Home Lawn Care Barnyard Grasses | How to Identify and Manage This Lawn Weed

Barnyard Grasses | How to Identify and Manage This Lawn Weed

Barnyard Grasses | How to Identify and Manage This Lawn Weed

Barnyard Grasses are an annual warm-season weed that germinates throughout the spring and grows during hot summer months. Although it originates in Asia, it can be found in countries all over the world. 

This type of grass grows in the warmer regions of North America and thrives in moist environments. It is sometimes referred to as cockspur grass and can reach up to four feet in height if left untreated. 

Much like other types of weeds, barnyard grasses are an invasive species that competes with surrounding plants for nutrients. Some nutrients include nitrogen and potassium, both of which are necessary for the growth of a healthy lawn. For this reason, it is crucial to catch weeds before they have a chance to get out of control. 

As suggested by its name, barnyard grasses are grassy weed as opposed to broadleaf weeds. This means that it can blend in with other types of grass when it is young and can spread at a rapid pace. 

For more information about other types of weeds, please visit the following article.

Since barnyard grasses are an annual weed, it will die out once the colder seasons arrive, but can produce thousands of seeds in its lifespan. Therefore, waiting for winter to arrive will not serve as a solution for ridding your lawn or garden of this plant. 

Visually, it has long and flat leaves that are smooth in texture, each having a prominent vein in the middle. In the later stages of growth, it is very recognizable because the seedhead will gain a purple tint. But, it is important to prevent this weed from getting to this point. By then, the damage will be done, and your lawn may have endured a significant amount of damage. So, what steps should you take to control this invasive species?

Tip #1: Prevention is Key

barnyard grasses

There are various preventative measures you can take to deter barnyard grass from taking over your lawn. One is to apply pre-emergent herbicides that are designed to control germinating seeds. Using this product will halt the growth of weeds and can protect your lawn from their harmful presence. 

Here are a few pre-emergent products that are available for purchase:

  • Roundup Landscape Weed Preventer
    • 5.4 pounds of weed preventer that can protect your lawn for up to 6 months. The built-in applicator makes it easier to spread and provide even coverage. It comes at the price of $17.97. 
    • 4.2 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. 
  • Preen Garden Weed Preventer
    • 16 pounds of weed preventer that can protect grass for up to 3 months. As indicated, this is suitable for gardens and should not be used on a lawn. It can cover up to 2,650 square feet and comes at the price of $26.97
    • 4.7 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews

Tip #2: Take Care of Your Lawn

blue hose watering grass

As for most grass, the best way to prevent weeds from growing is to establish a durable and well-maintained lawn. This means providing your grass with an adequate amount of water and mowing it to the right height. Some types of grass can tolerate being cut short, but others cannot, so it is important to familiarize yourself with the needs of your grass. 

You should also feed your grass a few times a year with lawn food, which helps to strengthen and thicken your lawn. As a result, your lawn will be able to fight off weeds. 

Below are some examples of lawn food: 

  • Greenview Lawn Food 
    • 48 pounds of lawn food for $39.99. It can cover 15000 square feet and is suitable for any type of turfgrass. The best results are when it is applied in the early fall or spring before rainfall.
    • 4.7 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. 
  • Purely Organic Lawn Food Fertilizer
    • 25 pounds of lawn food for $22.78. Plant-based formula with no harsh ingredients, making it family-friendly. Covers 5,000 square feet and will not burn your lawn. It also provides essential nutrients and promotes strong roots. 
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars based on customer reviews. 

For more tips on how to care for your lawn, check out How to Get Lawn Maintenance Right

Tip #3: Pull With Caution

holding barnyard grasses

For some types of weeds, pulling may not be a suitable option. This is because deep-rooted weeds will grow back if not handled properly. Barnyard grasses, however, have shallow roots that can easily be removed. It is also an annual and will not grow back in the same way that a perennial weed would. 

Keep in mind that this solution is not guaranteed. If you have significant amounts of barnyard grasses, this might not be the best way to get rid of it. Also, if it gets a chance to seed, then this problem may return in the future. 

Read more about How to Weed a Lawn.

Moving Forward 

One of the best ways to prevent barnyard grasses and weeds in general from impacting your lawn is by creating an environment where they will not survive. As mentioned, this means properly maintaining your grass and giving it all the attention it needs to thrive. 

Barnyard grasses can be a nuisance to deal with, but it does not have to be if you take the right steps to keep it from showing up uninvited.

Frequently Asked Questions: Barnyard Grasses

When is the best time to apply pre-emergent products? 

It is recommended that you apply pre-emergent products in the fall and early spring before weeds begin to grow. More specifically, in the daytime, when soil temperatures are above 55 degrees. However, the answer may vary depending on the type of weed and the product you purchase. Some pre-emergents may require re-application if it is used too early. 

Are lawn food and fertilizer the same? 

In some ways, they are very similar. They both provide grass with necessary nutrients, and certain types of lawn food are infused with fertilizer. But one key difference is that you may not need to fertilize your lawn as often as you feed it. That being said, you should only feed your lawn around 3 or 4 times a year. 


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