Annual Bluegrass – Perennial Type

Q: I am trying in vain trying to control annual bluegrass. I put down pre-emergent four times this fall. There is noticeably less than last year, but still plenty of it. Could we have a species that survives the summers here? 

A: Golf course managers and commercial landscapers are bedeviled by annual bluegrass, Poa annua ssp. annua. But in the last couple of years they have recognized that some sub-species of annual bluegrass exhibit perennial behavior. The weed doesn’t die in May as expected.

Scientists have given this type plant the name Poa annua ssp. reptans. Both sub-species produce thousands of seed but the perennial type is more prostrate while the annual type is more clump-forming.

Even so, persistent applications of pre-emergent and good attention given to maintaining a healthy, vigorous lawn will usually bring annual bluegrass under control after a few years.

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