Orchardgrass is a type of grass that grows tall and has a thick stem at the top. It is tough and stubborn when growing like a weed, but it makes good fodder for domestic animals.
Besides being food to domestic animals, orchid grass has strong roots that help in containing soil erosion. It also adds nutrients like nitrogen into the soil.
Well, it looks like orchard grass has too many benefits to the ecosystem. That notwithstanding, it is still a weed, and it can be a menace if it grows in your well-manicured lawn. The fact that it towers over the lawn grass means it will interfere with the appearance.
The roots sink too deep hence the orchard grass still has a high chance of growing back even after being cut down or uprooted. This is especially true for a new lawn if orchard grass was growing there previously.
The other way that orchard grass can make its way into your lawn is by seed dispersion, by birds and insects.
Lawn grass seeds are mostly contaminated with other grass varieties. This is even indicated in the package. So even if you are planting grass seeds in places where orchard grass has never existed, there is a possibility that several seeds made their way to the packaging. You should, therefore, not be surprised when you see the orchard grass sprouting.
Can Herbicides Be Use to Get Rid of Orchardgrass in Lawns?
This is a very tricky situation, considering orchard grass is a type of grass as well as the grass on your lawn. To destroy orchard grass, you will need the specific herbicide that eliminates grass, and neither will it spare the lawn grass.
Herbicides can, therefore, be used, but very selectively, since they can only separate between the grass and broadleaf plants.
Best Options To Get Rid of Orchard Grass in the Lawn
1. Spraying Herbicide Before Planting the Lawn Grass
When tilling and preparing the land for landscaping, you can apply herbicides that will kill all the seeds and roots in the ground. The herbicide will not select orchard grass or any other type. It will work on every type of grass.
When you have to apply the herbicides to already grown lawns you need to point the spraying nozzle directly to the roots of the orchard grass. To achieve this, you will need a hand spray with a very tiny nozzle.
You should also expect to damage some lawn grass surrounding the orchard grass, which you can replace later.
After spot spraying the orchard grass, you should wait for a few days for it to turn brown, then you can uproot.
Since herbicides containing glyphosates such as grass killer, systemic weed and killzall weed, destroy the whole plant including the roots, plucking the orchard grass after it has dried up should not be a problem.
2. Pulling Them Out
Orchardgrass grows tall and is very visible when it grows among lawn grass. Lawn grass never grows tall, and this is the reason why it is used in landscaping.
After preparing the land and before planting your lawn grass, you can always give a few days for any orchard grass in the ground to sprout, which you should then uproot. Alternatively, you can just plant your lawn grass and be on the lookout for orchard grass.
Orchardgrass is different from lawn grass in appearance; hence you cannot miss it as it is sprouting. You can be uprooting as you spot them, but remember at this point even the lawn grass is not yet well-grounded. There are high chances the lawn grass will get plucked as well.
You, therefore, should replant the lawn grass in spaces left by the orchard grass to avoid having a lawn with patches.
This sounds like a viable way of getting rid of orchard grass in the lawn, but it will take a long time before all the orchard grass is gone.
3. Using White Vinegar
White vinegar is a very valuable solution in gardening because it has several uses, one of them being getting rid of weeds. It is the most preferred herbicide and this is because it is safe to the environment and non-toxic.
The vinegar solution has been found to work very fast in eliminating weeds such as orchard grass. Note that the vinegar should not be diluted.
First, you should put the concentrated vinegar in a spray bottle, preferably with a very thin nozzle. Then spray the orchard grass by pointing the nozzle directly to them.
Try as much as possible not to spray the lawn grass, though the little that will splash may not be harmful. As for the orchard grass, make sure it is well saturated with the vinegar.
The vinegar needs time at times up to 48 hours to work. You should, therefore, spray during the dry season, because if it rains before 48 hours are over the vinegar will not have time to work on the weeds.
4. Plant the Lawn Grass Closer together
The best way to deal with a stubborn intruder is to deny him entry. This also applies to the orchard grass that grows on the lawn.
You can plant the lawn grass in a congested manner such that no other thing can find the space to sprout. This will suffocate the orchard grassroots and cause them to die.
To achieve this, you will need a seed planting tool that is customized for lawns and golf courses, such as the seed stitcher.
This method is, however, not the best because the orchard grass can squeeze in with grass and find its way out on the lawn.
It is, however, worth a try alongside other remedies. After tilling the land and applying the herbicide, you should plant the lawn grass without leaving space.
This arrangement will for one, result in a very neat lawn and it might also deny the orchard grass growing space.
Being a perennial weed, orchard grass can be stubborn. The smallest bit of the root left in the ground will grow in a matter of days. You should, therefore, be careful when uprooting to remove everything from the ground.
It is often recommended that before you plant your lawn seeds, you should uproot all the perennial weeds and spray herbicide in the soil to kill anything that might have remained. You then give it a few days to ascertain whether the weeds will grow back.
Go ahead and plant your lawn grass, once you are sure you have gotten rid of all the orchard grassroots. Remember though that the seeds might contain traces of orchard grass seeds, hence you should be surprised to see them sprouting.
The first few weeks after planting the lawn grass are very crucial in controlling the weed. You should be very observant to be able to notice a weed growing and uproot it immediately. At the early stages, the roots are still young.
To achieve a neat and well-leveled lawn, you need to put in some work. Orchardgrass is your biggest enemy hence you should never get tired of fighting it. At some point, the orchard grass will be overwhelmed by the lawn grass, but only if you weed them out consistently.