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How To Control Johnsongrassjohnsongrass

There is no shortage of tough to control weeds that one can encounter on a landscape but one grassy weed that is among the top 10 most difficult to control weeds in the entire world is Johnsongrass. The reason why johnsongrass is such a terrible weed is because of its capacity to be sometimes be resistant to herbicides like Roundup or ALS that would otherwise easily kill a lesser weed. Johnsongrass is known to be detrimental to crop yields and once established, it can get out of control in a hurry.

Eradicating johnsongrass is no easy task. What may be alarming to note is that a single plant of Johnsongrass can produce over 5,000 seeds that can lay dormant for up to 20 years. As tough as a weed johnsongrass is to tackle, you can successfully remove johnsongrass from your lawn if you do your homework and equip yourself with the correct control products which you can find here at Solutions Pest & Lawn.

Johnsongrass Background Information

Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) is a perennial grass weed that is highly disliked by agricultural farmers because of its presence reducing yields in corn, grain sorghum, soybean, cotton and leguminous forages. Johnsongrass was actually introduced in 1830 as a forage crop and for stabilizing ditches, but has since then been an eyesore and headache to get rid of for agricultural and residential areas because of its tendency to crowd out desirable plants and destroying food and shelter for wildlife.

Johnsongrass can be identified by its fibrous root system and thick rhizomes which can grow exceptionally tall with some reaching heights of as much as 6 to 7 feet tall. Johnsongrass is capable of rapidly colonizing a variety of different environments due to the large amounts of seed and rhizomes produced by this plant.  

This weed is especially tough because it can be poisonous to cattle and horses. If you get an early frost or an extreme drought, you cannot let cattle and horses graze on any johnsongrass because it contains enough hydrogen cyanide to actually kill cattle and horses which can be a serious worry.

Check out our Johnsongrass control products below and read further to learn how you can get rid of johnsongrass effectively be following our simple steps.

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How to Get Rid of Johnsongrass

To be able to successfully eliminate Johnsongrass, timing is important as well as using a multitude of control options as opposed to just one because it is such a stubborn and persistent weed that can resist herbicides. While hand pulling is an effective means of control for most weeds if you want to go the organic route, when it comes to Johnsongrass, it will not work.


Hand pulling johnsongrass will likely break the roots, and these broken roots can simply grow back. If you try to plow out the johnsongrass, the rhizomes can spread around and regerminate wherever you spread them. The key will be to discover and treat johnsongrass early and not let it spread and go to seed.  Fortunately, we have some steps and recommendations below which will take care of the Johnsongrass problem quickly and efficiently.


Step 1: First you need to be absolutely sure that the weed you have growing on your lawn is indeed Johnsongrass. There are some similar perennial grasses that Johnsongrass can be mistaken with called Vaseygrass and guinea grass. It is crucial to identify the weed correctly because while they look similar to johnsongrass they have very different herbicide recommendations. By misidentifying the plant, you can get the wrong recommendations which will lead to an expensive waste of money buying herbicides you don’t need because they won’t work.


If you aren’t able to identify it from the image we have posted or the descriptions provided, contact us via identification@solutionsstores.com. Send us a clear photo of the plant and we will properly identify it and then give you a control plan with herbicide recommendations.


Step 2: Once you are certain the weed you are dealing with is johnsongrass it is time to carry out control measures. We recommend attacking the johnsongrass early, before the summertime when the growth of the plant is still active and before it gets to the seedling stage. You can try to use Glyphosate or RoundUp QuikPro to control the plant. Mist the herbicide evenly, applying just enough to coat the entire stand of grass but not so much that the herbicide starts dripping off the plant.


Be forewarned that these are non-selective herbicides meaning it will kill all plant life it touches so be careful when applying it around desired plants and spot spraying where needed. Follow the label for recommended rates and application methods.


Step 3: If your batch of johnsongrass is resistant to glyphosate, you can try another product called Certainty which may have better luck. After applications are made, we recommend drowning the johnsongrass with at least 2 inches of water as this can kill the rhizome network underneath the soil. Shading and baking the johnsongrass under a tarp can also be a good assist to the use of herbicides.


By following these steps, you can effectively get rid of johnsongrass from your yard once and for all. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or give us a call at 800-479-6583 and one of our friendly representatives will assist you with your order or with any lawn care problems you have.


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