Digitaria sanguinalis and Digitaria Cilaris – Summer Grass
Many of you may have heard of Winter grass, but have you heard of Summer grass? Summer grass is an annual weed that appears in the warmer months of the year. It will then go to seed into autumn where it can emerge over several years. There are two varieties of Summer grass that are very similar in appearance. If left untreated, it can grow as high as 30cm and 1m wide thriving in conditions of high temperatures and high humidity.
Summer grass is an annual weed which has soft hairy leaves that grow close to the ground in clusters. The grass roots at the node (joint) and the sheathes of the leaf are usually purple tinged in colour at the base. Because Summer grass spreads by seed, it is extremely important that you act before this happens.
Summer grass can be removed by hand, but it will continue to re-emerge in sparse unhealthy lawn areas. Getting your grass to spread and thicken will make it difficult for Summer grass to infiltrate.
Post Emergent Herbicides
An effective way to treat Summer grass is to apply a post emergent herbicide. The active ingredient common in many of these selective herbicides is DSMA, which is commonly provided as the herbicide for Paspalum. This active must only be applied via spot treatment to buffalo and kikuyu lawns, so always follow the label instructions and application rates.
Some options include:
A really effective way of stopping Summer grass from germinating in your lawn again next year is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide like Oxafert. These herbicides act by stopping weeds from germinating from the soil in the first place. In order for them to work effectively, you need to apply them before emergence. For Summer grass, this would mean you would be best applying it in early to mid-spring.