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How to Get Rid of Torpedo Grass

Torpedo grass, one of the most common weeds is also one of the most difficult to get rid of. It is useful in preventing coastal erosion, but is nothing but a pimple on your lawn. To get the most out of your lawn and garden, use these tried and true methods for dealing with this pervasive menace:

Dig It Out

If you need to get rid of torpedo grass that has sprouted up in isolated pockets in your garden or flower bed, the best method is to dig out the weed and replace the soil. First, dig a ditch several inches deep around the torpedo grass. Avoid contact with the weed, as disturbance encourages germination. Then, saturated the entire area in a broad spectrum herbicide such as glyphosate (Roundup). After two or three weeks, remove the torpedo grass and replace the soil.

Spray with Herbicides

If your torpedo grass infestation pervades a large area, such as a lawn or large garden, then you are not going to be able to dig all of it out. Instead you must spray the lawn with an herbicide that targets grasses such as Drive 75 by BASF. You may have to spray twice a year for three to four years in order for this method to be effective. Remember to reseed your desired grasses immediately after spraying the herbicide so that you won’t have noticeable thinning of your lawn.

Start From Scratch

If all else fails, you can always eradicate your entire lawn or garden, resodding or replanting from scratch. There are two methods for doing this: A strong herbicide or something called soil solarization. Soil Solarization involves covering the ground with clear plastic and letting the heat from the sun kill of all the vegetation, including that hated torpedo grass. You should consult your local lawn and garden store for information about what would be the best method for your area.

Getting rid of torpedo grass is not a simple task. Depending on the extent of the problem, it could take a good deal of work. But with a patience and consistency the methods outlined above should prove effective.

7 Comments

  1. From what I have read this is NOT the way to get rid of torpedo grass. Herbicides are not only toxic to you and the environment they do not kill the seeds and the grass just comes back later. To kill torpedo grass you have to kill it with heat. Cover the area you want to kill with a clear plastic (thick 1+ mil plastic sheet)and anchor down the edges so they do not blow off. Do this in the hottest part of the year (july and august) and keep covered for about least 6 weeks. The heat generated by the sun under the clear plastic will destroy the plant and seeds.

  2. Thanks for sharing your opinion, Rod! It will definitely be helpful to our readers. We try to keep our articles simple and straightforward, but it’s great to hear from someone who has experience in getting rid of torpedo grass. Keep up the good work!

  3. Can you mow over area with this torpedo grass? wouldn’t that cause it to spread? If you’ve cut it..and it lies in the grass…doesn’t it cause the grass just to begin growing into the soil once again..Thank you for your reply

  4. How does torpedo grass spread, underground via root system,
    above ground via seedling, or both?

  5. Our lawn is over run with torpedo grass. Unfortunately there are a couple of ditches and canals that seem to carry the grass and it’s seed through much of our neighborhood. I have struggled with the torpedo grass problem for 4 years now having only to experience it taking over half our property at this point. I wish I were clear on what to do with it. It is so aggressive that spraying it does not give me any confidence Though I am willing to do almost anything to get rid of it. Half of our 3 acres is taken over with it and it is no small task to deal with. I feel like I should spray it with the Drive 75 by BASF and then cover it with the clear plastic. Do you think this would effectively kill it. It is so aggressive that I am afraid it will take a back hoe to get it out and then you can’t be certain the grass is dead.
    I’m all ears if you can solve this for me.
    Ginger sMilsp

  6. I’ve had good luck by first turning the soil in the bed, exposing and removing torpedo grass roots the best I reasonably could, then applying a spray named Momentum. I’ve got a buddy who does lawn maintenance and he recommended it. It’s great stuff and only needs to be used in low concentrations. 1 gallon will last forever. It takes a while for full results, and may need two or three sprayings, but they will go away. Use considerable caution with temps over upper 80′s.

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