Yellow Foxtail, Green Kyllinga, and Carolina Cranesbill

Lawn Weeds and How to get Rid of Them

It's frustrating to spend a lot of time making your lawn lush and green, only to have weeds pop up all over the place. Certain weeds are more difficult to get rid of than others. Here are some of the top offenders and what to do about them.

Setaria glauca – Yellow Foxtail

Setaria glauca is a summer annual weed that grows in hot weather. Because it is an annual weed that spreads by seed, you can achieve effective control with pre-emergent herbicides with the following active ingredients:

  • benefin
  • bensulide
  • dithiopyr
  • ethofumesate
  • pendimethalin
  • prodiamine
  • trifluralin

To control the weed without herbicides, maintin good mowing and lawn care practices: mow the turf at the highest possible setting, and mow before the grass can flower and set seeds.

Kyllinga brevifolia -- Green kyllinga

Green kyllinga is a sedge weed that spreads via rhizomes (stems running along the ground) rather than by seeds. That means it's difficult to control. Pre-emergent herbicides won't touch this weed, because pre-emergent herbicides only keep weed seeds from sprouting. They do nothing to impact perennial weeds.

To control green kyllinga, first start by making sure that conditions are unfavorable for it to grow. Wet, boggy soils, provide it with a great place to grow, so don't over-irrigate, and do what you can to improve drainage.

If you need to use a herbicide to kill the weed, look for products with these active ingredients: halosulfuron, imazosulfuron, MSMA, or trifloxysulfuron. Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup® won't kill green kyllinga or most sedges.)

Geranium carolinianum – Carolina cranesbill

A wildflower to some and a weed to others, depending on where it is growing, Geranium carolinianum can be difficult to control. This is a biennial broadleaf weed with a palm-shaped leaf and pink flowers in the second year. For best control, get to this weed before it flowers and sets seed. Regular systemic broad-leaf herbicides will control this weed.

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