Foxtail - killing it in the lawn

Asked May 31, 2016, 3:06 PM EDT

Greetings, my lawn is 75% foxtail. For two years I have pulled seed stems, dug it out, & use vinegar to kill. The lawn is cut at 2/3inches regularly. I have read Internet information. What does pre-emergent mean? When is the seed able to germinate & grow a new plant? I read about using a crabgrass weed killer. Does it work? What suggestions do you have? Happy trails, Donna W Gustafson

Adams County Colorado lawns and turf

5 Responses

Hi Donna,
Foxtail is a weedy grass that is frequent in Colorado lawns. It can be controlled with a pre-emergent herbicide. This would need to be applied prior to seed germination and is likely too late to use this year as the seeds have already germinated. Pre-emergents work by preventing normal plant growth after seed germination so the plant is unable to establish itself. MSMA, a product labeled as a crabgrass killer can be effective against young weedy grasses. We have an excellent fact sheet with more detail than I can get into including details about other postemergent herbicide options here http://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/03101.pdf
Please let me know if you have further questions.

Greetings Cassey, Thank you for the information about fox trail in my yard. I will be quicker at getting the pre-emergent herbicide you recommended next spring. Thanks for the fact sheet. I will study up. In the meantime, as I see seed heads pop up, I pull the seed head, dig out the attached plant, & send it to the trash; then, throw in some grass seed. Happy trails, Donna W Gustafson

Yes, I forgot to mention that removing the seed heads is an excellent way to reduce populations next year. Good luck.

Greetings & thanks for the confirmation about removing foxtail seed heads. And the good luck wish. I cut the grass & the seed head stems just grow shorter. This is a "cagey" weed. Happy trails, Donna W Gustafson

It is indeed, thanks for getting in touch and good luck again with the battle!