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Rough or Weed Grass in Your Lawn

By: Jack Claridge - Updated: 16 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Rough Grass Weed Grass Killing Weed

Rough or Weed Grass in your lawn is one of the most common problems a gardener will have to face in the lifetime of his garden. Not only do these types of grass spoil the overall look of your lawn, they can also have far reaching consequences with long-term damage to existing healthy grass and also draining your lawn's soil of valuable nutrients.

Perennial Grass Weeds

Perennial - or recurrent - grass weeds are a common problem and something that all gardeners spend a lot of their time throughout the gardening year trying to deal with. There are many different types of grass weed, which - in their own way - make their presence felt in your garden.

The most common grass weeds in the British Isles are:

  • Creeping Bent
  • Common Couch
  • Onion Couch
  • Rough Meadow Grass
  • Yorkshire Fog
  • Creeping Soft Grass
There are many others but these are the ones that gardeners in the British Isles spend most of their time trying to combat.

Rough Meadow Grass - or give it its Latin title Poa Trivialis - is an indigenous species and it was once a weed found mostly in and around growing winter crops. Over the years however the tall growing leafy grass has made its way into domestic gardens and has become deeply embedded in our soils.

Meadow grass can last longer than five years if it gets into your soil and it is something that requires a lot of hard work and determination to finally get rid of. As a wind pollinated grass its seeds are shed between the months of June and August and as it requires light to germinate, the seeds are nearly always to be found just beneath the surface of the lawn's soil.

Like most rough or weed grasses, Meadow Grass also brings with it larger numbers of beetles etc as they are an excellent source of food for them. If you notice an increase in the numbers of beetles in and around your lawn this can be a good first indicator that the seeds of these grasses have reached your lawn and are being consumed.

Treating Grass Weeds

Applying a pre-emergent weed killer to your lawn is perhaps the best way of ensuring that the problem of grass weeds is one that is prevented rather than cured. When using these pre-emergent weed killers it is important to water your garden once you have applied them so that they are released and begin to work sooner rather than later.

Also it is important to keep your lawn in good overall condition so that the problem can be easily identified and dealt with. Regular mowing is a must of course and, in the winter, cutting your grass slightly higher than usual is a good way to deprive these grass weeds of light and water, which are the two main resources they use to germinate and grow.

Likewise should you see any bare patches on your lawn it is important to fill them in - not only for cosmetic purposes - but also because weed grasses thrive on patches of lawn that are barren. Reseeding and top-dressing as soon as possible is the best way to ensure that bare patches are covered in.

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