Q: I have almost two acres of a mixture of centipedegrass and bermudagrass. Unfortunately, dallisgrass is taking over. Is there anything in this whole wide world that I can use to kill this pest?
A: Dallisgrass is indeed hard to control. It was once considered to be a good forage grass due to its perennial nature but is a weedy nuisance in lawns. It was named for A.T. Dallis of LaGrange, who was an enthusiastic proponent of the plant around 1900.
Control can be accomplished but you have to use a three-pronged approach and it must be done consistently. The prongs are:
1. Manage your turfgrass optimally. Mowing height and fertilization are particularly important.
2. Spray with MSMA or CAMA crabgrass herbicide at frequent intervals, according to label directions. These herbicides hurt centipedegrass pretty badly so consider spot-spraying weed clumps with glyphosate (Roundup, etc.) as an alternative in centipedegrass turf.
3. Use a pre-emergent religiously each March so dallisgrass seed does not germinate.
Do this for 2 – 3 years and you’ll have dallisgrass on the run.