Smutgrass Control

Most Effective Products

RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $73.50
Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye
Dye
As low as $29.99
Dimension 2EW Herbicide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $143.67
Keith's Pro Tips

"The ideal time to apply herbicides to control smutgrass is early and often, especially before the density of the weed is too great. When an infestation gets up to 60 or 70 percent, you may have to renovate your entire pasture or lawn and start from scratch which can be quite costly."

Smutgrass Control: How To Get Rid of Smutgrass

This page is a general DIY guide for controlling smutgrass. Using the products and methods suggested you get control of smutgrass. Follow this DIY article and use the recommended products, and we guarantee 100% control of smutgrass.

Smutgrass, also called sporobolus indicus, is an aggressive bunchgrass that causes serious problems on ranges and pastures. It is most notably prevalent in Florida but also has spread to Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Smutgrass is Native to tropical Asia which explains its tolerance for drought and thriving among warm conditions without needing moisture.

This weed brings no nutritional value and is unpalatable to cattle. Cows do not like to eat it and so when it begins to overtake an area, animals overgraze the more desirable grasses thus allowing smutgrass to thrive and spread even more.

If smutgrass is growing on your landscape, we can help. The following DIY treatment guide below was developed by our lawn care experts and will show exactly what to do to remove this weed from your lawn using our professional herbicide recommendations. Follow the step-by-step instructions and you are guaranteed to eliminate smutgrass quickly and affordably.

Identification

Before proceeding with a treatment program, you will need to be certain that you are dealing with a smutgrass infestation. Careless identification can lead you to using the wrong treatment methods which can be a waste of time and money. Below are the following characteristics to know what smutgrass looks like.

smutgrass up close

  • Smutgrass is a tufted perennial warm-season grass that grows in slender clumps reaching up to three feet in height. 
  • Has spike-like seed heads (panicles), which may appear black in appearance since they are commonly infested with black smut hence the name. The seed heads are initially red, orange, or grey to whitish brown depending on the species and if they are infested with a fungus. These spike-like panicles have many short branches held closely to the stem, however the lower branches may droop when slighly opened. 
  • Leaf blades are very narrow and taper to a point. They are usually flat in appearance, but these leaves can be rolled at the base. Sheaths are hairless, while margins might have some tiny hairs along it. These leaves grow up to 1 foot in length and 0.2 inches in width. 

Use our description and image above to help you to identify smutgrass on your lawn. If you are having trouble with identification, contact us and we will properly ID the plant for you as well as give you the best product recommendations for control.

Inspection

Once confirmed that you are dealing with smutgrass, you can then move on to inspection. During this phase, you will locate areas where smutgrass is thriving and observe the conditions that are allowing it to thrive. This information will help you in knowing where to focus your herbicide application.

Where to Inspect

Smutgrass particularly favors sites with compacted soil, or open spaces with humid climates.

Common sites for this weed to appear are pastures, home lawns, and along roadsides throughout the southern and western United States. 

What To Look For

Smutgrass is a warm-seasoned perennial weed that remains dormant in the winter, and begins growing in the spring. From July to September, this weed will begin to produce flowers and seeds. 

When looking for smutgrass, be on the lookout for any uneven growth and clumping or blackened seed heads. 

Treatment

After identifying smutgrass and inspecting where it is most active in your property, you can begin to treat your area. Be sure to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) before handling or applying any type of product.

Post-emergent herbicides containing hexazinone or glyphosate have shown the best control over smutgrass. 

RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide is a non-selective post-emergent herbicide that will control various weeds, including smutgrass in residential areas, pastures, and rangelands.

Keep in mind that this product will kill all vegetation it comes into contact with due to its non-selective formulation. To help avoid unwanted applications, we recommend placing a barrier between the smutgrass and desirable foliage like a cardboard box. 

Step 1: Measure and Apply RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide

Mixing Glyphosate in Sprayer

Determine how much RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide to use by measuring the square footage of the treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together (length X width = square footage). For acreage, take the square footage and divide it by one acre (square footage / 43,560 sq. ft. = acres). 

For spot treatment, use a 1.6 percent solution. To achieve this, mix 2.1 oz. of RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide with 1 gallon of water. 

To keep track of where you’ve applied this non-selective herbicide, we recommend you mix a product like Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye into your solution. Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye is a blue colorant dye that will turn turf temporarily blue so you can see where you have applied the product.

Add 0.10 oz. of Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye per 1 gallon of water. 

Mix half the amount of water, add in the proper amount of RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide, then pour in the remaining half of water. Add in the measured amount of Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye then agitate until the entire solution is well-mixed. 

Spray the top and bottom of weed leaves until wet, but not to the point of runoff. 

Prevention

Once smutgrass has been eliminated from your property, you will need to implement some preventative measures which will ensure that this weed does not return.

  • To prevent smutgrass, use a pre-emergent such as Dimension 2EW Herbicide. This is a selective, pre-emergent herbicide that comes in a liquid form that will control smutgrass and other weeds in established lawns, landscape ornamentals, and other terrains. Apply 0.73 fl. oz. of the Dimension 2EW Herbicide with 1 gallon of water to treat 1,000 sq. ft. Broadcast the product over your treatment area, then after 6 hours, water the area with about half an inch of irrigation.
  • Regular lawn maintenance has shown significant results in decreasing smutgrass infestations. Mowing helps to lessen the diameter of the weed overall, but can result in increased density. 
  • Maintain adequate watering with an inch of irrigation once per week. Preferably in the early morning so there is enough time for the water to absorb. By watering the turf with the proper amount of water it will help to choke out the weed. Fertilizations with a slow-release granule fertilizer will also help to do this. 

Key Takeaways

What is Smutgrass?

  • Smutgrass is a tough to control perennial grass and a carrier of black smut fungus, which can do some serious damage on your desired vegetation.

How to Get Rid of Smutgrass?

  • Our top products to treat smutgrass is RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide.

Preventing Smutgrass Reinfestations

  • To prevent a return of smutgrass, apply Dimension 2EW Herbicide then implement a solid maintenance routine (mowing, watering, fertilizer) that promotes a thick, healthy turf. 
Questions and Answers
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    RoundUp Pro Concentrate Herbicide
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    Vision Pro Max Indicator Dye
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    Dimension 2EW Herbicide
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