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How to Kill Orchard Grass in Your Lawn?

How to Kill Orchard Grass in Your Lawn?

If you have orchard grass in your lawn, it’s time to take action and get rid of it! This pesky weed can be difficult to get rid of, but with the right information, you can succeed. In this article, we will answer common questions about orchard grass and provide useful tips on how to kill it. We’ll also discuss some of the best methods for preventing its return. So let’s get started!

What is Orchard Grass

Orchard grass (Dactylis glomerata) is a cool-season grass that is commonly found in lawns and pastures. It bears light green leaves and grows quickly, making it an ideal choice for turfgrass. However, orchard grass can become invasive and take over your lawn if left untreated.

To identify orchard grass correctly, you need to focus on the length of the stems and its seed head shape. Orchard grass has short stems that grow anywhere from three to twelve inches tall. It has wide blades that are usually green to dark green in color with a purplish tint on the underside of the leaves. The leaves are boat shaped and the stems are hollow in cross-section.

The orchard grass seed head, which looks like a yellowish “tassel,” produces thousands of seeds each season. These seeds spread quickly and easily throughout your lawn, creating patches of orchard grass that are hardy and difficult to get rid of. These seeds can be spread by lawn mowers, animals, and water runoff from other areas of the yard.

The grass also has a strong root system that helps it quickly take over your lawn. The roots can grow up to two feet deep and often form mats just below the soil’s surface. This allows the orchard grass to survive even when cut down and prevents it from being removed with typical weed removal methods.

In order to keep this invasive weed at bay, it’s important to understand how it grows and spreads so you can take steps to eradicate it from your yard. [1], [2], [3], [4]

What is Orchard Grass

How to Get Rid from Orchard Grass

Now that you know what orchard grass is, it’s finally time to learn how to get rid of it. In this section we’ll discuss the variety of methods you can use to successfully remove this pesky weed from your lawn.

Pull these weeds by hand

The simplest way to remove orchard grass is by pulling it out of the ground by hand. Start by removing any dead and decaying leaves from the top of the weed to get a better grip on its base. Then, using a trowel or other gardening tool, dig into the soil around the weed until you can lift it out with your hands.

If the roots are still intact, you may need to pull harder than expected in order to completely remove them, so be patient and use all your strength! Once done, make sure to dispose of these weeds away from your lawn as they can quickly spread their seeds if left unattended.

This method is only effective if you have a small amount of orchard grass to remove. If you have a large infestation, it’s best to move on to other methods.

Ground covers

If you have enough patience and time, you can use ground covers as a form of organic weed control. You can use traditional ground covers like mulch or straw to smother the patches of orchard grass and prevent it from receiving sunlight. Once the weed is deprived of light, it will eventually die off. However, depending on the size of the patch, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months or even years.

Ground covers

Use white vinegar

A common method for killing orchard grass is to use white vinegar. All you need to do is spray it directly onto the orchard grass patch and let it sit for a few hours. The acidity of the vinegar will kill the blades and prevent them from spreading further.

If you have particularly stubborn patches, consider adding a little bit of salt to your mixture. This will help the vinegar penetrate deeper into the root system and ensure that the entire patch of grass is killed. You should also make sure to use a spray bottle that has an adjustable nozzle so you can target specific areas and avoid areas where you don’t want to kill plant life.

Just keep in mind that vinegar will kill everything it touches, so be sure to use it sparingly. You also definitely want to use vinegar with higher concentrations of acetic acid (5% or more) for the best results.

Overseed your lawn

One of the best ways to get rid of orchard grass is by overseeding your lawn. Overseeding involves planting a new type of grass that will compete with the orchard grass and eventually crowd it out over time.

When selecting seeds for overseeding, make sure you choose a warm-season turfgrass variety such as Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede, St. Augustine, or Bahia. These varieties are more tolerant to drought and can tolerate higher temperatures than cool-season turfgrasses like rye and fescue.

When overseeding your lawn, be sure to follow all instructions on the seed package carefully in order to ensure proper growth and germination rates. You may also want to use a rotary spreader to plant your seeds evenly across the lawn.

Overseed your lawn

Herbicide method

By far the most popular way to get rid of orchard grass is to use a herbicide. There are many different types of herbicides that work well for killing orchard grass, but you should always read and follow the instructions carefully when using them.

Make sure that the herbicide you choose is specifically labeled for lawn treatment. The issue with orchard grass, is that there’s no selective herbicide available to target it alone. That’s why you have to use a herbicide that will kill all the grass in your lawn, both the good and bad.

Glyphosate formulations are the most common type of herbicide used for orchard grass control. These types of herbicides work by killing the leaves and roots, effectively eradicating the weed from your lawn.

When using a herbicide to get rid of orchard grass, it’s important to be sure that all parts of the plant are completely covered with spray. This ensures that no part is left behind and that the entire weed is killed off.

Additionally, keep an eye on the weather before you apply the herbicide. If you’re expecting a rainstorm, you should wait until the weather is dry again before applying. Otherwise, the rain will wash off the herbicide before it can take effect and your efforts will be wasted.

Unfortunately, non-selective herbicides will also kill off all other grasses and plants in your lawn, so they may not be the most ideal solution for a healthy lawn. If you choose to use this method, it’s important to wait until all other plants have been mowed or cut down before applying the herbicide. [1], [3], [4]

How To Prevent and Control Orchard Grass

As you can see, there are a few different methods for getting rid of orchard grass. However, the best way to prevent and control orchard grass is to maintain a healthy lawn.

Only buy good quality grass seeds

When purchasing grass seeds to reseed your lawn, only buy good quality grass seed. Orchard grass is a weed and can often be found in low-quality grass seed mixes. Make sure the mix you choose does not contain any orchard grass within it.

Look for a seed mix that has “0.0% other seeds” on the label. That means there is no weed seed in the mix, and you’re safe from orchard grass sneaking into your lawn.

Only buy good quality grass seeds

Mow your lawn regularly

Mowing your lawn regularly is one of the most effective ways to control orchard grass. When mowing, be sure to cut the top of the grass at a height of two to three inches. This helps by reducing the reproductive ability of orchard grass, as it requires a longer blade to reproduce.

Keep in mind that you need to be systematic when mowing. Don’t leave any patches of grass uncut, and make sure to follow a regular pattern when mowing.

Fertilize the grass on your lawn

Regularly fertilizing your lawn can help keep orchard grass at bay. Fertilizers provide important nutrients to the soil which helps promote healthy turfgrass growth. Healthy turfgrass is able to out-compete weeds like orchard grass and crowd them out of the lawn.

When fertilizing, use a fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content than phosphorus and potassium—this will encourage strong root growth in your turfgrass. Be sure to follow all instructions when applying fertilizers as over-fertilization can cause problems for your lawn.

By applying fertilizer during the growing season, you’ll ensure that your grass has all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Just make sure to choose a fertilizer specifically designed for your type of grass, and follow the label carefully when applying it.

Water your lawn regularly

Another way to prevent and control orchard grass is to make sure your lawn stays evenly hydrated.

To keep your lawn healthy, water it regularly, especially during hot weather. To ensure even coverage, use a sprinkler or irrigation system so that all areas of the lawn get an equal amount of water. Don’t forget to adjust watering times in the fall—you don’t need as much water during colder months since the ground doesn’t dry out as quickly.

It’s important to keep moderation in mind when watering your lawn, as overwatering can just end up promoting weed growth. You should aim to water your lawn on a weekly basis and use enough water to moisten the top 3-4 inches of soil. [1], [3]


Can you get rid of orchard grass without using chemicals?

Yes, you can get rid of orchard grass without using chemicals. The most effective way to achieve this is by using a combination of cultural and mechanical practices. Cultural methods include mowing the lawn frequently, raising the mowing height, and overseeding with a desirable turfgrass species. Mechanical practices involve hand-digging out individual plants as well as applying corn gluten meal or an organic herbicide to prevent germination of new seedlings. All of these methods should be used in conjunction for the best results and long-term control of orchard grass in your lawn.

It’s important to note that even with consistent care, it may take several years before all of the orchard grass is eliminated from your lawn. However, with patience and dedication, you can create a healthy, orchard-grass free lawn.

How do I get orchard grass out of my lawn?

The most effective way to eliminate orchard grass from your lawn is to use a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent herbicides are applied directly to the weed and will kill it within days. These products can be purchased at most home improvement stores and garden centers, as well as online.

When using a post-emergent herbicide, remember that you need to apply it directly to the weed itself, not just the area around it. This will ensure that all of the orchard grass plants in the area are killed off completely. Additionally, make sure you’re following all instructions on the product label for optimal results.

How do I get orchard grass out of my lawn?

Will orchard grass choke out other grasses in my lawn?

Yes, orchard grass can easily out-compete other grasses in your lawn. It has a deep root system that takes up more water and nutrients than most other varieties of grass, making it difficult for others to survive and thrive. To prevent this from happening, it is important to address the issue swiftly by using herbicides and removing existing orchard grass patches before they take over an entire lawn.

What can I use to permanently kill grass?

One of the most effective methods for permanently killing orchard grass in your lawn is to use a selective herbicide. These products are designed to target and kill specific types of weeds without harming desirable turf grasses. When selecting an herbicide, opt for one that contains ingredients such as glyphosate, triclopyr, DSMA (dimethylamine salt of monoethanolamine) or 2-4 D (2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid). Be sure to read and follow the product label instructions carefully before application.

In addition to using an herbicide, mechanical methods can also be used to control orchard grass in your lawn. This includes manually pulling individual plants from the soil or mowing the grass at a higher setting to reduce its vigor. However, these methods will not offer a permanent solution and need to be repeated regularly for continued control.

Finally, cultural practices can also help reduce the amount of orchard grass in your lawn. This includes fertilizing regularly with a balanced fertilizer, ensuring good soil drainage and avoiding overly wet conditions which favor orchard grass growth. By following proper maintenance practices, you can help ensure that orchard grass does not become a problem in your lawn.

What kills orchard grass the fastest?

The fastest way to kill orchard grass in your lawn is with a non-selective herbicide. Non-selective herbicides are broad-spectrum, meaning they will kill any type of vegetation they come into contact with, so it’s important to be careful not to spray onto your desirable plants. Always follow the label instructions when applying herbicide and remember to wear protective clothing such as gloves, eye protection and long sleeves.

There are several types of non-selective herbicides available that can be used for killing orchard grass. Glyphosate is one of the most common and widely used non-selective herbicide agents; it works by blocking an enzyme necessary for plant growth and can be applied directly on the orchard grass. Another common non-selective herbicide is dicamba, which disrupts plant cell growth and can be applied to small or large areas of your lawn. Be sure to read the label carefully before using either glyphosate or dicamba and follow all safety precautions listed.

Useful Video: How To Get Rid of Orchard Grass in My Lawn


Orchard grass, while invasive, can be controlled. When managing an orchard grass infestation, it is important to identify the weed and then choose a control method that will eradicate the problem without damaging your lawn.

In this article, you’ve learned about the characteristics of orchard grass, how to identify it, and what methods you can use to kill it. If you need more help with your lawn, contact a professional landscaping service for assistance.

From manual control to spot-treating weeds with herbicides, there are several ways you can manage an orchard grass infestation in your lawn. You may have to try multiple methods before finding the one that works best for your situation.

Herbicides like glypho and Roundup offer effective control of orchard grass. Be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions when using these products.

The key takeaway from this article is that orchard grass is an invasive weed that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. Proper identification and control measures will ensure that the weed doesn’t spread throughout your lawn and cause further damage. Good luck!


  1. https://www.ksuhortnewsletter.org/newsletters/orchard-grass-in-tall-fescue
  2. https://turf.purdue.edu/orchardgrass/
  3. https://lawnphix.com/lawn-care/orchardgrass-in-lawns/
  4. https://lawnmodel.com/kill-orchardgrass/