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Barnyardgrass

Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) Beauv.


Family: Poaceae

Habit: summer annual


Ecology

Management:

Because barnyardgrass germinates in warm soil, crops planted in early spring will often be highly competitive by the time the weed emerges, and shade by the crop will cool the soil and help suppress germination. For summer planted crops, a lag of 2 weeks or more between tillage and seedbed preparation will destroy many seedlings provided the soil is warm and moist.

Organic mulch placed early will keep the soil cool and suppress germination, but some barnyardgrass may emerge anyway. Mulch placed after the soil warms must be exceptionally dense or thick to be effective. Dense planting of crops helps control this shade intolerant weed in crops that will tolerate high density.

Because the seeds are moderately persistent in the soil, removal of escapes from the garden before plants set seeds is critical for long term control (Avoid seed production) .

Since the seeds do not tolerate high temperatures when moist, leaving the soil covered with clear plastic for 40 days during warm weather has been shown to kill barnyardgrass seeds in the top 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) of soil.

Useful Management Techniques