Phone: (435)512-0191 (Ogden/Cache Valley)
Phone: (801)394-3286 (Ogden/Davis County)
Phone: (801)609-4484 (Salt Lake/Tooele County)
Phone: (801)319-9953 (Utah/Wasatch County)
Email: thgreen80@hotmail.com

Seed stalk can occur in Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial rye grass.  It is when the stalk of grass becomes more dominant than the blade.  Grass stalk is not as soft or as dark in color as the blade.  It does not look nearly as nice as it did before or as it will afterwards.  It is most likely to occur in a lawn that is neglected, or a young lawn in its first or second year.  Seed stalk usually occurs in the late spring or early summer.  Seed stalk is a temporary condition that will last as long as it feels stressed.   Possible stressers are as follows: lack of fertilizer, lack of water, poor watering habits, rock soil, heavily compacted soil (usually clay), poor mowing habits (mowing too short short, mowing in the heat of the day, mowing with a dull blade, cutting more than 40% of the blade in a single mowing).  Even if you are doing everything right for your lawn, your lawn could still develop seed stalk.  A sudden extreme change in our climate is the most likely trigger for seed stalk.  This is why a young lawn is more susceptible to seed stalk.  An older lawn has been exposed to several different conditions, including a variety of stressers, and extreme weather changes.  The solution is two-fold.

  1. Eliminate any stress that you may be causing your lawn (seed stalk is usually due to immature or struggling roots.  An aeration is a great help to your roots.  We also notice poor mowing habits quite often).
  2. BE PATIENT, this is only a temporary issue.  Focus on what you can do and let it run its course.  You will know when your lawn has stopped producing seed stalk.  The seed stalk will die, and turn brown.  It will appear like several little brown twigs.  At this point the seed stalk will actually look worse.  Lower the blade on your mower about 2 inches.  The following week raise your blade to its normal level (3-4 inches).  The grass will hide the dead seed stalk, which over time will disintegrate.  If possible choose a wise time as to when you lower your blade and mow.  Normally you want to avoid lowering your blade during the heat of the summer as this can increase stress.  Try to do this during a cold front (mild temperature) if possible.