Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass)

Poa Annua is an annual grass that starts in fall from seed, grows through the winter, then dies in the summer. It mimics lawn grasses because it looks similar to desirable grasses. It causes brown areas when it dies off in early summer (as soon as it gets warm). It makes seeds just before it dies; the seeds wait all summer and start new plants again in late fall. It can be identified in winter by examining the blades; some blades will have wrinkles running across the blade. The wrinkles are caused by a nematode parasite that only affects poa annua.

Control: Use a pre-emergent seed killer around Halloween and again in early January for several years in a row. The seeds will sprout but will be killed by the pre-emergent. Pre-emergent is like birth control because timing is everything. Using a pre-emergent in summer to control poa annua is a waste because no poa annua seeds are sprouting; they wait until fall and so should you. A good pre-emergent is “Halts” by Scotts. It is available alone or in a fertilizer mix and is listed to control poa annua. There are other pre-emergents available; look online for options.

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About the Author:

Max Todd, owner of Fairway Lawn Service has been in the lawn business since he was seventeen years old. He worked for a lawn service for six years before starting Fairway Lawn Service in 1977. Now, thousands of San Francisco Bay Area homeowners rely on Fairway Lawn Service to aerate their lawns on a regular basis. Its customers also benefit by Max's expertise and free advice. Max loves lawns, and knows everything about them. Call him. You'll see!