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downy brome

How to Remove Downy Brome From Your Lawn

Downy Brome, also known as cheatgrass, is one of the more serious weeds that can emerge onto lawns and it is commonly a nuisance to livestock producers on ranges and pastures. If you have downy brome on your lawn, you’re going to want to get rid of it as soon as you can because it could become troublesome to get rid of it when they are well-established and mature. Here at Solutions Pest and Lawn we will not only share with you the steps and methods of approaching downy brome, we’ll also show you the best products to tackle this invasive species and take your lawn back.

Downy Brome Background Information

Downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) is a versatile winter annual which has the ability to thrive in all types of soils. This weed has an extensive shallow root system and roots which possess many hairs that enable the plant to extract much of the water from the soil. Downy brome can be short or tall. The leaves on the grass are really small and can go unnoticed until they grow their large drooping seedheads. Downy brome has very hairy leaves that are pleasant to the touch.

Downy brome germinates in the fall and resides as a super tiny plant over the winter. The weed then takes advantage of any spring moisture available and then produces thousands of seeds. When downy brome matures, the seed heads become brownish red begins to drop their seeds to set the stage for the next generation. When young, Downy brome is a palatable grass before the seed heads emerge but becomes unpalatable with maturity. Mature downy brome can also injure livestock by causing infection in the eyes or mouth. Mature plants also are a serious fire hazard so when controlling downy brome, you’re going to want to act fast to not let them mature.

How To Effectively Control Downy Brome

Recommended Post-emergents:


As we noted earlier, to treat this hard to control weed you have to act fast while the plant is still young and green as it will get more and more difficult to control as it matures. We recommend the above herbicides which can successfully and effectively control downy brome. What you select depends on whether you want to use a selective or non-selective herbicide. Glyphosate can give excellent control of downy brome but with it being non-selective it will destroy any plant in it’s path so if you have downy brome growing in close quarters to your desired grasses and vegetation you will want to be careful and spot treat.

The ideal time to control downy brome is in the fall and you’re going to want to apply herbicides at least twice whether they are on your lawn or on ranges and pastures. Make sure to also time your herbicide applications when there isn’t a chance of rainfall occurring prior to or after treating the weed. After application, wait 1-2 weeks to check progress and to see if you need to do a reapplication.

Downy Brome Control Tips and Recommendations

  • Want your herbicide application to pack a better punch? Mix your selected weed killer with a  surfactant. This will fight off surface tension and help the herbicide to stick better to the plant so you see the best end  results.

  • Remember that the label is the law! Please read the manufacturer’s label carefully and follow directions. Application rates vary depending on the type of herbicide you are using so make sure you don’t overmix.

  • Wear long sleeved pants and clothing when using herbicides. Protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing protective safety equipment any time you handle herbicide chemicals.

  • Want to learn more detailed ways of applying herbicides? Browse our knowledge base or view our informative How-To Videos available to view anytime.

For more detailed information on controlling downy brome on your lawn and to get specialized free advice for your lawn, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.


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