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What You Need to Know About Poa Annua Control for North Carolina Lawns

Find out more about Poa annua and how to control this grassy weed in your NC lawn.Close your eyes and think about spring. Imagine the spring-flowering trees on your property, the bulbs emerging, bursting with color, and the little whitish grass seedheads scattered all over your lawn—wait, what?


Those whitish, flower-like grass seedheads that pop up in your lawn each spring are the seedheads of a grassy weed, Poa Annua (Annual Bluegrass).

What is Poa Annua?

Poa annua is a grassy weed that emerges in the fall, and goes unnoticed by most people until its seedheads form in the spring. This annual, grassy weed emerges each fall, as a small clump of grass with a lighter green color, and grows beneath the turf canopy and in bare areas.


It’s very common to find Poa annua in lawns in Raleigh, Holly Springs, Cary and Wilmington, North Carolina.

Why is Poa annua a challenge for North Carolina lawns?

Find out more about Poa annua and how to control this grassy weed in your NC lawn.Poa annua, if left alone, can overtake your lawn. It thrives in shady to full sun areas and will grow in almost any environment. Poa annua is a prolific seeder. It germinates each fall, matures, and seedheads are produced the following spring. Each plant drops hundreds of seeds in the soil below, that germinate in the fall, starting the annual cycle again.


As spring turns to summer and temperatures rise, this annual weed will yellow and die. Depending on the concentration of Poa, this could leave thin or bare areas in your lawn. With less competition, summer weeds will easily emerge and continue to crowd out your desired turfgrass.


Cultural practices that encourage persistence of Poa annua:

  • Excessively, close mowing

  • shallow , frequent irrigation

  • Poor soil drainage

  • Compaction

  • Shade

How to Kill Poa annua

Find out more about Poa annua and how to control this grassy weed in your NC lawn.Unfortunately, once Poa annua is up and growing in the spring, the only way to eliminate it is to apply a non-selective herbicide. This means the Poa will die, but so will your desired turfgrass, leaving dead spots in your lawn. However, there is a better solution for Poa annua control.


There are pre-emergent herbicides labeled to reduce Poa annua from germinating in your lawn. Poa annua control pre-emergent applications have good results when applied prior to germination. Always read and follow the instructions on the product's label.


With the potential of your soil having millions of Poa annua seeds, pre-emergent applications will reduce the amount of plants that will emerge in the fall. If your lawn has had an issue with this Poa annua, consider performing these applications each fall.

Additional Ways Homeowners Can Enhance Poa annua Control

There are a number of things that homeowners in North Carolina can do to reduce the amount of Poa annua they have growing in their lawn. Weeds often thrive where the desired turfgrasses are thin, usually caused by stress. By improving the growing conditions for the grass in your lawn, you’ll actually be discouraging Poa annua growth. Practices that encourage a healthy, thick lawn are the key to discouraging Poa annua.


To help reduce Poa annua, follow these tips to create a better environment for your lawn to thrive:

  • Mow at the correct height for your turfgrass

  • Water only 2-3 times a week, giving a deep soaking

  • Amend clay soils to encourage better drainage

  • Perform balanced fertilizer applications throughout the year

  • Core aerate your lawn each year to reduce compaction

  • When possible, prune trees to allow more sunlight to turf areas nearby

Finding a Lawn Care Service for Poa annua Control

Find out more about Poa annua and how to control this grassy weed in your NC lawn.If you’ve been struggling with Poa annua in your lawn or would like to preventatively treat your lawn for this grassy weed, there is help. Our knowledgeable team would be happy to visit your lawn anytime of year to assess the situation and give you options.


Weed Man offers solutions for Poa annua control, fertilization, and core aeration to help with your problem. If you’d like to talk we’re just a click or call away.


Learn more about Poa annua control for your lawn in the Cary and Holly Springs, NC area. Weed Man can help you achieve a greener and healthier lawn by requesting a free quote, or call us at 919-552-1515.

Image Sources:  Poa annua seedhead, Poa annua in lawn, Poa annua