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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: California

Dallis Grass all over! How can I get rid of it?


I recently bought a house here in Sacramento, CA. I have a 40x40' backyard that the previous owner neglected. For the most part it's in okay shape, but as the topic suggests, I have a big problem with dallis grass! It covers probably 1/4 to 1/3 of the whole lawn. Most of it grows in one area, but there are a few patches in other spots plus individual bunches dotted around.. I'm reaching a point of desperation! :cry:

I've looked around online for various advice on removing it, but it doesn't seem like someone in my situation has hope?

So far, I have tried:
1. Mowing the dallis grass very short repeatedly, but it just came back
2. Spraying the entire lawn with "Safe for lawn weed killer", which I have done three times with no effect on the stuff at all.

So, I finally resorted to using RoundUp on a few bunches to see how it would work, and sure enough it killed them (at least the blades, the roots/rhizomes are another matter). However, I'm left with a big dead mound, which I don't think my regular grass will overgrow. So I pulled a couple up, but was a huge effort and there were still huge rhizomes down deep which I don't know if they'll just come back. And the result is a crater.

While this could work for the individual bunches dotted around, I don't see this working for the patches or the largest area (we're talking 100+ sq feet). So, while nuking everything with RoundUp might surely kill all of it off, it's not as if my grass will naturally grow in, because the dead dallis grass still leaves a big, tightly-bunched mounds.

Do I have any options here? Do I have to throw my hands up and hire a lawn care service to just nuke my whole back yard? Any help or advice would be MUCH appreciated! Thank you!!

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Green Thumb
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 2010 9:17 pm
Location: Western MA

It's a tricky one to get rid of. It's a prolific seeder and has lots of rhizomes.

Probably the best way without the use of potentially toxic chemicals would be soil solarization, which would kill not only the dallisgrass, but your lawn as well...but that can be re-seeded. If you do a search here for soil solarization, you'll find lots of threads dealing with the particulars. It will be ugly for a while, but almost anything that will kill the dallisgrass is going to mean reseeding your lawn anyway...might as well try to do it without chemicals, no?

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7501
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

UC Davis has an informational page about dallisgrass:


Note especially the warning about RoundUp towards the end of the page.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:26 pm
Location: California

Thank you for the replies! It still sounds like I'm out of luck? There's all kinds of preventative care and information about the plant, but what I need to know is how to get rid of it when it has reached the point of infestation of my lawn?

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