Annual Bluegrass has always been a problem on golf courses, and now has become a progressively worse problem on urban lawns. This grass is considered a weed for a variety of reasons. Generally, Annual Bluegrass is a lighter green color than Kentucky Bluegrass or Fine Fescue and therefore causes discoloration throughout the lawn, and has a tendency to thin out and die during summer drought conditions. This can cause areas of patching which weeds and insects will take advantage of. Another reason it is considered a weed is because of its seed head production, which is higher than Kentucky Bluegrass or Fine Fescue. This causes the lawn to appear overrun and not well maintained and gives it an unsightly look. This seed head production usually occurs in May and June, but can occur anytime during the growing season. Each plant has the ability to produce in excess of 360 seeds and the seeds can lie dormant for many growing seasons until conditions are favorable for germination.

Chemical control for Annual Bluegrass is not an option due to the fact it is not a broadleaf weed. Good cultural practices are your best bet when dealing with this winter annual. Annual Bluegrass prefers areas that are dry, cut short and have compacted soil. Aerating your lawn once a year will go a long way to alleviate this problem. Water deeply and infrequently to encourage good root development in your Fescue and Bluegrass lawns. Mow at 2 1/2 to 3 inches to discourage development of seed heads.

For more information, call the professionals at Ace of Blades at 818-LAWN (818-5296),
or e-mail us at paul@aceofblades.ca.