May 2, 2018 2:56 PM
Poa Annua (often called “Poa”) is a grassy weed that has been quite a pain in Oklahoma (and throughout the United States), especially the last two springs. There is no one to blame. The typical recommendation to control this weed is a pre-emergent in the fall and spring. Irish Green does both every year. Last year (2017), James and I attended a class at the OSU Extension Center and poa annua was the hot topic. But even the OSU Extension Center does not have a new approach or a new chemical that is a magic solution. The Extension Center did recommend that we try what is called “split-apping” the fall pre-emergent, which we did, but that did not help either.
Life Cycle and Cultural Practices
Poa annua is a cool-season/winter annual grass. It loves moist, cool weather and compacted soil. GOOD NEWS for Oklahoma: poa annua dies in hot, dry summer weather, which we are known for in Central Oklahoma.
So what can we do? The best defense (and offense) is to strive for thick healthy grass to compete against poa annua.
- Take all three pre-emergents every year. The pre-emergents are the first line of defense.
If you are thinking, I had the pre-emergents, so why did I get poa annua? Last 2 years, Oklahoma has had dry mild winters and cooler than normal springs. This year, we had the 2nd coolest April in Oklahoma’s entire history. Hate to say it, but if we have to blame someone it is Mother Nature. Mother Nature created the perfect “party place” for poa annua.
- Water infrequently and deep. Think “long drinks of water”, not “short sips”.
Specifically your lawn needs to receive 1 inch of water each week. (We recommend 2 times a week, 30-45 minutes per zone/area if we do not receive an inch of water in the week.) Water early in the morning. If you must water at night, water early enough so that grass has time to dry completely before dark.
- Cut your grass a little higher 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Mow more frequently.
- As pre-emergents can’t be applied to fescue, overseed fescue every fall to keep it thick.
Once ground temperatures maintain about 68-70 degrees, our bermuda grass should take off (guesstimate – just a few more weeks, early June).
- Aerate the yard once a year.
I also read in several articles how the seeds and plants grow and spread so fast and easily that it is also recommended to clean mowers, weed eaters, etc before each use. Sure this is good practice, BUT again there is no one to blame – not even the lawn mower or the person who cuts your lawn.
Also it is important to point out that if you have a lawn that has not been treated by a professional, poa annua seeds are tough and can survive many seasons without germinating. So it is important to have pre-emergents in the fall and spring every year.
Lastly, we (Irish Green Lawn Care) are experimenting with several different chemicals and are in contact with several different professionals to try and find a way to prevent poa annua from coming up in the first place. We would LOVE to be the company that helps come up with a solution. So please know that we are working on it.
Another FAQ: My lawn was sprayed 3 days ago. When will my weeds die? Due to the moderate temperatures (and low ground temps) currently, it will take 2-3 weeks for weeds to die after they have been sprayed.
Irish Green Lawn Care, INC., 240 Industrial Blvd #C1, Moore, OK 73160, 405-794-LAWN
Apr 12, 2018 9:26 AM
Norman Fertilizer Ordinance
The City of Norman has recently identified Lake Thunderbird as having impaired water quality due to increased algae production caused by excess phosphorus in the lake. Phosphorus is found in a lot of traditional fertilizers and can be carried by storm runoff into our water bodies that we use as drinking water. To help protect our local waterways, the City of Norman has adopted an ordinance regulating the use of manufactured fertilizers.
Lawn Care companies now have to register with the City of Norman if they use phosphorus fertilizers and the city will limit the use of phosphorus fertilizers.
How does this effect you as an Irish Green Customer?
As many of you know, this year we have upgraded our program to be a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional weed control programs. We want to provide you with the safest lawn care possible for your pets, children, and our local water ways. One way we accomplish that is we DO NOT use phosphorus containing fertilizers.
You can rest easy knowing that your Irish Green lawn is safe for Lake Thunderbird and all other local waterways.
To read the full ordinance: