dallisgrass vs crabgrass

Everything You Need to Know About Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass

Crabgrass and dallisgrass are the two most common weeds in the US. However, in addition to causing a lot of problems with the lawn and garden, they also create another issue. Both of these plants look very similar, and a lot of people have a hard time telling the difference between Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass. Especially if they don’t have a lot of experience and/or knowledge about the garden.

So sometimes people confuse two of these plants, and as a result choose the wrong type of weed killer, that (big shock) does not help get rid of these uninvited guests. 

Thus, it’s very important to learn once and for all – what is the difference between dallisgrass vs crabgrass, to choose the right herbicide.

Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass Synopsis

As said before, it is quite difficult to identify the difference between crabgrass and dallisgrass when they are young. Or if you don’t have a lot of experience. Not to worry though, we always happy to help you learn more and more about the garden, considering that there’s always something to learn.

So now, we’ve prepared a little synopsis, to help you learn the difference between dallisgrass and crabgrass: their appearance, features, and so on.

Crabgrass Identification

what is crabgrass

Crabgrass, scientifically known as Digitaria, is an annual weed. Therefore, the seed emerges from the previous year’s growth. It has a clumped appearance, which makes it look different from dallisgrass. The width of the grass ranges from 1/4 to 1/3 inch. It also has a midvein in each blade. The grasses can grow up to the height of 5 inches and bloom in the fall.

Dallisgrass Identification

what is dallisgrass

Dallisgrass, scientifically known as Paspalum dilatatum, is a perennial weed. Are you thinking what does dallisgrass look like? Well, they often resemble the clumped crabgrass, but in reality, dallisgrass is made of loose bunches. Plus the blades of dallisgrass are stiffer and sharper than the crabgrass. Moreover, if you do not cut them in time, then they can also grow up to 5 feet in height.

Comparison between Dallisgrass and Crabgrass

There are a few notable differences between dallisgrass and crabgrass:

It is a perennial weed and can grow from the existing root system every year.It is an annual weed and springs from seeds of the previous year.
It grows in a circular and clumped pattern.It spreads making a star-shaped pattern.
The grasses grow extensively when treated with nitrogenous fertilizers.Doesn’t react to nitrogenous fertilizers.
It gives rise to a lot of rhizomes.It gives rise to plenty of clumped weeds.

Control and Prevention of Dallisgrass and Crabgrass

Dallisgrass Weed Management

Once the dallisgrass enters your garden, it is quite troublesome to get rid of them. Therefore, you have to pay special attention to balanced fertilization and regular mowing, to keep your green corner healthy and safe from any weeds. 

The seeds of this weed are carried by the wind, animals, and mower blades. So, you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide for better prevention. Just remember, you must apply the herbicide at least once in three weeks for the best results.

Crabgrass Weed Management

To avert the growth of crabgrass, you must use the pre-emergent crabgrass preventer. This herbicide should be used in spring to protect the garden from vicious weeds. Also, you should pay an ample amount of time in taking care of your garden regularly. 

And if you fail to prevent the growth of crabgrass, then the best available option is to use a post-emergent herbicide. Therefore, use the crabgrass and weed killer accordingly.

Weed Prevention Products to Use


This is one of the most effective herbicides used on turfs. It works best on annual weeds but it is also good for perennial weeds. The safety and precaution measures while using this herbicide are:

  • Do not inhale the chemical. 
  • Wash your hands with soap after handling the chemical.
  • Wear both face and eye protection.
  • Never swallow the chemical.

Tenacity Turf Herbicide

The tenacity herbicide is made for both pre-emergence and post-emergence weed growth. Make sure that you apply Tenacity on moist soil for the best results. Also, make sure to apply it at least once a month. Usually, you will see the results within a week. However, remember to follow the safety measures are:

  • Keep away from children.
  • Do not inhale or swallow.
  • Wash hands after handling.

Sulfonylurea Herbicide

This is also a powerful herbicide that disturbs the enzyme system of the weeds and breaks their amino acid chain. And the breaking of the chain ultimately leads to the death of the weeds. The safety measures are:

  • Do not overuse the chemical.
  • Keep it away from the nose and eyes.
  • Keep it out of reach when not in use.

Lawn Maintenance Tips

  • Mow your lawn regularly especially during the growing season of the weeds and the summer season.
  • While mowing, keep the blade at a medium height.
  • Prefer aerating the lawn in the growing season.
  • Keep a check on fertilization. Prefer fertilizing few weeks after spring and also, after a frost.
  • Water the garden up to six inches but do not overdo.

Final Word

And that is all the difference between the dallisgrass vs crabgrass. Overall, it is always recommended that you try preventing their growth by taking proper care of your garden. Remember to mow it and it will stay healthy, beautiful, and safe from any annoying guests! So, what preventive measure are you planning to take first? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

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