Smutgrass Control – Tips To Help Kill Smutgrass

smut-grass
Image by John W. Everest

By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)

Both small and giant smutgrass (Sporobolus sp.) is a problem in pastures in southern areas of the U.S. The invasive, perennial bunch grass, native to Asia, reseeds prolifically. When these seeds sprout in your landscape, you will be looking for a way to kill smutgrass. Smutgrass control is especially dangerous, as it is a carrier of black smut fungus, which you do not want on valuable landscape plants.

Tips for Smutgrass Control

Controlling smutgrass begins in spring, as the invasive grass must be actively growing when treatments are applied. If smutgrass appears in your turf, natural area or flower bed, you want to immediately get rid of smutgrass, but spraying is usually not effective until spring.

If you can kill smutgrass before it reaches the ornamental areas of the landscape, this is the desired smutgrass control. Chemicals for controlling smutgrass can also kill other grasses that you wish to keep. Healthy turf is the best repellant for smutgrass control.

Take a soil test; amend and fertilize turf as recommended. Dethatch the lawn, if needed. This provides the easiest and most effective smutgrass control, helping desirable turf crowd out and get rid of smutgrass before it is established.

If you wish to practice smutgrass control on your property in areas outside of the lawn and flower bed, get rid of smutgrass by use of the herbicides Velpar or Glyphosate (Round-up). Painting plants can be effective, but is not practical when they must be controlled in large quantities.

Commercial wiping equipment can be used to get rid of smutgrass in outlying areas. A single application is recommended yearly. Follow directions on the product label carefully. When in doubt, contact a licensed landscape specialist to help get rid of smutgrass.

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