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Foxtail weed is an annual grass that, like crabgrass, rears its ugly head in summer.
Foxtail weed is an annual grass that, like crabgrass, rears its ugly head in summer. It gets its name from the bushy seed heads it produces, which look like foxes' tails. There are three different varieties of foxtail weeds: yellow, green, and giant. Yellow foxtail is the smallest of the three and the most prevalent in lawns. Foxtail weed can grow in a wide range of conditions and can be found in both moist and dry soil. It has wide, flat leaf blades that look similar to crabgrass, but is easily distinguished from crabgrass when the seed heads form in summer.
The best way to deal with foxtail weed in your lawn is to stop it before it starts. In the spring, apply a crabgrass pre-emergent, like Scotts® WeedEx™ Prevent with Halts®, which will prevent foxtail, as well as crabgrass and other listed grassy weeds, from sprouting. To give your lawn the nutrients it needs to grow thick and lush while also killing and preventing foxtail, crabgrass, and other listed weeds, use Scotts® Turf Builder® Triple Action instead. Either way, be sure to follow label directions.
A thick, lush lawn is the best defense against weeds. Regular fertilizer applications will not only improve your lawn's appearance, but will also strengthen and thicken the grass to help crowd out weeds. Along with feeding the lawn, mowing at the proper height is important. Grass mowed high shades the soil, preventing weed seeds, like foxtail, from sprouting in the lawn.
If foxtail weed pops up in your lawn in summer, you can control it using Ortho® Weed B Gon® Plus Crabgrass Control Ready-to-Use or Roundup® For Lawns1 Ready-to-Use (for Northern grasses). When used as directed, it will kill actively growing foxtail without harming your lawn.