Crowsfoot and Winter grass
There are some weeds for which you should keep an especially vigilant lookout because they go to seed quickly and then start spreading at an impressive rate. These are crowsfoot grass and winter grass. You can quickly have a real problem on your hands if you are not proactive in removing them as soon as they appear.
Crowsfoot grass tends to grow more easily in sandy soils, and likes the summer time heat, but will start sprouting up in the spring, especially where the grass is a bit thin.
You can pull them out quite easily by hand, or use a weed wand to carefully apply something like Yates Zero or Roundup to the leaves of the weed. If you’re using a weed killer, make sure you apply it before the weed goes to seed, or you won’t prevent their spread.
As we come into the cooler months, you’ll need to be on the lookout for the bright green winter grass clumps. Again this will usually take up in the thinner patches of your lawn. It starts to grow in clusters together and will eventually outcompete your lawn.
Because we all tend to use the lawn less in cooler seasons, these nasty little weeds can be going to seed before you know it. And they are insidious… the seeds that drop one year will sprout more prolifically the year after that. And left untreated, the year after that will be even worse!
If you’ve seen winter grass in your lawn one year, it will almost certainly recur the next. The best cure for winter grass infestation is prevention. If you can treat for winter grass in early May with a special herbicide such as Amgrow’s Winter Grass Killer that kills it but not your lawn, you can get ahead of the cycle. Spray the entire lawn, not just one area. But don’t bother doing it after June, as it won’t have any effect. If all the winter grass doesn’t seem to have died off 3 weeks after the first application, you should reapply it.
If you’ve already got a winter grass infestation, then it’s best to mow more regularly than usual to ensure you cut the weeds before they go to seed. Be sure you use a catcher or you may spread any seeds that have grown around the lawn. Empty the catcher regularly into the bin to prevent the seeds sprouting new weeds next year where they can start spreading again.
You might find that even after you successfully treat winter grass one year, that it comes back the next. This is because the seeds can stay dormant for more than one year, and may recur like a bad dream. Treat again in May as before, and stay vigilant! In a few years the problem should be under control.