For any homeowner, one of the most pleasing things is to have a beautiful lawn. You would do everything you can to keep your lawn attractive and healthy. You mow it regularly, use fertilizers, aerate the yard and water on a timely basis as the turf demands.
However, a challenging aspect of lawn maintenance is dealing with weeds. You must have encountered grasses that grow faster than anything else in the yard but may not know what they are or how to get rid of them.
Dallisgrass and crabgrass are two commonly found weed species that are often mistaken for one another. However, it is important to understand the difference because you need to handle them in different ways. This is why we have compiled a quick guide to help you identify one from the other. Let us try to learn how they resemble and differ and how you can deal with them to maintain a weed-free, lush lawn.
Dallisgrass Vs Crabgrass
Different types of weeds are often seen growing alongside your plants in the yard. They are clumps of grass that don’t match the other parts of the lawn and grow quite fast. It is essential that you identify the type of weed you have before taking the steps to get rid of them. Dallisgrass and Crabgrass are two common unwanted grasses you find growing with the lawn and they resemble a lot. However, they have some similarities and differences that you should be aware of.
Dallisgrass is a preferred pasture grass though there is a likelihood of developing fungus in hot months. Both the grasses are evading in nature and hard to eliminate once they thrive in the yard. However, Dallisgrass is easier to prevent than getting rid of once it starts spreading. It has tall stalks which are coarse or smooth and evade a mower.
Dallisgrass is more challenging to control as compared to crabgrass as it grows back again and again from the root every season while crabgrass grows only once from the seeds. Another difference in terms of appearance is that Dallisgrass grows as bunches whereas crabgrass spreads in a star-shaped structure. crabgrass can be controlled by other plants with the use of fertilizers while Dallisgrass thrives even upon spraying nitrogen fertilizers.
How To Tell Crabgrass From Dallisgrass?
When your yard has different species of weeds growing, it becomes vital to tell the difference between them to be able to take measures to kill them. The problem with crabgrass and Dallisgrass is that they look so similar to each other that lawn owners find it difficult to tell one from the other. Both of the weeds grow to their fullest and thrive nicely. Identifying them is important because they can be prevented in different ways.
Crabgrass is easy to control because it is an annual plant that grows from seeds. On the other hand, Dallisgrass is somewhat difficult to prevent and requires handling as the plants grow in the yard. If the two types of grasses grow side by side, it is easy to tell them from one another as Dallisgrass is taller, more upright compared to crabgrass which grows closer to the ground like St. Augustine and has wide leaves.
It is easy to tell crabgrass from Dallisgrass by looking at the seed head. If you find the seed head to be small growing out of the stem, it should be crabgrass. Conversely, Dallisgrass has larger seed heads with black spots and grows from the side of the stem and not the top. Crabgrass grows in thick circular clumps in a star-shaped pattern. Dallisgrass is coarse grass spreading from short rhizomes and has a greyish green color with thick, stiff blades.
What Does Dallisgrass Look Like?
Dallisgrass has an appearance that is easy to identify from other plants. It has coarse blades with clumps spreading from thick rhizomes. These clumps are generally stiffer than most other grasses and can be a hazard for people walking on the yard. Dallisgrass has a greyish-green shade and hairs growing on the leaves. It exhibits a bunch-like growth that expands vertically.
What makes Dallisgrass different from other grasses is its growth from short rhizomes that grow continuously as an underground stem, increasing the diameter of the plant. The grass thrives more in sandy or clay soil and grows faster than other grasses.
Why Is Crabgrass Bad?
A common variety of grass seen in yards, crabgrass is an annual species growing during the spring and summer and dying in the cold. It is not a turf-type grass used for lawns because it looks so ugly. It dominates the lawn during the season, creating issues in the summer. The grass grows vigorously in the spring and fall months and the cool season blades become dormant in the summer as the weed reaches its final phase of growth.
Crabgrass thrives during the hot months and dominates the entire lawn. It is an opportunistic plant that starts growing in bare areas and suppresses good weak plants. Moreover, crabgrass dies and turns brown in the cold season, making the lawn look bad. Seeds dropping from each of these plants continue to germinate in the spring, further expanding the spread of this weed.
Is Crabgrass Bad For Dogs?
If you have pets in your household, it is natural to be concerned about their safety associated with the grasses. Dogs, in particular, are fond of eating crabgrass and are likely to graze the weed when roaming in the yard. They like the taste of this grass and enjoy eating it for several reasons. Dogs are most likely to feed on grasses like crabgrass when they suffer from an upset stomach.
Fortunately, crabgrass is not a toxic plant and is safe for dogs. Though some grass species can result in conditions like stomach irritation and diarrhoea in dogs, crabgrass is generally safe when eaten by dogs and does not cause any health complications. The grass leads to adverse effects on a dog in rare cases. So, dog owners can let their furry friends feed occasionally on crabgrass.