How to Kill Dallisgrass in 3 Easy Steps, Plus Useful Tips

One of the first things I had to learn when I started gardening was how to kill dallisgrass. At first when I was noticing that there was a type of weed growing in my lawn I didn't really pay attention to it and just continued to mow my lawn.

After a few more weeks I noticed that they kept on growing and I immediately knew that there was something wrong. I also started to notice that the grass I had was starting to look unhealthy and I knew that it's because the weed was competing with my grass for nutrients.

I have tried several ways to get rid of these weeds. There were some methods that worked while other didn't. Now, I have finally found a way that worked seamlessly for my lawn.

How to Kill Dallisgrass in 3 Easy Steps

As what I realized and lot of people before me realized as well, just pulling out the weed won't be enough. This is is because parts of the root would still remain under the soil. Below are the three steps I do to keep the dallisgrass in my lawn at bay.

1. Keep Your Lawn Healthy

Keeping you lawn healthy and well-kept usually does the trick with making sure that dallisgrass won't grow. You should make sure that your lawn is always well-trimmed, watered well, and has proper fertilization.

Usually, if there are “bald spots” or areas with no grass at all, dallisgrass seed can easily take hold of the soil and grow. Keeping your lawn thick and lush ensures that there would be nowhere that the dallisgrass can grow on.

lawn mower
Things You Will Need
  • Rake
  • Lawn Mower
  • Gardening Scissors
  • Gloves
  • Whipper Snipper (optional)
The Procedure:
  • Prepare your lawn mower by refilling the gas if you have a gas-powered lawn mower. Make sure that your mower works fine and there are no problems with it.
  • Rake your lawn and make sure that there are no leaves, twigs, or anything that could hinder your mowing or break your mower blades.
  • If there are tall grasses it’s best to cut them first with gardening scissors or use whipper snippers to make sure the edges are well-trimmed.
  • Mow in rows or columns but never both. Make sure that you do not miss any grass while you are mowing.
  • To keep your columns or your rows in a straight line and uniform, you should align the wheel of your mower to the columns or rows.
  • When you are done, look over your lawn again to make sure that you did not miss any spots.

2. Use Pre-emergent Herbicides

After making sure that your lawn is well-maintained, now you need to see to it that even if animals or even other humans accidentally spread the seed to your lawn, dallisgrass would still not grow. This is where pre-emergent herbicides come in.

These herbicides inhibit the growth of the seed and stops it from germinating. You may use pre-emergents for crabgrass as well to keep your lawn free from dallisgrass. Using pre-emergent herbicides is easy. Just make sure that you water it into the soil so it could seep in.

Of course, using herbicides might not be ideal for everyone. There are those who would not want to use any form of chemical on their lawn due to health and ecological reasons. If this is the case, it is usually enough that you make sure that your lawn is manicured well.

Man Spraying With a Garden Bottle
Things You Will Need
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • Spray bottle or lawn spreader
The Procedure:
  • If you bought a pre-emergent herbicide that is not pre-mixed you should follow the instructions and mix it with the right amount of water. If you bought a pre-mixed herbicide, proceed to step two.
  • Pull out the weeds in your lawn first before applying the pre-emergent herbicide.
  • If you are using a lawn spreader proceed to step 4. If you are using a spray bottle, soak the part of your lawn where you pulled out the weeds.
  • If you are using a lawn spreader, you can use it to spread the granules all over your lawn. After you have spread the granules, you can now turn on your sprinkler or your hose to activate the herbicides. This method is faster than using a spray bottle.

3. Use Post-emergent Herbicides and Other Techniques

The first two steps are actually just preventive measures but once the weeds do start growing they would not be as effective anymore so it’s better to use post-emergent herbicides.

The most ecological way to handle weeds if they have started to grow is by digging up the plants making sure that all the roots are removed. However, this is also very time consuming you may also use post-emergent herbicides which is faster but has its own side effects.

Gardening, digging ground with a shovel.
Things You Will Need
  • Gloves
  • Hoe
  • Post-emergent Herbicide
The Procedure:
  • If you prefer to not use herbicides, you may use your own hands or use a gardening tool. You should ensure that you are digging up the whole plant then pull the weed.
  • You may use the post-emergent herbicides as well. In my experience, this is faster and more convenient. I advise that you follow the steps for pre-emergent herbicides for the application.

Additional Tips

Aside from the three ways above, there are also other tips to help you get rid of dallisgrass weeds in your lawn. Below are the things that I found to be very helpful and really helped me in making my lawn look lush.

Gardener spraying herbicide

  • Knowing what dallisgrass looks like

I realized that the key to killing dallisgrass weeds is knowing what they look like so you can eliminate them immediately. dallisgrass weeds have a very distinct appearance so it’s really impossible to miss it. They have star-like clumps of 2-6-inch stems with leaves that are between 4 inches to 10 inches.

  • Getting the right kind of herbicide

What worked for me in choosing the right herbicide is really reading the information on the label. I always make sure that the herbicide that I buy would work on dallisgrass weeds. There are herbicides that would be marketed for dallisgrass but herbicides for crabgrass also works on dallisgrass.


I hope the article has been helpful and that you would be able get rid of those pesky dallisgrass weeds. Please share this to your friends and your family so hopefully no more lawns will have these weeds anymore.

If you have other techniques or other suggestions please comment them down below.

Dan Harris

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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