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How to Kill Wild Grass

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
Sometimes wild grass is tough to kill.

Certain species of wild grass are classified as weeds and can be quite difficult to kill. Perennial species of wild grass may send down extensive and deep networks of rhizomes that keep them coming back year after year even when their blades have been repeatedly cut back. Annual and biennial species put down prolific amounts of seed that may sprout for several seasons after their parent plants have been eradicated. To kill wild grass for good, repeated applications of herbicide may be necessary.

Treat yards or fields with wild grass and no other desirable grasses with a post-emergent broad-spectrum glyphosate herbicide. Spray or scatter the herbicide over the grass according to the manufacturer's instructions, but be careful not to get it on any desirable plants. A broad-spectrum herbicide will kill any plant with which it comes into contact.

Kill wild grass growing among desirable lawn grass or garden plants by treating it with a grass-specific pre- and/or post-emergent herbicide specified for use on the species of grassy weed you are trying to kill. Treat areas affected by annual and biennial grassy weeds with a pre-emergent herbicide two to three weeks before that species' seed is scheduled to germinate (if you want to kill this year's grass as well, use a combination pre- and post-emergent herbicide). Treat perennial grasses that regenerate through underground rhizomes with a post-emergent herbicide when they are actively growing.

Re-treat the wild grass as necessary at the intervals recommended by the herbicide's manufacturer.

 

Things You Will Need

  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Post-emergent herbicide

Tips

  • Certain perennial species of wild grass, like bromegrass, quackgrass, tall fescue and creeping bentgrass, can only be controlled with non-selective herbicides. If you identify these growing in your lawn, you must carefully spot treat patches or kill the entire lawn and re-seed.
  • Healthy, well-cared-for lawns are better able to withstand wild grass invasions.

About the Author

 

Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.