Pesky Weed That Is Really a Grass

Most called by its scientific nam Poa annua it is also know as annual meadow grass or annual bluegrass.

Most often called by its scientific name Poa annua, it is also know as annual meadow grass or annual bluegrass.

If you see a lot of green in your otherwise dormant lawn this time of the year, chances are it’s Poa annua. Yes, that is the scientific name of this weed, but it is also the name it mostly goes by around here. Also called annual meadow grass or annual bluegrass, it should be controlled by applying a pre-emergent in the fall. Well, that is great, but even after I apply the pre-emergent, I always have some pop up. So, how can you control spots in your turf now without injuring you dormant grass? Well, simply pulling them out of the grass, roots and all, will work on any grass type. On dormant Bermuda, and for me on zoysia grass, you can use a spot application of Roundup, but there are certain precautions. For it to be effective, do not use if the grass has greened up at all, as it will kill all the growing grass. Apply on a windless, sunny day, and even better, if the temperature is above 60 degrees (like it has been the last couple of days). This is when it will be the most effective. If you spray, DO NOT broadcast spray, but spot spray directly on the Poa annua. Avoid as much drift as possible. Now, do not expect instant results. I have seen it take several weeks to be effective. If you are a bit leery doing this, I suggest you engage a company to spay the turf to control this weed. Just make sure what they are spraying is for Poa annua control, because there are very few herbicides they can use and they are very expensive. I do not recommend your allowing them to apply Roundup as a blanket spray, as you might not have any grass this spring.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

2 thoughts on “Pesky Weed That Is Really a Grass

  1. What will get rid of poa annual in bermuda grass in Feb in Alabaster Al. Put out herbecides in the fall but they are all over

    • Read the post on this I just put up several days ago. It tells all-john

      P.S. Just looked it up; it was the Feb 3 post. Let me know if you have other questions after you read it.

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