Each year around the beginning of August, our lawns are about as dry and stressed as they get in the summer. Sometimes it is so dry our good Kentucky Bluegrass goes a bit dormant. The greenest grass, while often found on the other side, is usually some type of grassy weed – crab, quack, or “barnyard.” You know what I’m talking about. The grass that looks like some mutated spawn of a grassy Satan. It’s coarse, purple, grows fast, and looks like beasts of burden would love to eat it. Gross.
This stuff is grass, but not the beautiful Kentucky Blue that we’re used to. It looks like it should run wild on a farm or around a barn. Grass that’s found in a barn’s yard.
Well, that’s its actual name. Barnyard grass. Echinochloa crus-galli, if you want the scientific Latin name.
Thankfully, barnyard grass is an annual grass, which means each individual organism only lasts a year. They may drop seeds, however, that may pop up next year. This is why it’s so important to get them out of your lawn early.
They are easily identified by a purplish color on their blades near the base. If you can pull them, please do. They are opportunistic and love to fill in gaps in your lawn, oftentimes along the edges of sidewalks and driveways.
“Matt, if I can’t or don’t want to pull them, is there anything else I can do to kill them? CAN you kill them without killing my good grass???” First, fear not. Second, take a deep breath. Third, yes we can selectively target them. We’re able to utilize a product that, when used correctly, should knock out the barnyard grass without harming your good grass. It’s a treatment we include for our customers who sign up for our four-treatment program.
As always, the best defense against weeds (grassy or otherwise) is a thick, healthy lawn. But if barnyard finds a spot to sprout, there’s still hope!