tracyjojo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Warren, MI

Help! A weird grass is taking over in my Michigan lawn

This strange grass is spreading out and choking the other grass. It is nice and green, and soft to walk on, but it seems to grow like a blanket OVER the ground instead of into the ground like normal grass. Now, to contradict myself, it does have a root structure like tough strings into the ground, like a thick thatch. I can pull the grass out in hunks, but it leaves roots and its not easy to eradicate it. The ground is low there and I need to raise the soil level. Therefore, I could just cover the area with top soil and resod over it, but I was afraid it would come through and ruin the new sod. Any ideas/tips?

Bestlawn
Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:28 am

The only way to know for certain is to have the grass positively identified by your local [url=https://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/default.cfm?pageset_id=25744&page_id=25770&msue_portal_id=25643]cooperative extension service[/url]. They do plant (grass, weed, other) ID for the public. It's part of their purpose. From your description, I suspect Poa trivialis but can't know for certain without seeing photos of the plant collar. So, you can't take my word for it. I'm not sure if extension charges for plant ID, but fees for other things I am aware of are nominal, like $10-$15.

tracyjojo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Warren, MI

doesnt seem like poa trivialis

based on the photos I saw, it doesnt seem like Poa trivialis. Have you heard of Bent Grass? One of my neighbors said it sounded like that when I described it to her. Do you know how to get rid of that kind of grass?

Bestlawn
Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:28 am

Why continue a guessing game when you know the best way to find out exactly what it is? Any good guess is not so good after all if it turns out to be wrong because then you waste effort, money, and time trying to get rid of it. The grass you describe is possibly bentgrass, just as it is possibly trivialis, just as it is possibly something else. I don't normally try to guess unless the description is a good one. I usually ask for very closeup photos of the vernation at the collar area. Your description was pretty good, so I guessed trivialis. Normally, trivialis would be brown this time of year because summer heat sends it straight into dormancy, in which it flattens down and turns brown. But, so little has browned out all over the country since we haven't had much of a very hot summer. Were it not for that, I wouldn't have guessed trivialis. What photos of trivialis have you seen? Have you seen any photos of bentgrass? Does your problem grass look like the photos? The only solutions for bentgrass are the same as those for Poa trivialis.

If you don't want to take samples to your local extension service for them to identify, [url=https://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/TOOLS/TURF/TURFSPECIES/]this site[/url] and [url=https://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tool/instructions/instructions.htm]this one[/url] will help you identify the grass yourself.

tracyjojo
Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:17 pm
Location: Warren, MI

Bent grass / Poa trivialis

I do have pictures, but not sure how to post here. Unfortunately, I cant afford to get the grass tested. Ive been unemployed since mid-December and I'm a single mom with only unemployment to get by on (and proceeds from whatever I can sell on Craigslist -thank goodness for that venue!) So, it could be either one... and since the same solution applies for both, I'd like to try it - whatever it is. If you don't mind indulgin me one more time, please advise on how to eradicate these grass types. Thanks so much for your reponses!![/img]

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3234
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

I know some people will bite my head off for saying this; Roundup.

If you want to post photos on forums, go to photobucket and start a free account. Then up load your photos to it. At Photobucket click the "direct link" and copy the address. On a forum click on "Img" and then paste the address.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

control of grassy weeds

If you are a person who doesn't mind introducing poisons into the environment, you can go the roundup way. However you have to realize you would need to spray the round up for an area at least a foot beyond where you see the weed grass, because grasses spread by runners which will be in the soil past where you see them. EVERYTHING in the sprayed area will die. Then you would need to re-seed or resod the dead area.

If you are going to do this, look for glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in RoundUP, rather than brand name Roundup. Apparently some of the things in RoundUp that are listed as "inert" ingredients are environmentally worse than the glyphosate.

If you don't want to lay down poisons (if you type RoundUp into search box in upper left of most pages you will find information about it and pros and cons), you could try putting down corn gluten meal. You would want to do it NOW and again in early spring. It is a pre-emergence herbicide that does not kill any existing weeds, just prevents new seed from germinating. It also acts as a nitrogen feed to the soil and is not harmful to the environment.

You could just hoe out all the offending stuff and reseed. You are right putting dirt over it probably wouldn't help. If there are patches you want to get rid of, you can smother them with a thick layer of newspaper, then put dirt on top of that and seed into it. (do a search on sheet mulching to read more re this technique) But just as with the RoundUp, you would have to smother a bigger area than where you see the weed grass or it will come back from runners.

On the other hand if it is "nice and green and soft to walk on" you could just live with it. If it is bent grass, people make nice looking lawns of that stuff. Since I don't use any chemicals, my "lawn" is a mixture of weeds and grass. I keep it all mowed pretty short and trimmed and it looks just as nice and green and even as anyone elses...

Bestlawn
Cool Member
Posts: 94
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:28 am

Rainbowgardener's third paragraph is the reason knowing what you're dealing with is so important. I'm afraid spring application of corn gluten won't help control this problem grass if it is either trivialis or bentgrass. It will, however, prevent crabgrass (and other grassy weeds) from germinating, so it will be a good idea to use it.

I called Michigan Extension Macomb County office. They don't charge anything for plant ID. [url=https://www.msue.msu.edu/portal/default.cfm?pageset_id=28046]Here[/url] is their website. You can call if you need travel directions. I know they are located somewhere near 19 Mile and Groesbeck.

You can try identifying them yourself by getting a magnifyer and looking at this portion of the plant.

[img]https://img.photobucket.com/albums/v285/susanm/collar.jpg[/img]

My first link above will help you to know what you're looking for. It describes various different types of grass plants. Rough Bluegrass is another name for Poa trivialis and Creeping Bentgrass is the name for the weed variety of Bentgrass.

If you want me to try to identify it, I need your photo to look like the photo above. That's the portion I need to see and it should be very closeup and focused so I can see it well.

I'll compare it to the collar of Creeping Bentgrass and trivialis but if it doesn't look like either of those, please understand I can't try to find out what else it might be. There are dozens of possibilities. Another reason extension can be much more helpful. It's likely someone there can take one look and identify it almost immediately.

User avatar
tomf
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3234
Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

I changed from using Roundup to another brand of glyphosate as it cost less and the worst stuff in Roundup is the binder they add and this other brand does not have the same binder. I got it in a gallon jug and over a few years I have used very little of my gallon. I have been getting rid of blackberries and restoring my property, considering I have over 21 acres my chemical use is very small. Mostly I have used the tractor to clean and dig things up and only spray what I must. I learn to live with most of my lawn weeds as I do not like to use chemicals. I do a lot weeding with a weed eater in other places. Corn gluten is organic but it is still a poison as it prevents seeds from germinating, how ever I have been thinking of using it as it may not be all that bad and I have places I do not want weeds, I am using lawn clippings now.

If the grass stays green do what rainbowgardener said and let it grow.
With out chemicals you are looking at what may be a big job It would take a lot of digging to get rid of the grass. . If you do use it make sure you do it right and do not abuse it please.

phantomphan
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 5:45 am
Location: las vegas

i have to agree with rainbowgardener, if the stuff you are describing is bent grass let it grow. bent grass is a very expensive grass used on a lot of golf course greens. if you play golf you may have accidentally transplated some sprigs from your golf spikes. i once checked the price of bent grass seed and it was about $200 for a fifty pound bag. think twice before you decide to get rid of it.

steveCT
Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:26 am
Location: Connecticut

I have this too !!! HELP

i can't beleive your post. This is EXACTLY what i have taking over my friggin lawn in CT. Its started a few years ago in small patches, now its speady crazy. Its like a blanket, very wierd stuff, not heardy like the other grass we have (kentucky blue, etc). i don't know much about it, but it looks horible and i have no idea what do do. I DO HAVE PICTURES BUT NOW SURE HOW TO POST THEM.
Steve from Connecticut

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

posting pics

Hi Steve and welcome to the forum. Please read the Introductory section at the top with Helpful Tips and Suggestions for New Members. There's a lot of good stuff there including how to post pictures. HEre's the link to that:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3724

Return to “Lawn Care”