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Yellow Foxtail: How to Identify and Control Weeds

Yellow Foxtail
Bruce Ackley, Ohio State University,

What is Yellow Foxtail?

Yellow foxtail is a summer weed that gets its name from the seed head that resembles a fox's tail. Its leaves are rolled in the bud, and the leaf blades have fine, silky hairs on the upper surface toward the leaf base. The stems are erect with a reddish tint at the base, and the seed head is cylindrical in shape and turns yellow when it reaches maturity.

How Do You Kill or Control Yellow Foxtail Weeds?

Yellow foxtail weeds grow in moist, fertile soil during mid- to late summer. If you want to kill these weeds, it's important to maintain a healthy turf density and to avoid mowing close to the summer. You should also skip summer fertilization to prevent this weed from taking over your property. Applying a pre-emergent herbicide containing dithiopyr a few weeks before germination in the spring can help to prevent a weed infestation. Applying postemergent herbicides can help to bring immature weeds under control.