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How To Get Rid of Witchgrass From your Lawn or Garden  

There are a lot of different weeds that can emerge onto your lawn. Some can be beautiful, some very grassy and others just plain ugly. One such weed is the aptly named witchgrass. This wicked weed was coined as such due to its appearance: the hairy stem and large puffy seedhead resembles the features of a storybook witch. When the weed is ripe, the seeds burst out and can sail into the wind for long distances where it will eventually set up shop wherever it lands. This makes controlling witchgrass quite difficult to deal with. However, there are some solid methods that can effectively control this weed that doesn’t involve black magic. By using Solutions Pest and Lawn’s top-notch professional products and heeding our how-to advice, you can get rid of witchgrass and not be able to resist singing “Ding-dong the wicked witchgrass is dead!”

Witchgrass Background Information

Witchgrass (Panicum capillare) is a hairy, tufted annual grass that can range in height between 20-80 cm tall and has single spikelets on an open head which can grow quite large-- roughly up to half the size of the plant and has its base enclosed in the top sheath until maturity when it breaks off and blows around from the wind. Witchgrass is light green and purplish in color and has slightly compressed sheaths.

Witchgrass is a weed that is predominantly located in the eastern part of the United States. Witchgrass tends to enjoy taking over disturbed areas of land and any undergrown soil area like fields, and dry ditches. The plant reproduces by seed and by rhizomes. Handpulling these weeds are not an effective means of control as the rhizomes break off into the ground, eventually resprouting the weed once again.

Witchgrass Control Options

Recommended pre and post-emergent products:

Witch grass is one of the most noxious of weeds.  It's invasive, powerful and almost indestructible when not using herbicides. If you dig it out and leave behind the merest shred of root (underground stem, actually), the plant practically regenerates immediate. If you can use a pre-emergent before they have sprouted you will have a better time controlling this pesky weed. However if the weeds have already sprouted, you will have to turn to post-emergent means of control.

There are a number of good post-emergent herbicides that we carry which can eliminate witchgrass. The best one to select would depend on your personal preference and whether you want a selective herbicide or a non-selective herbicide. RoundUp works really well to get rid of witchgrass but since it’s non-selective, you would either have to be real careful spot treating so you don’t damage your desired vegetation or spray everything and reseed your yard. Selective herbicides will only kill targeted weeds sparing your desired turf and ornamentals.

Witchgrass Control Tips and Recommendations

  • We recommended mixing your selected weed-killer with a surfactant. This will help the herbicide break through the surface tension and penetrate the plant better.

  • As always when using a pesticide, read and follow label instructions carefully, and try to target only areas where the witchgrass is present in the lawn to reduce unnecessary pesticide use.

  • Regardless of the herbicide you select, may require more than one herbicide application. Refer to the product labeling to determine when to make follow-up applications, if needed.

  • Always wear the proper safety equipment any time you handle herbicide chemicals. We recommend wearing jeans and a long sleeve shirt along with gloves and goggles.

  • Need more guidance when it comes to mixing and applying herbicides? Browse our knowledge base or view our helpful How-To Videos. These resources are free for you to use and learn from so you could carry out a control program with confidence.

For more information on how to remove witchgrass and other stubborn weeds in your yard or to receive free expert assistance over the phone, send us an email at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

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