Control Of Barnyardgrass – What Is Barnyardgrass And How To Control It

barnyardgrass
Image by Matt Lavin

By Susan Patterson, Master Gardener

A fast grower that can quickly cover lawn and garden areas, control of barnyardgrass is often necessary to prevent the weed from getting out of hand. Keep reading to learn more about barnyardgrass weeds.

What is Barnyardgrass?

Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-gallia) likes moist soils and grows in both cultivated and uncultivated areas. It is often found in rice, corn, orchard, vegetable and other agricultural crops. It can also be found in moist turf areas and marshes.

Advertisement

This grass propagates by seed and grows in clumps where it roots and branches at the lower joints. Mature plants reach up to 5 feet in height. Stems are smooth and stalky and flat near the base of the plant. Leaves are smooth but may be rough closer to the tip.

This summer annual weed is easy to identify by its unique seedhead, which is often purple with an end bristle that varies in length from 2 to 8 inches. Seeds develop on side branches.

Barnyardgrass weeds bloom from June through October, seeds are flat on one side and round on the other. This weed may produce more than 2,400 pounds of seeds per acre. The wind, water, animals, and humans may spread the seed to other areas.

How to Control Barnyardgrass

Barnyardgrass is a vigorous grower and quickly removes vital nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus from the soil. Over 60 percent of nitrogen can be removed in a single crop area. For the homeowner, a stand of barnyardgrass is unappealing and may endanger the health of the turf.

Barnyardgrass weeds can be annoying when they appear in lawns or garden areas. Control of barnyardgrass in turf may involve both chemical and cultural practices. If you keep your lawn healthy with proper mowing and fertilization, there will be very little room for the pesky grass to grow. Chemical control usually involves the application of a pre-emergence and post-emergence crabgrass herbicide.

For specific help on identification and what kills barnyardgrass in your area, it is best to consult your local Cooperative Extension Office.

Print This Article
This article was last updated on
Did you find this helpful?
Share it with your friends!

Additional Help & Information

Didn't find the answer to your question? Ask one of our friendly gardening experts.

Do you know anything about gardening? Help answer someone's gardening question.

Read more articles about Weeds.

Search for more information

Use the search box below to find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: