Over the past few years, the perennial weed known as kyllinga has become a real issue for us in New Jersey. There are 2 types of kyllinga – green and false kyllinga. False kyllinga is a weed that has come up from the south. This is a warm season weed. Ideal conditions for the growth of this weed would be lawn areas that receive a lot of sunlight and are poorly drained and/or over irrigated.
This weed can also be transferred from other lawns using mowers with decks that are not properly maintained and it can just be spread by the wind. Warm soil temperatures, consistently 60 degrees or warmer, drive this weed out of its dormancy. As the weather gets warmer, the re-growth of kyllinga begins. These weeds are lateral growing and thrive under the lawn making it difficult to see with the naked eye.
When kyllinga matures, you will see a very unsightly weed in your lawn, landscape or both. Left untreated this invasive weed will spread in a “mat form” and literally take over your existing turf grass.
Unfortunately, we are limited on herbicide options that will control this extremely invasive weed. Currently, I am aware of 2 herbicides most commonly used that have any affect on it: sedgehammer (halosulfuron) and dismiss (sulfentrazone). If the affected area is large, several applications will be required.
To help prevent your lawn from getting this weed, here are a few recommendations I suggest to my clients. Make sure your irrigation controller is properly set, adjusted and monitored accordingly. This is a good example of why I advise my clients to never adopt a philosophy of “set it and forget it” when it comes to your irrigation system. Also, if you have poor drainage, you should seek remedies to eliminate that issue.
Lastly, always make sure you are using a reputable lawn care company to cut and maintain your lawn. Sometimes the cheaper cut is not always the best cut because as I said earlier, if the mowers are not properly maintained from lawn to lawn you could “catch” this weed from someone else’s lawn. That cheap cut could cost you your lawn. Just food for though!