We all dream of a perfect, evenly green lawn. Unfortunately, weeds can creep into the yard. Orchardgrass is one of these pesky weed varieties. It is also known as cat grass or cock’s foot.
Orchardgrass may be a hardy grass variety, but it is still undesirable in a lawn due to its appearance and effect on the existing grass. What does orchardgrass look like? What is the best way to control orchardgrass? Keep reading to find out!
What does orchardgrass look like?
How do you identify orchardgrass? It may be difficult to spot orchardgrass at first. Keep looking! The stems are thicker than most lawn varieties, and it grows in clumps. Orchardgrass is a type of grass that will become more coarse as it grows.
Orchardgrass also grows faster than most grass and will soon tower over the rest of the lawn. It can reach up to 24 inches tall if left uncut! The top will grow a small clump of seeds and flowers.
This perennial, cool-season grass is considered ideal for pastures and hay. However, it is viewed as a weed if it shows up in a suburban lawn! It usually spreads via contaminated grass seeds, birds, or insect dispersal.
What kills orchardgrass?
It can be difficult to eradicate since orchardgrass has deep, thick roots. There are a variety of methods to remove unwanted grass. However, be careful with herbicide and your existing grass! Unfortunately, there is not a selective herbicide for orchardgrass.
An herbicide containing glyphosate will kill orchardgrass, but it will also kill any other grass or plants that it contacts. If you decide to use an herbicide, carefully apply it to the orchardgrass so it doesn’t kill the rest of the lawn. 2 4-d is another powerful herbicide that can be used to remove orchardgrass.
If all else fails, a trustworthy lawn service may be what you need! Schedule a service appointment to remove and prevent orchardgrass.
How do I get rid of orchardgrass?
Catch orchardgrass early! Small, early clumps of orchardgrass can be dug out before they are established and spread. If you are dealing with multiple clumps, follow the method below to eliminate your orchardgrass problem!
- Distilled white vinegar
- Spray bottle
- Grass seed (optional)
Step by step instructions
- Find all the areas with orchardgrass. It is easy to spot orchardgrass! It is usually taller and a lighter color than the rest of the lawn. If needed, mark the clumps of grass with string or spray paint, so you don’t miss any clumps.
- Prepare a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar. You will need approximately two cups of vinegar for every one square foot of orchardgrass.
- Twist the nozzle of the spray bottle to emit a fine stream of vinegar. Soak each clump of orchardgrass with vinegar. Try to avoid the surrounding grass. A little vinegar will most likely not harm other grasses, but a thorough dose of vinegar will kill grass.
- Finally, you just need to wait! The vinegar should start to take effect after about 30 minutes. You will notice the grass beginning to dry out. The orchardgrass should be completely dead 48 hours after application. If it isn’t, repeat the application.
- Pull the dead clumps of orchardgrass from the lawn. Apply grass seed according to the package instructions if you have bare patches.
Is orchardgrass good for lawns?
Orchardgrass is typically considered too coarse for lawns. It is more commonly found in fields and pastures. It can be used for hay or silage, as well.
Is orchardgrass invasive?
Orchardgrass is hardy, tall, and grows quickly. Because of this, it can quickly overtake a lawn! Deep roots can dominate turf and soil space. The tall stalks quickly shadow most varieties of grass, robbing them of sunlight.
Orchardgrass usually makes its way into your yard in a bag of grass seed. Often, grass seed will have weeds, like orchardgrass, mixed in with the desirable seeds. Animals and wind can also spread orchardgrass.
Don’t let clumps of orchardgrass overtake your lawn! Dig out these coarse clumps of light-colored grass as soon as you see it. Otherwise, use an herbicide or vinegar to kill it. Hopefully, with a bit of work and prevention, your yard will be free of this pesky weed in no time!