Common Grassy Weeds found in Minnesota Lawns


Crabgrass in MN
Young Crabgrass. Note the sprawling "crab" like habit

Crabgrass is a controllable annual grass weed.  Applying a pre-emergent in the spring will suppress most crabgrass.  Total control is impossible: up to 80% 1st year; 80-90% 2nd year; and 90-95% 3rd year (under normal conditions). Allowing the lawn to dry out ruins the crabgrass barrier. Heavy raking or disturbing the soil can ruin the barrier. Mow the lawn at 3 – 4 inches. Crabgrass seeds are photosensitive and need light to germinate. Bare areas are almost impossible to keep free of crabgrass, also hot areas, along street, sidewalk and driveways. Post-Emergent control can be possible, however in most cases this may be undesirable due to the color effect herbicides have on crabgrass. (most Post-Emergent herbicides will leaf crabgrass blueish/purple or even white for 2-4 weeks after treatment, sticking out like a soar thumb). If the lawn continues to be thin or dry out each year, crabgrass will ALWAYS be a problem.


Quackgrass in Minneapolis Lawns
Quackgrass looks similar to Crabgrass but has a aggressive spreading habit

Quack grass is an invasive perennial grass weed. There is NO selective weed control for Quack grass, therefore making eradication and control difficult. Fertilawn’s approach to controlling Quack grass is to “choke it out”. Implementing a structured lawn care program and maintaining proper cultural practices will develop a thick healthy turf environment, which will ward off unwanted Quack grass. Quackgrass differs from crab in that it is seen all year round, not just summer. It also is a spreader so when you pull it up, you will pull our the long horizontal root system that spreads to the next shoot.

Yellow and Purple Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge in MN
The main indicator of Nutsedge is the Yellow leaves and triangular stem.

Yellow Nutsedge is a perennial weedy grass with shiny yellow/ green foliage. The stem is triangular and has 3 leaves coming off of it. Usually it is located in moist or poorly drained areas. Because of the shallow root system, Nutsedge can be easily erradicated by hand but must be completely pulled out early on in its life. FERTILAWN offers specialty treatments that will take care of this. However, to completely eradicate this, it will take a couple years of ongoing treatments due to the life cycle of Nutsedge. Beware of companies claiming 100% control of this grassy weed.

Tall Fescue

Tall Fescue in Lawn
Tall Fescue is a clump former that generally stays dark green all year

Tall fescue is a perennial weedy grass that is a clump former, dark green in color with wide, rough blades. Because Tall Fesuce comes in clumps, manual eradication can be used. Chemical controls are available but can be costly and harmful to the surrounding turf environment therefor FERTILAWN chooses not to use them. Sometimes, Turf Type Tall Fescue can be used in a lawn, but only if planning on seeding yearly/bi-yearly due to its inability to fill in on its own.

Creeping Bentgrass

Creeping Bentgrass
The main indicator for Bentgrass is its mat forming habit and off green color.
Creeping Bentgrass can be classified as a commonly found weedy grass in residential lawns. The appearance is low growing, flat (mat forming) and is spread by creeping above ground stolons. Generally Bentgrass is the first grass to go dormant and appear dead during periods of hot, droughty weather. Because of the shallow stoloniferous root system, manual eradication using a rake is recommended followed by topdressing and reseeding. FERTILAWN offers special treatments that will take care of this. These are generally 2-3 times to completely take care of it. Overseeding once this has been eradicated is needed as well. Its color can range from a bluish green to yellowish green color and it is often found in wet areas.
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