Controlling invasive grasses

You have your lawn growing nicely but something seems to be moving in and taking over. Firstly make sure that it’s not weeds. If the plants are not broad leafed then chances are you are being invading by another type of lawn.

 

How did this happen?

 

  1. Lawn seed from older types of lawns which are un-hybridized can enter your lawn on the wind, through bird waste, on air fur, clothing or even from a lawnmower brought onto the property perhaps through a lawn mowing service. Kikuyu is the usual suspect in many cases, being classified by some as a noxious weed, but still used for sporting fields due to its ability to quickly and easily repair. This lawn seed is very easily dispersed by the wind;
  2. It can also occur if the lawn prior to laying new turf was not killed properly and the previous lawn grows through the new turf. This happens when runners and seeds are still under the ground and re-emerge;
  3. You may even be invaded by a neighbouring lawn growing across the property line.

 

Before beginning any removal process it is important that you first identify the type of grass that is invading. Buffalo and Kikuyu lawns have a similar leaf width which means that they can hide amongst the other for a while before being noticed and by then half of your lawn has been taken over.

 

When you have identified the culprit you can begin the removal process:

 

    1. If you feel that the invasion is only in its early stages and only a small amount of the grass exists you may like to pull the grass out manually. Ensure that you remove the entire root system and monitor over a period of time to make sure it is all gone.
    2. Stop mowing for a few weeks – this will allow the two different species to grow and more easily show the invading lawn type. Kikuyu grows particularly fast and will quickly grow above other lawn types after a few weeks.
    3. Wearing rubber gloves prepare a glyphosate mixture and get a paintbrush or weed wand at the ready.
    4. Separate the lawn, by hand if necessary, and apply the glyphosate. Glyphosate is non-selective and will kill any plant that it comes in contact with so extra care is required when applying to your lawn.

 

You should begin to see results within 1 -2 weeks and can begin to mow within two weeks of application.

 

Be prepared for the eventuality to you may need to reapply a few times to patches of the lawn missed in the initial process.

 

When you do begin to mow again, the first two lots of lawn clippings should be put in with general waste material and not into a garden bed or compost heap.

 

If you believe that your invasion has occurred due to your neighbour’s lawn being of a different variety and growing into yours you make like to consider a barrier. Usually a barrier of around 30 cm is enough to deter their grass from spreading too far from home. For further information visit the team at Daleys Turf.

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