Here’s how to get rid of cheatgrass in its different stages. Know which one is the most effective and some helpful tips to execute each method!
Cheatgrass is an annual grass that is very common in Eurasia but also grows in certain states in the United States, such as in Nevada.
Looking at it for once will make you think it’s a rice plant. They have the same length, thin stem, elongated and pointy leaves. Cheatgrass also turns golden brown during the summer.
If you have been having a problem dealing with this grass, then you will most likely be interested in how to get rid of cheatgrass.
We will discuss that and more below:
How To Get Rid Of Cheatgrass (3 Best Methods)
There are most commonly followed method on how to get rid of cheatgrass, namely: hand-pulling, mulching, or soil solarization.
Deciding on which method is the most effective depends on how big the patch is. You also have to consider whether the grass has just developed or is already in full growth.
This is the manual method and very easy and quick to do. No special equipment is needed but some reminders have to be noted.
First, getting rid of cheatgrass by hand is only recommended if the cheatgrass has not developed any seed yet. Why? This is because hand-pulling the grass creates too much movement, allowing the seeds to spread in the vicinity.
So, expect a fresh batch of cheatgrass will grow in the area after a few weeks.
No, that isn’t smart, is it?
Second, you have to be patient when doing hand-pulling. Obviously, it takes too much time and effort as compared to other methods, but this is also the most effective method if you are trying to minimize negative impacts on the other plant species.
We would say this is not the best method for large patches and for homeowners who are already seniors. This needs on-going attention too, so patience plays a big part in this method.
Mulching has been a popular gardening technique followed by many. However, it is mainly known for retaining moisture in the soil and for preventing erosion.
What is not so known to a lot of people is that mulching is also a very effective way of reducing cheatgrass.
To push through with this method, you need some mulching materials, of course. Some of the popular ones are cardboard, newspaper, and wood chips.
Who should do mulching, by the way? Well if you want to know how to get rid of cheatgrass after a single season, then this is the best way to do so. Mulching is very effective in a sense that it deprives weeds of light and warmth by keeping the soil cool.
The reason why it is ideal as an after season cleaning like after harvest is that mulching also eliminates the other plants in the area.
Make sure to keep the mulch about 2 inches deep though as too thin is ineffective while too think deprives the soil of enough air.
3. Soil Solarization
Lastly, soil solarization is the third and final method on this list. Soil solarization needs plastic sheeting and water as the main materials needed.
Who should follow this method? If you are really keen on how to get rid of cheatgrass completely– like for good, then we believe this is the best solution.
Soil solarizations can completely eradicate and kill cheatgrass in all of its parts, from seeds, roots, and the visible plant body.
BUT, this is sort of impractical if you apply this on a large patch because you need much more plastic sheeting, which costs a little more than the mulching.
We suggest you follow this method though if you only target a small rock bed or an area in your yard that you intend to make a vegetative garden.
Why Do People Want To Kill Cheatgrass?
There are varied reasons actually but the top 2 are because of it being an eyesore in your yard and the other is that it being one of the major causes of range fires. During summer cheatgrass dries out ever so quickly and when the temperature continues to rise up, fire is a great possibility.
In fact, Nevada experts have been making the effort of educating farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to be warry of the damage cheatgrass can cause when left unattended.