Key Points to remember
- AMG cannot be killed in a lawn without killing other grass species.
- Cultural methods of control provide the best answer to reducing the population.
- Removing seed heads helps but it is not easy.
Annual Meadow Grass is commonly thought of as a weed grass as it has very distinguishing features which stand out against other cultivated grass species. It has a quick reproductive cycle as its tolerance to stress is not great. So in early summer you will likely see the plant “liming” when it is starting to run out of water and feed. As the name suggests it is an annual so it seeds and then those seeds germinate the following year. It is very common and can be seen growing almost anywhere, pavements, gutters, paths, etc.
It’s not always easy to identify if you have Annual Meadow Grass (AMG) in your lawn but there are key times of year when you will know. AMG is a hungry and thirsty grass that likes compact soils. It will often go limey green before the rest of the grass when its stressed, giving the appearance of random shaped spots on the lawn. It is also likely to be seeding frequently, although this is not its defining feature. Turf experts usually either make it their life’s work to rid themselves of AMG or they live with it and manage it. The plant grows from a central point from which all stems can be traced and the flowers look like a sparse Christmas tree in shape. Rye grasses can look similar but tend to have flatter formations almost like they have been ironed flat.
As it is not possible to chemically kill AMG without killing the other grasses in your lawn, there are three approaches to dealing with AMG: