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Nimblewill Control: Strategies for Managing This Pervasive Weed

nimblewill control

What is Nimblewill?

Nimblewill (Muhlenbergia schreberi) is a warm-season perennial grass that is native to North America. It grows in dense mats and can quickly take over lawns, gardens, and other landscapes. Unlike other grasses, nimblewill has a distinct yellow-green color and fine texture.

The Challenges of Controlling Nimblewill

Controlling nimblewill can be difficult due to its extensive underground rhizome system, which allows it to spread rapidly. Additionally, nimblewill is tolerant of many herbicides, making chemical control a challenging option. However, there are several strategies that homeowners and landscapers can employ to manage this pervasive weed.

1. with Prevention

The best way to manage nimblewill is to prevent it from becoming established in the first place. When establishing a new lawn or garden, be sure to use high-quality seed or plants that are free from nimblewill seeds or roots. Additionally, avoid over-fertilizing your lawn, as this can create conditions that favor nimblewill growth.

How to Identify Nimblewill

Before taking any steps to control nimblewill, it's essential to be able to identify it correctly. Nimblewill has a distinctive yellow-green color and fine texture, which sets it apart from other grasses. Additionally, nimblewill leaves have a unique twist or curl, which is visible when viewed from above.

2. Mechanical Control

Mechanical control involves physically removing nimblewill from your lawn or garden. This can be using a hoe or other gardening tool to dig up the roots and rhizomes. However, it's essential to ensure that you remove all of the nimblewill roots, as any remaining pieces can regrow and spread.

When to Use Mechanical Control

Mechanical control is most effective when nimblewill is still in its early stages of growth. If left unchecked, nimblewill can quickly establish an extensive root system, making mechanical control more challenging.

3. Cultural Control

Cultural control involves modifying your lawn or garden's growing conditions to make it less favorable for nimblewill growth. This can include practices such as mowing your lawn at a higher height, which can shade out nimblewill and prevent it from growing.

Other Cultural Control Strategies

Other cultural control strategies include reducing irrigation, which can stress nimblewill and make it more susceptible to damage from herbicides. Additionally, overseeding your lawn with shade-tolerant grasses can help prevent nimblewill from becoming established.

4. Chemical Control

Chemical control involves using herbicides to kill nimblewill. However, due to nimblewill's tolerance to many herbicides, it's essential to choose the right product and apply it correctly.

Choosing the Right Herbicide

When choosing an herbicide for nimblewill control, look for products containing glyphosate or sulfentrazone. These herbicides have been shown to be effective against nimblewill.

Applying Herbicides Correctly

To apply herbicides correctly, follow the product label instructions carefully. Be sure to apply the herbicide during the appropriate time of year, as nimblewill is most susceptible to herbicides during its active growth period.

5. Combination Control

Combination control involves using multiple strategies to manage nimblewill. For example, combining mechanical control with cultural or chemical control can be an effective way to manage nimblewill and prevent it from spreading.

The Benefits of Combination Control

Combining multiple control strategies can help reduce the amount of herbicide needed, which can be beneficial for the environment and reduce the risk of herbicide resistance.


Nimblewill can be a challenging weed to control, but there are several strategies that homeowners and landscapers can employ to manage its growth. Whether you choose to use mechanical, cultural, chemical, or combination control, it's important to be patient and persistent in your efforts.

FAQs

Q1. Can nimblewill be composted?

Yes, nimblewill can be composted, but be sure to remove all of the roots and rhizomes before adding it to your compost pile.

Q2. Is nimblewill harmful to pets?

While nimblewill is not toxic to pets, it can create a dense mat that can be uncomfortable for pets to walk on.

Q3. What is the best time of year to apply herbicides for nimblewill control?

The best time to apply herbicides for nimblewill control is during its active growth period, which is typically from late spring to early fall.

Q4. How long does it take for nimblewill to die after applying herbicides?

After applying herbicides, it can take several weeks for nimblewill to die. Be sure to follow the product label instructions carefully for best results.

Q5. Can nimblewill grow in the shade?

While nimblewill can grow in the shade, it prefers sunny or partially shaded areas. If you have a heavily shaded lawn or garden, consider planting shade-tolerant grasses to prevent nimblewill from becoming established.

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