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Foxtail Illustration

Foxtails

While sometimes confused with crabgrass, foxtails (also called wild millet) produces a large robust seed head. Its texture is coarse and forms tufts in mowed lawns. Foxtails usually germinate after crabgrass and before goosegrass.

Yellow Foxtail LiguleFoxtail Photograph

Controlling

Can be controlled with pre-emergent herbicides. The same thing used for crabgrass.

The most effective management of foxtail is to maintain a dense turfgrass. As a summer annual, seeds will germinate in the spring when soil temperatures and moisture are optimum. Foxtail can produces thousands of seeds per year. Minimizing seed production with consistent mowing can be an effective long-term deterrent. Taller mowing heights and judicious nitrogen fertilization can be very effective to reduce foxtail populations.

Foxtail summary:

  • Summer annual that reproduces by seeds. Seeds germinate at temperatures between 68 - 95 degrees

  • Forms a coarse, upright bunch-type grass

  • Leaves of yellow foxtail are flat, smooth, and with margins that re slightly rough

  • Foxtail occurs in moist, fertile soil during the mid to late growing season

  • To control foxtail, apply pre-emergent herbicides 1 - 2 weeks prior to germination in late spring or summer; apply post-emergent weed controls when weeds are small.