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
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!