I have ugly grass mixed in with my dwarf fescue. I have been fighting
the problem for years. A man at my local nursurey finally said that the
ugly grass is "wild fescue", and that there is nothing I can do about it.
He even said that if I kill all the grass and plant all new dwarf fescue
that he wild fescue would blow right back in again. I couldn't find much
useful information about "wild fescue" on the internet. There were mentions
of it, but nothing that directly applies to my situation.
I believe he is probably right, but I am posting this just in case
anyone knows of a better solution.
I am also interested in chosing a better grass in case I finally decide
to get rid of all fescue. I am very satisfied dwarf fescue, but the wild
fescue makes me want to change to a different type. I am hoping that there
is a type of nice-looking grass allows me to kill off all its competiors and
grows well in my zone (Western Garden Book zone 14).
Most garden centers have a copy of the Ortho "encyclopedia". It covers
all varieties of grass and weeds. But some of the info might be a bit
out of date. "Tall Fescue" is listed as a common weed grass and might
be your problem. However this strain was carefully bread to make a good
lawn grass. It resists brown-out in the Summer because it sends roots
down 3 feet.
" I am also interested in chosing a better grass in case I finally
to get rid of all fescue. I am very satisfied dwarf fescue, but the
fescue makes me want to change to a different type. I am hoping that
is a type of nice-looking grass allows me to kill off all its
grows well in my zone (Western Garden Book zone 14). "
With just about any kind of grass you choose to plant, their is always
the possibility of an unwanted weed type of grass showing up. A grass
like Zoysia is so dense it will virtually eliminate competition, but it
has it's own issues and isn't appropriate for many parts of the
country. The best defense is to encourage dense thick growth, which
will keep weeds and undesirable grass from getting established. If
it's just in a few areas, killing it and then reseeding is the best
There are two other alternatives that you may want to consider. There
are now some tall fescues that have been breed to be glyphosate
tolerant. That means you can use Roundup, in the correct amount, to
spray areas that have the weed grass you want to kill. Used in the
correct amount, it will stunt the tall fescue somewhat, but not kill
it. I think this could be a solution if this has been a consistent
problem and/or you live in an area next to open fields, etc., from
which undesirable seeds can easily spread. To do that would require
The other option is that there are chemicals, like Acclaim, that will
kill some of the coarse weed type grasses, but leave fescue intact.
What would be most helpful would be to get the grass identifed. To do
that, you generally need to let it grow to a seed head and take it to
an agrictural extension service. Without identifying it, you could try
Acclaim, but it's expensive, might not work, while there are other
chemicals that could be effective against it, if you are certain what
Thanks! That sounds like very good information.
That's interesting about "roundup-tollerant" seed.
I think my next step will be to get a seedhead into the agricultural
station. I don't know what I'll do, eventually. For now, I will keep this
on file for future reference.
"That's interesting about "roundup-tollerant" seed."
If you think that's cool, science has done even better. There are
seeds available for crops like soybeans and cotton that are very
resistant or immune to Round Up, so that it can then be used to control
weeds. Here you have a chemical that we all are used to see killing
just about anything, and now you have crops that can be routinely
sprayed with it. The grass seeds that I know of are not genetically
modified, they have been developed from varieites that had natural
Round Up resistance. Hence, I don't think it's quite as effective, but
the idea is the same and it apparently works.
On Sun, 9 Oct 2005 09:57:50 -0700, G Burton wrote:
Any chance this is nutgrass ? This is what invaded my tall fescue lawn
this summer. After using the preferred herbicide which didn't kill it
all, I used Roundup to terminate everything in the effected section.
Two weeks later guess what I have back ? Nutgrass ! It pretty ugly
stuff reminding me of a cross between a scallion and grass.
Next spring I'm going to be very aggressive at killing everything in
the front yard. I simply have no choice. This stuff just keeps coming
back. I'm thinking of doing the following.
1) Blast all nutgrass with a steam machine
2) Hit the yard with SedgeHammer.
3) Simultaneously canvas it with Roundup.
4) Cover the lawn in heavy black plastic
5) Pray. A lot.
And if all works out, I'm going to seed in Zenith Zoysia.
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