Foxtail is an annual plant that grows as a weed in lawns, vegetable and ornamental gardens, orchards, and vineyards. The seedlings look much like annual grasses.
Descriptions and Life Cycle:
- Stalks grow 1 to 3 feet tall.
- Erect stem; branches close to the base.
- Leaf blades are smooth and flat less than ½ inch wide with a spiral twist; distinct hairs grow at the base of leaves.
- Flower spikes are hairy; several spiklets on each terminal.
- Seed heads are dense bushy spikes 1 to 5 inches long with yellow or red brown bristles and large seeds.
- Flowers early summer to late summer.
- Reproduces by seed; seeds can sit dormant through winter then germinate in spring.
- Foxtail prefers rich soil and newly cultivated areas.
Root System: Ragweed has a shallow taproot that produces a fibrous root system.
- Hand pull or hoe small plants in spring.
- Dig out mature plants, taproot and all with a trowel or shovel; remove entire clumps of plants.
- Do not let plants flower and set seed. Foxtail reproduces by seed.
Range: Throughout the United States and southern Canada.
Botanical Name: Setaria glauca, S. viridis
Four Quick Ways to Control Weeds:
- Weed early. Control weeds in the first month after they germinate.
- Weed often. Hand weed every two weeks through the season.
- Weed by hand when the soil is wet (best to get roots).
- Use a hoe if the soil is dry. Decapitate weeds before they flower and drop seed.