Alison O'Connor, CSU horticulture agent in Larimer County
|Clumpy, fast-growing tall fescue is often incorrectly called|
"crabgrass" by home gardeners
It seems that, whenever a grass growing in a lawn doesn’t look quite “right”, it is labeled as “crabgrass”. In the spring we receive calls and emails about ugly, quick-growing clumps of grass that home gardeners suspect to be crabgrass. It never is. Crabgrass doesn’t even think of germinating until late April or May, since it is a warm-season annual. But people will insist that crabgrass is making a mess of things in their lawns in March and April. They are usually seeing tall fescue, bromegrass and quackgrass – perennial, wide-bladed, cool-season weedy invaders of bluegrass lawns that green up early in the spring. Ironically, people rarely recognize true crabgrass in their lawns when it really does begin growing in July and August. We wrote about crabgrass - the real stuff, and its look-alikes - back in July. http://csuhort.blogspot.com/2014/07/weed-of-moment-crabgrass-and-its-look.html
|Close-up of tall fescue - often mistaken for crabgrass|
|Crabgrass killed by frost|
So, you might have crabgrass in your lawn - but if it isn't already dead, the next hard frost will kill it. Any ugly, green, happily growing grass you see this in a lawn this time of the year is most likely tall fescue, bromegrass or quackgrass - and it's a good time to control it if you don't want it there next year.