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How to Get Rid of Broomsedge

barnyardgrass control

Farmers and those who raise livestock share a common enemy on their ranges and pastures and that enemy goes by the name of broomsedge. Broomsedge sticks out like a sore thumb on ranges as it looks like grass but is distinguished by it’s ugly orangish-brown color. Broomsedge is a fast grower that is known to spread over agricultural sites, especially in the springtime. Livestock don’t like to eat broomsedge because of it’s poor quality and lack of nutritional value, earning it the nickname “poverty grass”. Broomsedge can become a really irritating problem on agricultural lands and as such, an effective management program would be necessary to remove this weed.

The experts here at Solutions Pest and Lawn have done the research and trials to find the best method and herbicide application for this hard to manage weed and here we will share with you what we have learned so you can eradicate this pesky invader from your lawn.

To get rid of broomsedge, you first need to do a little homework on the weed and be armed with some knowledge so you can know what conditions this type of weed likes, what it doesn’t like and then based on the information, approach with an effective control strategy. This is where we can best help.

Here at Solutions Pest and Lawn, we’re dedicated to serving you with not only supplying the best professional-grade products in the lawn and pest control industry, but also we want to empower you with the confidence to tackle any issues you have on your yard or home yourself, without hiring a professional.

Our motto is, “Ask us, then do it yourself”. Aside from our customer service line where you can talk live to an expert, you can also email us your specific questions and concerns at askapro@solutionsstores.com and we’ll be happy to help guide you in the right direction.

View our selection of products we recommend for getting rid of broomsedge and then scroll further to learn how to tackle broomsedge in depth using our solutions 4 step process.

How to Get Rid of Broomsedge: Solutions 4 Step Process

Step 1: Identification. There are times when novice lawnowners incorrectly diagnose or misidentify broomsedge or what they believe to be broomsedge with another grass which can be a problem. Identifying the unwanted plant that is growing on your lawn is vital because once you can correctly ID the weed, you can then research and find out what active ingredients, herbicides and cultural methods work best to tackle that weed and which products are specifically designed to target it. Improperly ID'ing a plant may result in waste of time and effort purchasing herbicides which won't work against it.

Broomsedge is a perennial grass that forms clumps in many pastures, hay fields, and abandoned fields, and often goes unnoticed until it matures into a reddish-brown clump of broom-like leaves from which it receives its common name. Young broomsedge leaves are folded in the shoot, to the point that the weed takes on a compressed appearance. The leaves have hairs at the base of the leaf blade and also have a membranous ligule. Broomsedge is most easily identified via its distinctly flattened leaves and sheaths that turn reddish-brown with maturity.


When you’re unsure or can’t quite determine exactly which kind of weed you are encountering in your yard, turn to the experts to ID the weed for you. We recommend taking a high resolution photo of the unwanted weed with your phone and shoot it over to our email address at Identification@solutionsstores.com. We will respond back to you quickly with not only the correct ID of the plant, we will also give you expert recommendations of products and techniques to apply to remove that weed from your lawn.


Step 2: Inspection. Conduct a thorough inspection of your lawn or landscape to see where the broomsedge is growing. Broomsedge typrically grows mostly on loose, sandy, moist soils in ranges and pastures as well as uplands and woodlands. Habitats include hill prairies, upland sand prairies, upland clay prairies, upland savannas, upland sandy savannas, rocky glades, sandy or gravelly areas along railroads, pastures, abandoned sandy fields, open areas of parks, mined land, and barren waste areas. This grass tends to colonize open areas with infertile soil that have been subjected to a history of disturbance, whether from occasional wildfires, grazing, or other causes.

Broomsedge in a pasture tells me that the pastures have been overgrazed or neglected or both. Once you have determined how severe of a problem you have (minor issue or majorly taking over the entire landscape) you will then know where to focus your chemical herbicide applications.


Step 3: Control. Broomsedge is best removed manually but if you have a large infestation of broomsedge you are dealing with, you may not have the time or the energy to being pulling or cutting down all the broomsedge. This is when chemical control would be best. A couple of herbicides we suggest Glyphosate 4 Plus Weed Killer Concentrate or Hyvar XL.There are some pre emergents you can also use which can keep broomsedge from springing up on your lawn and becoming an eyesore.

Read all labels and instructions carefully with whatever herbicide you choose to use. If you have desired grass around where the broomsedge is growing, you can choose to spot treat. Either way, be careful when using herbicides in general around your desired plants as they could potentially kill your wanted turf. Also, please be sure that when handling ay type of herbicide, you are properly protecting your skin and eyes with safety equipment. Goggles, gloves and love sleeved clothing should suffice.

For best results, make sure to apply herbicides at the right time. Broomsedge should be treated with herbicides when it is in active growth. Apply post-emergents in the springtime when the growth is less than 6 inches in length or apply pre-emergents in the fall or early spring to keep their seeds under control. Repeated applications may be necessary depending on the species, the persistence and the age or maturity of the plant.

Step 4: Prevention. You can prevent the return of broomsedge after it has been controlled with cultural practices that will hinder the redevelopment of this invasive grassy weed. A lush and healthy lawn is less prone to invasion by the broomsedge plant. Broomsedge grass grows best in poor soil and disperses an allelopathic chemical that keeps wanted plants from growing.

Properly fertilize your landscape at the best time recommended for your particular grass. Mow your grass regularly and at the right height.  Broomsedge thrives on sunlight so keeping a lush lawn shades out weed seeds which hinders the growth of the weed. Reseed thin patches of turf in the lawn as an effective means of broomsedge control. As effective broomsedge control includes proper fertilization, take a soil test to determine which amendments are necessary for thick, healthy turf grass on your lawn. Broomsedge does not grow well in landscapes that have high nitrogen in the soil.


Not the Weed Problem You Have? Check Out Our Other Weeds On Our Grassy Weed Control Page.

Learn More About Broomsedge

Broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus) is a perennial native weed. Despite it’s name, it’s not actually a sedge, rather, it’s a grass. It is easily identified by hairy, flattened leaf sheaths growing from a basal crown with folded young leaves. When it is mature it is brown and dry compared to bluish green when young. It’s name is derived from the fact that in the past when plant reached it’s reproductive stage, broomsedge produced a golden stem that was often cut, bound and used as a broom.

Broomsedge thrives in grazed areas that is not being given enough care and maintenance where it can quickly take over because grazing animals tend to avoid broomsedge. On pastures, broomsedge is known by the nickname "poverty grass" because it's of low quality and livestock hate to eat it. Whereever broomsedge has been established, this results in grazing animals turning their attention to the more desired vegetation in the area and depleting those sources, leaving broomsedge to thrive and survive in the environment.

Broomsedge that is growing on lawns are much easier to control than in pastures and the best way to do so on lawns is through cultural methods which allow the turf grass to become thick and nutrient-rich, thus aiding in broomsedge control by choking it out of the landscape.


Make Sure You Have The Right Equipment For The Job. SHOP For Sprayers and Other Lawn Care Essentials

How Best Way to Control Broomsedge

Hyvar XL and Glyphosate 4 are our top recommended products. The best way to keep broomsedge out of your land is through improving the quality of your soil through fertilization and creating a lush green landscape that will not allow broomsedge to thrive. Broomsedge grows best on soil that is in poor quality and actually disperses an allelopathic chemical that keeps desired plants from growing in the area.

Broomsedge can show resistance to common herbicides. Based on trials that we have done the above herbicides are the most successful in treating Broomsedge. Keep in mind that while Hyvar is a selective herbicide, Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide and thus is a kill-all treatment. Use glyphosate as a spot treatment and be careful not to get the chemical on any of your desired vegetation. Repeated application may be necessary so don’t assume that things will be “one and done”.

Timing and persistence is important when it comes to treating hard to manage weeds such as Broomsedge. For best control, make sure to treat Broomsedge early and often. Well-timed early season applications provide the most consistent weed control and will do the most to discourage the weed from developing a resistance. If you are patient and persistent in managing the pasture correctly, broomsedge will most likely disappear.


Better Safe Than Sorry: Equip Yourself With Protective Safety Equipment Before Spraying

Broomsedge Treatment Tips and Recommendations

  • Want to achieve the best possible results in your herbicide treatment application? Use a surfactant  and mix it with your selected herbicide to combat surface tension and runoff when spraying your targeted Broomsedge weeds.

  • Excessive spraying could burn your grass. Make sure to not overspray by using a spray pattern indicator so you can mark where you have sprayed.

  • Herbicide chemicals have the potential to harm or irritate skin on contact. When handling any weed killing chemicals be sure to wear the right protective equipment to cover your skin, eyes, nasal openings and mouth.

  • Are you a more visual learner? We have informative How-To Videos which show you step-by-step what to do and how to properly apply herbicide to a variety of weeds.

For more information on controlling broomsedge on your lawn and to get expert advice on your specific lawn maintenance or pest control issues, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.


Additional Resources on Broomsedge

Andropogon virginicus (Broomsedge) | NPIN


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