Lawn troubleshooting : flowering grass heads

3 min read

flowering grass heads

If you walk out to inspect your lawn and you have flowering grass seed heads poking out, you’ll probably find yourself puzzled as to why. How did they get there, and why on your lawn?

Seed heads usually become prominent in lawns in the springtime. They will give your lawn a fuzzy look. Though it is a natural process, you may want to get rid of them to restore your lawn’s clean appearance. At Turfonline, we have decades of turf expertise and have put together this tell-all guide. It will help you find out why you’re getting seed heads, how to get rid of them and why tough stalks may make life harder for you.

Why is my grass getting seed heads?

As with any living thing, grass must reproduce to survive, and has two main methods of reproduction. Some types of grasses reproduce via a method known as side tillering. In this case the mother plant produces a stem that creeps either above the ground (known as stolons) or underground (known as rhizomes). New grass plants are produced and they are nurtured by the stolon or rhizome until they are mature enough to survive on their own.

Grasses also produce flowers known as ‘florets’. Grass with flowers produces pollen grains which are carried away by the wind and pollinate other grasses, then produce more seeds. Some of these seeds will grow into new plants.

How to get rid of seed heads

Grass produces seed naturally in the late spring/summer, and newly laid turf will result in a lot more seed being produced. When turf is cut, the grasses experience a great deal of stress. The majority of the roots that provide food and water have been severed all of a sudden. Because of this, the grass goes into self-preservation mode and starts to produce a lot of seed until the turf has re-established a healthy root system. If the turf is well maintained and is receiving sufficient nutrients and water, more seeds will be produced.

So, the key to getting rid of seed heads is to use a sharp motor blade to cut them. Then fertilise it properly so it doesn’t have to keep producing seed heads and then maintain the turf well until you’re back to luscious greenery once more.


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Why does my lawn have tough stalks?

Ryegrass stalks or “soldiers” are a common occurrence in lawns. They appear in late summer or autumn when the ryegrass plant is seeding. The stalks are fairly tough and will survive cutting with a cylinder mower. The solution is to rake the lawn first. This will make the ryegrass stalks stand up, then mow. But, if you have a cylinder mower with a roller, remove the front roller first. Alternatively, mow the lawn using a rotary mower so that it doesn’t roll them flat again.

After doing this mow the lawn more regularly whilst the ryegrass is seeding, so good nutrient levels are maintained.

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