Annual Ryegrass
February 19, 2016
February 19, 2016

A fairly common grassy weed that makes appearences in lawns is brome (Bromus sp.). Actually, bromus is a large genus of grassy plants with as many as 160-170 recognized species. The generic name Bromus, is derived from Latin for oats. These species are closely related to the wheat-grass family.

Grassy weeds can be a real problem for homeowners this time of the year. These weeds can very easily infest into your lawn and establish themselves quickly, and before you know it, your lawn looks patchy and full of plants you did not want. Although they have a grassy appearance, they do not blend well with your existing turf grass and stick out like a sore thumb.

What is Brome (Bromus)?

The most commonly found species of the brome is called Bromus catharticus, more commonly known as rescuegrass. Similar to a number of species of bromus, rescuegrass is a perennial grassy weed. It is common throughout the US, especially during the cold months.

It can be identified by the presence of a tall and rounded ligule that is full of hairs on the back. It features a very broad collar and sparsely hairy leaf blades. The name rescuegrass comes from the fact that the grass flourishes during the winter months and provides forage for the animals during the winter season, thus ‘rescuing’ them!

The brome species are very tolerant to winter conditions and are fairly drought resistant as well. This makes them challenging to get rid of from the turf grasses.

How to Manage Brome?

The weeds belonging to the bromus species are a bit difficult to manage using cultural weed control methods. These grasses thrive in winter and can tolerate drought conditions far better than other annual grass weeds. This problem is further magnified in colder climates.

Apart from the usual precautions that can be taken to prevent the contamination of the turf with these weeds, professionally selected, and applied herbicides are the only solutions in most cases. Having a licensed lawn care service that uses commercial-grade pre and post-emergent weed control products is a must.

  • If your lawn is already showing some grassy weeds, it can be controlled by selective post-emergent weed control methods.
  • Pre-emergent should be used to prevent bromus from germinating, so the weed never has a chance to become problematic. Any sort of chemical weed management should be applied by a professional. A wrongly chosen or applied herbicide can leave your lawn in a far worse condition than a weed infestation.
  • The one thing that every homeowner should remember is that the prevention of these weeds is far easier, economical, and efficient than their management post-infection. Always follow the correct lawn care protocol and learn about your turf. You can refer to some posts in this series to get a general idea of how to take care of your turf.

Weeds are problems that every homeowner hates and applying lawn treatments is difficult. The best way to manage them is to take good care of your existing turf. Make sure that you have a healthy and happy grass growing in your lawn. In many cases, healthy, dense turf will take care of the weed problems themselves by choking out the weeds.