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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - June 06, 2006

From: Belton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Problem Plants, Turf
Title: Elimination of non-native, invasive King Ranch bluestem in lawn
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How can I eliminate an annual infestation of king ranch bluestem in my bermuda lawn? Thanks.

ANSWER:

This is not going to be easy since King Ranch, or Plains, Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum) is a perennial and herbicides that are effective on it would also kill your bermudagrass. A study done in Williamson County, Texas, KR Bluestem Management in Bermudagrass Pastures, concluded that present herbicide formulations are not going to do the job. However, tilling the fields damaged the crowns of the KR but did not significantly harm the bermudagrass. You may not want to till your lawn to the extent that would result in damaging the KR bluestem. Your best bet may be to dig it out by hand. This is not a fast solution, nor an easy one. It may take several years to get it under control, but it may be your only choice.

 

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