Crowsfoot is known by many names, but one of the most common it goes by here in Australia is Crabgrass.
Crowsfoot, as its name suggests, has a spiked flower with a similar appearance to that of a crows foot. Whilst Crowsfoot is known by many different names, one of the most common names we also call it here in Australia is Crabgrass.
Crowsfoot grass is a summer annual that grows in easy to identify tufts, staying fairly flat to the ground with almost white flat sheathed stems and smooth strap like leaves.
Crowsfoot grass is a difficult to control weed that can tolerate low mowing and will thrive in nutrient deprived and compacted soil conditions. It will begin to germinate in the soil when temperatures reach above 15°C and can grow extremely quickly once active.
Seed heads appear usually from late spring or early summer. These seed heads can have as many as ten spikelets on each long stem. In an unhealthy lawn, if left to seed and spread, Crowsfoot will quickly infiltrate right through the entire lawn. Crowsfoot is commonly found throughout most Australian states including Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australian and the Northern Territory.
The best way to remove crowsfoot is to chip out by hand. Make sure when doing so that you carefully remove the entire plant and don’t spread any seeds during the process.
You can also treat the individual tufts of Crowsfoot with a glyphosate type product like Round Up or Zero. Just be careful when doing so, as anything you touch with the product will likely die including your lawn.
Treating Crowsfoot with a selective herbicide can be difficult as many herbicides will kill your lawn variety as well.
Paspalum, Nutgrass & Clover Weed Killer and herbicides formulated with the active DSMA will control crowsfoot. It can be easily mixed in a pressure sprayer, with the addition of a surfactant or wetting agent to ensure it adheres better to the leaf. For best results, spray the crowsfoot when it is actively growing during the warmer months. Repeated applications may be required in order to fully eradicate it from your lawn. Make sure you adhere to the application rates on the side of the product.
*For kikuyu, buffalo lawns and QLD Blue Couch, it is best to only spot spray the crowsfoot and not the entire lawn as it can cause harm to your grass as well.
The best way to control Crowsfoot is to maintain a healthy lawn where it is unlikely to infiltrate and spread. Being proactive and removing it as soon as it appears and before it goes to seed will be the key to preventing it from spreading out of control.
Another way of preventing the seed from germinating is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert in early spring. An application in Autumn will also help to prevent the germination of Winter weeds as well.
For more information on how to treat specific weeds in your lawn, visit the Lawn Solutions Australia lawn care page here.