Hello. Last summer I replaced a waste line in my front yard which meant I...

Asked June 4, 2014, 11:20 AM EDT

Hello. Last summer I replaced a waste line in my front yard which meant I pretty much needed a new front lawn. Once the area of work was graded I bought 5 yards or so of top soil and laid it down. I spread the area with Pennington Sun and Shade mix that I bought from the local Home Depot. I then covered the area with straw from a local nursery and watered the lawn. Grass started growing, but also very large weeds with a rectangular stem. They were very thick and grew quickly. I pulled all the big ones which was a lot and let it grow. I took the used straw and put it into bags for the back yard which also had work done. At one point that section of lawn just was not growing well, so I added some more top soil and reseeded with Scotts lawn seed and re-used the straw that was in the bag. No mold or mildew on them.It took a while for the grass to start growing which brought us into fall and then winter. Now that the yard is growing again I noticed that the "grass" in that section looked different than all the other areas. It was growing as if it was a bunch of hair plugs. Trying to identify it, it appears to be Orchard Grass. The company I bought the topsoil from says it came from the grass seed, the company I bought the straw from says it came from the topsoil. The University of Maryland Extension says it can come from contaminated seed or straw mulch. Any thoughts you may have will be greatly appreciated. I would like a lawn, not a cash crop. Thanks. Let me know if you need any further info. The company that I bought the top soil from says that I need to re-soil, re-seed and add a layer of peat moss and straw and water like crazy. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/orchardgrass

Monroe County New York

1 Response

We continue to assume that the seeds were introduced in one of the products mentioned. The exact source is difficult to determine, but the best guess would be the straw. Many people have inadvertently applied hay instead of straw and that mistake would almost certainly result in unwanted 'weeds'.
Your best bet may be to start over in early autumn.
You should contact your local extension to learn which turf grass seeds would be appropriate for your area. Maryland does not recommend sowing mixtures containing perennial rye grass. We also encourage homeowners to read the label carefully and to purchase grass seed that contains 0% weed seeds.
LS