Dallisgrass can be one of the most troubling and challenging weeds in the Carolinas. It’s a perennial grassy weed, often growing in clumps, with big broad leaves. If allowed to grow and produce seedheads due to poor mowing, it produces tall gangly looking seedheads with spiklets shooting out at the ends. Dallisgrass has a pale green color, and really stands out as a weed in bermudgrass or fescue lawn.
Dallisgrass is a perennial, so it comes back year after year once established. Therefore, pre-emergent herbicides to not help. It can reproduce by seeds, causing even more plants to invade healthy turf. In severe cases, there can be more Dallisgrass plants then the desirable turf. If a homeowner mows properly and the turf is cared for, Dallisgrass is more often in isolated clumps dispersed throughout the turf.
Until a few years ago, MSMA herbicide was used to control it as a post-emergent spray. It was still tough then, and would take repeated treatments, but it did work. However, as is the case with several other good products, it’s been taken off the market, and the products that we have available now for controlling Dallisgrass just do not work well at all. They will stunt it, but it seems to just come back.
For the last few years, we’ve used a new product named Tribute, from Bayer. Upon their recommendations and from university research, we add special surfactants and some fertilizer to this mix and apply it in the early fall, just as the weed plant is shutting down for the season. We then follow-up with another treatment a few weeks later, and even a third after that later in fall. We are seeing some reduction in the Dallisgrass population with this program, but it’s not 100%. It may take several years of these special treatments, or even just treating with Roundup or Glyphosate in early spring, in order to completely eradicate the weed. And since it is a perennial, once it’s gone, unless more seeds blow in, it won’t be back.
Our 6 and 7-step customers at LawnAmerica are serviced with this plan to control Dallisgrass, with their regular round 6 and 7, and with a free service call in between these regular treatments. Other customer who subscribe only to 4 or 5 treatments per year should upgrade to a complete program in order to control Dallisgrass. Most of our competitors don’t even try to control it, or they charge extra for it. But with LawnAmerica, as long as you are on our best 6 or 7-Step program, we’ve got you covered. Just be patient, as it may take several years to completely take care of it.
Here is information from Bayer on the Tribute herbicide we are using: