Everything You Need to Know About Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass

Crabgrass and dallisgrass are the two weed plants that dominate most parts of the US. It is very confusing to differentiate between them when immature. But it is also very important that you identify and prevent them from growing further as soon as possible. In case you want to know more about dallisgrass vs crabgrass, read on!   

Dallisgrass vs Crabgrass Synopsis

As said before, it is quite difficult to identify the differences between crabgrass and dallisgrass when they are young. We don’t want you to get confused, so, we have prepared a synopsis describing both the grasses. These will help you understand their appearance, features, and so on.

Crabgrass Identification

Crabgrass is scientifically known as Digitaria, 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 mid-vein in each blade. The grasses can grow up to the height of 5 inches and bloom in the fall.  

Dallisgrass Identification

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. If you do not cut them in time, then they can also grow up to 5 feet heights. The blades of dallisgrass are stiffer and sharper than the crabgrass.  

Comparison between Dallisgrass and Crabgrass

There are a few notable differences between dallisgrass and crabgrass, which are listed below:

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

Remember, once the dallisgrass enters your garden, it is quite troublesome to get rid of them. Therefore, as the wise prescribes ‘prevention is better than cure’, must be followed here too. You have to pay special attention to balanced fertilization and regular mowing. 

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. Remember, you must apply the herbicide at least once in three weeks for the best results.

Crabgrass Weed Management

You must use the pre-emergent crabgrass preventer to avert the growth of crabgrass. 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. 

If you fail to prevent their growth, 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 gladly, it is also good for perennial weeds. The safety and precaution measures while using this herbicide are as follows:

  • 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 in moist soil for best results. Try applying it at least once a month. You will get to see the results within a week. 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. The breaking of the chain finally leads to the death of the weeds. The safety measures are:

  • Do not overuse the chemical.
  • Keep is 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

We hope this article was able to help you know all about dallisgrass vs crabgrass. It is always recommended that you try preventing their growth by taking proper care of your garden. So, what preventive measure are you planning to take first? Do tell us!

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