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Image result for foxtail controlHow to Control Foxtail on Your Lawn

There are many types of invasive weeds that can threaten the beauty and uniformity of a well kept lawn. One of those invaders is particularly annoying for homeowners because they are hard to control and manage. This plant is known as the common foxtail, which has a variety of different species.

Foxtail is a tricky and clever weed that has the tendency to pop up whenever careful attention isn’t placed on lawn maintenance. Foxtail is usually an annual weed but occasionally can be a perennial. It derives it’s name from it’s unique and bushy seedhead which resembles, you guessed it, the fail of a fox. This weed has spread prolifically across America, invading disturbed soils. As clever as this weed is, it can be stopped and your lawn can be saved. We’ll share with you how and what the best products you can use to eliminate them below.

Foxtail Background Information

Foxtail weed (Setaria) has wide leaf blacks which are similar in appearance to the turf grass where they happen to grow. The base of the leaves has fine hairs and the stem rises from a collar at the base of the leaf. Stems bear three- to ten-inch long spikes of flowers, which yield to seeds at the end of the season.

The plant is often hard to spot when mixed in with grass, as it starts out low to the ground with leaves parallel to the soil. Three main types that are common in the US. These are: Yellow foxtail (Setaria pumila), the Green foxtail (Setaria viridis) which is the smallest of them all and the Giant foxtail (Setaria faberi) which can reach heights of up to 10 inches.

They are found in ditches, cropland, disturbed building sites, roadsides and anywhere the natural ground flora has been disturbed. They not only are a nuisance for lawn owners but they can be hazardous to animals who happen to come into contact with the plant as the spikes and hairs can get lodges in nostrils and ear canals which can disturb an animal which in worst cases can cause death.

Foxtail Control Options

Recommended Pre-emergent and Post-emergent Herbicides:

Broadleaf fertilizers will not work against foxtail since foxtail is a grass. If you want to use chemical control methods, your best bet is to look for a herbicide that can kill grasses. Aside from the above recommendations, one of the most easily accessible types that you can’t go wrong with is a chemical called
glyphosate. A word of caution to those who go the Glyphosate/Roundup route, the chemical is non-selective meaning it is a “kill-all” weed killer so be sure to carefully spot treat and avoid getting your desired grasses and vegetation affected by the chemical.

For best results, spray the entire area with the glyphosate. Even though the other vegetation there will likely die, this is the quickest and most effective way of getting rid of fox tail. You can then reseed. If that is not the option you want to take, then one of the selective herbicides above should do the trick.

We recommend follow up applications after a couple weeks. Don’t think that one and done will cut it. Weeds are persistent, so you have to be just as persistent to get rid of them by conducting multiple applications as necessary til they are gone.

You will probably need to apply the herbicide two to three times, at minimum, before it wipes out the foxtail completely. Wait until after the foxtail reemerges before using another application.

You should wait until two weeks or so pass before re-applying the herbicide, especially if using a potent one like glyphosate.

Combine chemical herbicides with organic weed-control methods. While chemical herbicides can take care of the majority of the problem, enlisting the help of certain organic control methods can help in between applications, making the extermination process go quicker overall.

Seven to ten days after you apply the herbicide, turn under the dead plant residue. If you plan to amend the soil, do so now.

Foxail Control Tips and Recommendations

  • A good tool to use to aid with your herbicide application is mixing your selected herbicide with a surfactant so that your application can stick to the goosegrass and not runoff.

  • Please be sure to refer to the instruction label to get the correct application rates as they can vary based on the selected herbicide you are using.

  • Use a hand-pump sprayer with a fan tip nozzle. This will shoot a mist that will evenly coat the foxtail for best results in eradicating it from your lawn.

  • Herbicides can be harmful if you come in contact with it. Protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing protective equipment any time you handle herbicide chemicals.

  • If you would like to know step-by-step how to execute an effective herbicide application program for foxtail or any other weed, please refer to our knowledge base or view our informative How-To Videos to get a visual idea of how to carry out a proper herbicide treatment.

For more information on controlling foxtail  and other troublesome weeds in your yard as well as receive free help over the phone, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.


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