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How To Kill Dallisgrass- Try These 6 Effective Ways

Dallisgrass is a stubborn perennial weed. Here are 6 effective ways to kill dallisgrass in your lawn:

  1. Use pre-emergent herbicide
  2. Use post-emergent herbicide
  3. Pull out dallisgrass from taproot
  4. Pour salted boiling water on the foliage 
  5. Pour hot vinegar on leaves
  6. Replant grass on bare areas

How amazing does this lawn look? No dallisgrass in sight! You, too, can achieve the same results by following my step-by-step tutorials on how to kill dallisgrass

A house with a grassy front lawn

I know very well how hard it is to eradicate stubborn weeds from a garden or lawn. But with lots of trial and error, I have learned to keep weeds at a minimum in my yard. This prompted me to write an in-depth guide on how to control dallisgrass growth on your property.

I can’t wait to share my landscaping tips and tricks with you! Let’s jump right into the first tutorial!

How To Kill Dallisgrass With Pre-Emergent

What You Will Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Gardening gloves
  • Long-sleeved clothing
  • Pre-emergent herbicide
  • \Pump sprayer


Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to kill dallisgrass with pre-emergent:

  1. Pick The Right Time

    A pre-emergent herbicide will inhibit the growth of new roots and kill the weed before it gets the chance to peek out of the ground. However, it needs to be applied to the lawn before dallisgrass seeds germinate in the soil.

    Picking the right time for application is the first step to making your pre-emergent work. I recommend using a pre-emergent on your lawn in early spring. This is when the seeds of Dallas grass start to germinate.

    Keep in mind that your pre-emergent will only keep the new weeds from coming in. The herbicide won’t work on fully grown and developed clumps of dallisgrass.

  2. Protect Yourself

    Practice safety when using a herbicide. Protect yourself with safety goggles, gloves and wear long-sleeved clothes. Keep kids and pets out of the way when spraying the treatment on the lawn.

  3. Apply The Pre-Emergent

    Pre-emergents need to penetrate the soil to inhibit the growth of baby roots. All pre-emergent weed killers, therefore, require water to activate them and carry them into the ground.

    How you dilute the pre-emergent with water varies from brand to brand. I recommend you carefully read and follow the instructions printed on the back of the packaging.

    Apply the diluted weed killer onto the whole surface of your lawn using a pump sprayer. You can safely use pre-emergent on a mature lawn, but don’t use it on areas where you have planted grass seeds. It will inhibit their growth too!

How To Control Dallisgrass With Post-Emergent

What You Will Need

  • Safety goggles
  • Rubber gloves
  • Long-sleeved clothing
  • Post-emergent


Meanwhile, here are the steps on how to control dallisgrass using post-emergent:

  1. Buy The Right Post-Emergent

Post-emergents are used on fully grown weeds, unlike pre-emergents. They are classified as selective or non-selective and systemic or contact, based on their formulas. Let’s see what these terms mean: 

  • Selective herbicides target specific weeds and are ideal for use on lawns where contact with grass is unavoidable. 
  • Non-selective herbicides kill a broad range of weeds and plants you want to keep. They are mostly used for general weed control on open fields. 
  • Systemic herbicides kill the whole weed, including the root system. They are ideal for use on perennials like dallisgrass. 
  • Contact herbicides kill above-ground parts of the weed that get in direct contact with the agent. They work best on annuals and smaller weeds.  

You will get the best results if you use a selective and systemic herbicide. A selective post-emergent will target the dallisgrass exclusively, leaving your lawn unharmed. 

I prefer using a systemic herbicide over a contact-based agent on perennials like dallisgrass. Systemic post-emergent gets absorbed by the weed, killing it from within rather than only burning off the green foliage. 

I recommend you try Celsius WG. It is an excellent dallisgrass killer. 

  1. Apply The Post-Emergent
Applying Post-emergent herbicide to weeds

Post-emergents come available in granular or spray-on formulas. How you use them depends on the instructions printed on the label. Carefully read and follow the instructions so you can achieve maximum results.

You will most likely have to calculate the square footage of your target area to know how much herbicide to use. Celsius WG, for instance, comes in the form of granules that need to be dissolved in water. The 0.085 ounces of Celsius WG in a gallon of water is enough for 1000 sq. ft. 

Once your herbicide is mixed, you can apply it on the affected turf using a sprayer with a fan nozzle to get an even coating. You may have to repeat the same process a couple of days later, depending on the formula you are using.

As always, follow all the safety precautions when using a chemical herbicide to protect your health and the health of others. 

Pro tip: Add a surfactant to your herbicide water mixture before application. The surfactant will ensure the herbicide sticks to the dallisgrass and kill it more effectively. 

How To Pull Dallisgrass Out From The Taproot

What You Will Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Garden knife or a screwdriver
  • A bucket


Check out this guide on how to pull dallisgrass out from the taproot:

  1. Pick The Right Time

Pulling out dallisgrass from taproot is not difficult if you do it while the ground is still wet after a rain. If you try this method when the soil is dry, you may have to use a garden knife or a screwdriver to loosen the soil and pull out the root.

  1. Pull At The Base 
INFOGRAPHICS: How To Deal With Tarproot When Weeding

Dallisgrass falls into the category of weeds that have a taproot and not fibrous roots. Its taproot is very resilient and can survive harsh weather conditions, year after year.  

Once you eradicate this vertical root, you will kill off the whole plant and keep it from growing in the same spot. Pulling out dallisgrass from the taproot is a labor-intensive process, but the results are worth it.

What you want to do is grab the dallisgrass at the very base and slowly pull it out from the ground. Loosen the soil with a screwdriver or a garden knife if you feel any resistance. Make sure you don’t break the taproot, as it will grow again if left in the ground. 

Collect the eradicated dallisgrass in a bucket and carefully dispose of it in your bio waste bin. Make sure you don’t spread the seeds on your lawn while carrying it to the bin. 

The best time to pull dallisgrass from the root is in spring, but you can do it at any time of the year. 

You can use this method to get rid of clover as well! Click here for more on the topic.

How To Kill Dallisgrass With Boiling Water

What You Will Need

  • A kettle
  • Gardening gloves


Did you know that you can kill dallisgrass with boiling water? Here’s how:

  1. Boil Water In A Kettle

Boil water in a kettle just as you would when making tea. You can add some table salt to the hot water to intensify the treatment. 

  1. Pour Water On Dallisgrass

All that is left to do is pour the hot water on the dallisgrass. The temperature will scorch the plant and cause it to die. 

You can pour the hot water straight from the kettle or transfer it into another type of container with a spout. This way, you will have more precision while pouring the hot liquid. Be careful not to splash any on the plants you want to keep. 

How To Kill Dallisgrass With Vinegar

What You Will Need

  • White vinegar
  • Steel pot
  • Container with a spout 


Read the steps on how to kill dallisgrass with vinegar:

  1. Heat Up The Vinegar

In a large steel pot, heat a sufficient amount of white vinegar for the size of your lawn. Bring it to a low simmer to reduce the vinegar slightly and intensify its potency. Transfer the vinegar into a heat-proof container with a spout, while it is still hot. Be careful while doing this!

  1. Pour Vinegar On Dallisgrass

Pour the vinegar directly on dallisgrass while it is still hot. The temperature combined with the acidity will scorch the foliage and kill the plant. 

Be careful not to splash vinegar on the beautiful and useful weeds you want to keep. Wear protective gloves and goggles if necessary. 

How To Keep Your Lawn In Good Condition & Avoid Dallisgrass

What You Will Need

  • Lawn fertilizer
  • Grass seeds
  • Garden hose


Lastly, here are some preventive steps that you can do to avoid dallisgrass:

  1. Mow Your Lawn
red lawn mower on a grass lawn

You can control dallisgrass growth by keeping your lawn in good condition. One of the ways to keep your lawn healthy is to mow it regularly. Mow your lawn at a higher height, from 3 to 4 inches. Slightly taller grass will be stronger and more resistant to the invasion of dallisgrass.

  1. Replant Any Bare Areas
a handful of grass seeds

Keep your turf densely planted at all times. Inspect your lawn for any bear or balding spots and replant grass seed right away. Dallisgrass is a persistent weed that will grow in any bare areas if left unmanaged.

  1. Fertilize And Water Your Lawn 
Spraying water to a grassy lawn

Last but not least, water and fertilize your lawn regularly. By keeping your grass strong, healthy, and dense, you will give dallisgrass, crabgrass, pampas grass and other weeds alike little room to prosper. 

Want to know how to get rid of pampas grass? Click here to find out!


Will Vinegar Kill Dallisgrass?

Vinegar will kill dallisgrass after it has been heated and reduced into a more concentrated form. Simply pour it while it is still hot on the dallisgrass. Be careful not to splash any on the plants you want to keep.

Does MSM Kill Dallisgrass?

MSM is not strong enough to kill dallisgrass. Post-emergent herbicides, like MSMA, however, will kill dallisgrass successfully. You will have to apply the MSMA herbicide 2 to 3 times at 3-week intervals to get rid of fully grown dallisgrass. 

Will Bermuda Choke Out Dallisgrass?

Bermuda will choke out dallisgrass only if it is dense, thick, and healthy. If your Bermuda grass is thinning out and in poor condition, it will eventually get invaded by dallisgrass. Keep your turf healthy by watering and fertilizing it regularly.

Will Pastora Kill Dallisgrass?

Pastora will not kill dallisgrass. It is labeled to kill barnyard grass, Texas and fall panicums, Johnsongrass, little barley, annual foxtails, Italian ryegrass, wooly cupgrass, and several broadleaf weeds. 

Is Dallisgrass The Same As Crabgrass?

Dallisgrass is not the same as crabgrass, but they look very similar and are easily mistaken for one another. Dallisgrass grows upright and taller, unlike crabgrass, which grows lower to the ground. Dallisgrass seed heads also grow off the stem sides and not from the top, like with crabgrass. 

That’s How To Kill Dallisgrass

Keeping your lawn lush and pristine is a constant battle. Stubborn weeds, like dallisgrass, just won’t quit trying to claim a spot on your turf. But we won’t quit trying to eradicate them either! 

Landscaping is a joy to me, and hopefully, it is for you too! Learn how to kill dallisgrass effectively by trying the different weed control methods from my list. 

Did you find my dallisgrass weed control methods helpful? Let me know in the comments below, and feel free to share my tips on social media. 

Photo of author

About The Author

Nadya Jones

Nadya is a writer, entrepreneur, and designer based in Raleigh. She writes in her blog, the one you are visiting right now, where she shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. Her husband Brett provides her with a lot of inspiration and behind-the-scenes content. Together, they work on creating beautiful outdoor spaces that serve as an extension of their home and inspire others to do the same. If you are interested in landscaping, gardening, or outdoor design, be sure to check out the blog! Also, follow Nadya on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr!

1 thought on “How To Kill Dallisgrass- Try These 6 Effective Ways”

  1. Plan to use hot vinegar to kill Dallis grass. How much time to wait before reseeding area? Will this kill that particular plant or will it return next year? Is this procedure as effective as pulling up by hand?
    Thanks, Verona


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