Get tips for controlling Poa annua weeds, or annual bluegrass, in your lawn. Poa annua, one of the most common and pesky weeds, grows as a cool season annual weed and looks like Kentucky bluegrass but it’s not. It’s a lighter shade of green (as seen above).
Poa annua brings small clumps of green blades and tasseled seed stalks to your lawn. This weed becomes visible in winter and early spring in dormant lawns, such as bermudagrass, which turn straw color in the winter. In fescue and other cool season lawn grasses that stay green all year-round, poa annua can leave bare spots in your lawn when it dies off in summer heat.
One poa annua weed clump can produce hundreds of seeds in a season. Seeds also can lay dormant for several years before sprouting again making this weed difficult to control.
Poa annua thrives in compacted soil, wet soil from over-irrigated lawns and lawns with high applications of nitrogen or fertilizer. Also, if you mow too low, you’re creating an environment where the weed seeds will get sun and germinate, creating more weeds.
For the best tips for controlling poa annua, learn from The Home Depot expert Travis Poore, who knows so much about lawn care he calls himself The Lawn Ranger. Poore, a Home Depot associate for nearly 30 years, is a founding member of the How-To Community, Home Depot’s forum for all things DIY, home improvement and gardening. Travis, along with a team of expert store associates, virtually assists customers with project ideas and expert advice.
4 Tips for controlling Poa Annua Weed
- Never too early and it’s never too late. It’s never too early therefore it’s never too late. If you see weeds growing, it’s too late to control those but you can control the seeds that they are producing.
- Treat it like crabgrass. Poa annua weed may be the polar opposite of crabgrass because it’s a wintertime/cold weather weed, but you need to treat it just like crabgrass.
- Get control before germination begins. In the south, you’ll want to apply pre-emergent for poa annua and other weeds before these take hold. Apply pre-emergent to your grass using a garden hose for applying liquid such as Image concentrate on your poa annua weeds, or a spreader for granular application. The best times to apply pre-emergent are January or early February, as soon as weather permits in winter on southern lawns. Then, apply it again in October. In April and July, you’ll want to use a pre-emergent with fertilizer. April is the best time to fertilize your bermudagrass because it’s 50 percent green at that time.
- Be cautious. For those with cool season grasses needing over-seeding in the fall, do not apply pre-emergent at that time. Poa annua is green in the winter, so it coexists well with fescue and rye. Most people at war with poa annua have lawns that go dormant and never require over-seeding.