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How to Remove Poa Annua From Your Lawn

Poa annua, or annual bluegrass, resembles Kentucky bluegrass and is hard to eradicate due to its adaptability. Prevent it with pre-emergents like Dimension 2EW or control it with post-emergents like Mesotrione 4SC Select. Always read product labels to ensure compatibility with your grass type.

How do I identify Poa annua (annual bluegrass)?

Poa annua grass is easily identified by its tall seed head with tassels that stand out above typical lawn grass. Its light green color contrasts with other grass types, creating a patchy lawn.

How do I get rid of Poa annua?

If Poa annua is identified early and only a few weeds are present, hand-pulling may suffice to prevent regrowth. Consider using pre- or post-emergent herbicides, Like Dimension 2EW or Mesotrione 4SC Select, designed to control Poa annua grass for recurring or extensive infestations.

Pro Tip

Start using a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent Poa annua—it’s more effective.

How do I prevent Poa annua?

Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed emergence, while post-emergents treat existing weeds. Apply pre-emergents, like Dimension 2 EW, before the first fall frost and before soil temperatures rise to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

How do I kill Poa annua?

Apply a post-emergent herbicide for existing Poa annua weeds. Chemical control, using both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides, is the most effective method for managing widespread annual bluegrass.

If the weed has already taken hold, use a post-emergent herbicide to eliminate it, even if you’ve previously applied a pre-emergent, as Poa annua can spread rapidly.

Mesotrione 4SC Select (alternative Tenacity)

Powered by Mesotrione, Mesotrione 4SC Select is an excellent pre- and post-emergent herbicide for broadleaf and grassy weeds. Compare to Tenacity. Active Ingredient: Mesotrione 40%

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If nothing else works

spot-treat the weed with a non-selective herbicide.

If pre- and post-emergent herbicides fail to control Poa annua, consider spot-treating with a non-selective herbicide as a last resort. Non-selective herbicides kill all vegetation they touch, so apply them carefully directly to the weed using a spray tank and nozzle.

Unlike selective herbicides, which target specific weeds, non-selective ones require cautious application to avoid damaging your lawn. Non-selective herbicides will kill any plant they come in contact with, including your grass or garden, so be careful when applying it.

Always read the product label to ensure compatibility with your grass type and prevent unintended damage.

Non-Chemical Control of Poa Annua

Non-chemical strategies can effectively control Poa annua alongside chemical methods:

  1. Water Management: Avoid overwatering by providing deep, infrequent irrigation, roughly 1 inch per week, including rainfall. An irrigation audit can optimize water distribution.
  2. Mowing Practices: Raise the mowing height to suppress Poa annua, which thrives at shorter heights.
  3. Lawn Maintenance: Maintain a dense, healthy lawn through appropriate mowing, irrigation and fertilization. This reduces susceptibility to weeds by preventing thin or diseased patches.

Can you pull Poa annua?

Poa annua can be hand-pulled in mild cases and might not return. However, chemical control is often the most effective solution for recurring or extensive infestations.

Where does Poa annua grow?

Poa annua is commonly found in gardens, paths, roadsides, agricultural fields and professional landscapes like golf courses. This weed is adaptable to various locations and conditions, thriving especially in nitrogen-rich, overwatered or damp and shady areas.

Its ability to grow in winter and compact soils with shallow roots makes it particularly persistent and challenging to control.

How does Poa annua spread?

Poa annua spreads through seeds carried by the wind, foot traffic and mowing. Often, by the time it’s visible, more seeds are likely germinating, making pre-emergent herbicides an effective preventative measure.

Each Poa annua plant can produce hundreds of thousands of seeds that may remain dormant in the soil for years, complicating eradication efforts. In contrast, Poa trivialis spreads via stolons.

When does Poa annua germinate?

Poa annua germinates in the fall as soil temperatures drop below 70 degrees, necessitating pre-emergent application just before this temperature threshold. The weed grows through spring, flowers and dies in the summer heat, often leaving brown or bare patches.

A single plant can produce hundreds to thousands of seeds that may lie dormant in the soil for years, typically germinating from late summer to early fall.

When does Poa annua die?

Poa annua germinates in the fall when soil temperatures drop below 70 degrees, grows through spring, and flowers before dying off in the summer, leaving behind unsightly brown patches.

How do I remove Poa annua?—Answered

To remove Poa annua, hand-pull it in mild cases to prevent regrowth. For more severe infestations, apply pre-emergent herbicides like Dimension 2 EW before soil temperatures reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit or use post-emergent herbicides like Mesotrione 4SC Select to eliminate existing weeds.

If these methods fail, spot-treat with a non-selective herbicide as a last resort.

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