder to remove.

If you are curious about how to get rid of Dallisgrass, keep on reading the rest of this post and learn from some of the insights that we will be sharing. We guarantee you, the suggestions will be easy to follow. There is no need to be too technical and you are also not required to exert a lot of effort.


  • Cultural practices
    Maintain healthy, dense turf that can compete and prevent weed establishment. Correct areas of poor drainage.

Mechanical management
Hand pulling or using an appropriate weeding tool are the primary means of mechanical weed control in lawns. This is a viable option at the beginning of an infestation and on young weeds. Hand pulling when the soil is moist makes the task easier. Weeds with tap roots like dandelions or have a basal rosette (leaves clustered close to the ground) like plantain are easier to pull than weeds such as Bermudagrass (wiregrass) or creeping Charlie (ground ivy) that spread with stolons or creeping stems that root along the ground.

Chemical Treatment
Herbicides should be used as a last resort because of the potential risks to people, animals, and the environment. Be aware of these precautions first.
Certain postemergent herbicides labeled to kill crabgrass are also labeled for dallisgrass control. Check product labels. Small infestations can be dug out or sprayed with a non-selective herbicide that contains glyphosate. Reseed the area after you are certain that you have 100% kill. Herbicides that contain MSMA and DSMA, that were classically used to control Dallisgrass, are no longer labeled to be used on home turf.


How to identify Dallisgrass:

Dallisgrass grows in bright green circular clumps in your clay or sandy soil with a fast growing blades and a tall spike shooting from the center. The spike has several spikelets that carry rows of seed spreading this annoying weed by means of wind, pets and mowers. This grass grows twice as fast as regular turf and the circular patches can extend up two feet in diameter.


How To Kill Dallisgrass?

There is not just one way to kill dallisgrass growing in your garden instead there are a multitude of steps that you can take to reduce and control its growth. If you want to get a guide on how to kill dallisgrass, then you can continue reading.

1. Digging Up Dallisgrass

The initial thing that you are required to do is to dig the dallisgrass’ clumps in the lawn by using trowels and shovels. It is important for you to get a hold of its root system, to slow down their come back as they are definitely going to return. If any of the root pieces are left in the ground, then they can come up again very quickly and easily.

2. Use Pre-emergents

Another thing that you can do for killing the dallisgrass is pre-emergent control. A large number of seeds are produced by dallisgrass, which have spikes that are very long. Every spike has around 2-10 spikelets. Each spikelet has a minimum of two rows of seeds. All these seeds will get spread in your lawn just by a single blow of wind.

It is important for you to look for a pre-emergent herbicide, which you can spray in your yard. Pre-emergent herbicide works well for crabgrass and it is also a great solution for killing Dallisgrass. These herbicides help in preventing the growth and germination of seeds that are spread by the animals or wind.


Watch the video: Managing and Selectively Killing Dallisgrass


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