Addressing poa annua (aka: annual bluegrass) in the lawn

Updated Feb 29, 2024
lawn technician spraying lawn
Grassperson helps clients to understand the value of being proactive with their lawn care.

If your clients love a thick and healthy lawn, then nothing probably frustrates them more than seeing weeds creeping in. They can really stick out and make the lawn look uncared for. 

While our company, Grassperson, deals with many weeds in North Texas (it comes with the climate), Poa annua (or "annual bluegrass") is one of the most difficult. It also happens to be a very common problem here in our region. Unfortunately, this is not a weed that is easy to get rid of.

But there are some solutions.

It starts with the proper identification

Successfully targeting weeds starts by identifying the problem weeds in your clients' yards. After all, you have to know what you’re dealing with to implement the correct solution. If you're going to target poa annua, you need to know what it looks like.

Poa annua is a cool-season annual weed that is bright green and will stand out like a sore thumb from the rest of your client's lawn. It tends to grow taller and brighter than everything else.

One of the most noticeable features of poa annua is that it has a boat-shaped tip with smooth leaves. It also grows in bunches.

How to control poa annua

The reason that this weed can be so difficult to control is that it produces several thousand seeds in a single season. These seeds can lay dormant for several years before sprouting (when the conditions are just right). In terms of its persistence, poa annua is continually trying to lay down new seeds. This is why attempting to deal with poa annua after it has already grown can feel like you're stuck in a cycle of constantly spraying (without making a lot of progress). 

It just keeps coming back!

Instead, it's best to adopt a proactive approach by using a poa annua pre-emergent. 

As you know, pre-emergent weed control creates a barrier below the surface that reduces the number of seeds that germinate and breakthrough. It’s important that the pre-emergent is applied to the entire lawn in order to be effective. These products must also be applied before germination or they won’t work.

We complete two full rounds of poa annua pre-emergent to be fully effective against this persistent weed. We start our pre-emergent applications in September and we finish them by early December.

Helping clients understand the value of being proactive

Sometimes clients don't think about weed control until they see weeds. But being reactive to a weed like poa annua can make it difficult to get ahead of it. If it has already germinated, then you'll need to use post-emergent controls, which are more expensive. Talk to clients about the importance of signing up early for a weed control program so that they can get the best possible results (and not have to spend more money down the road).

At Grassperson, poa annua control is just one part of our comprehensive program which addresses different weeds at different times of the year. Our program includes an assortment of both pre-emergent and post-emergent controls.

We also educate clients that one of the best defenses against any weed type is a thick and healthy lawn. If they want to start fighting back against invasive weeds, then signing up for a full lawn care program that will promote thick turf is a great start.

jack moore

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