Grassy Weed – Timothy

(Phleum pratense)

Timothy – also referred to as Herd’s Grass – is a perennial grass that can also be considered a weed in low maintenance turf areas. Phleum pratense prefers rich, moist soils and clay loams and can be found growing throughout much of North America.

Identifying Timothy -

Timothy can be identified as a coarse, bluish-green, clump-forming perennial grass. Its ligule is medium to long and toothed at the corners and apex. The stems are whitish in color and swollen at the base, lacking hairs. Timothy features smooth sheaths that are not compressed and a fibrous root system growing from short rhizomes and occasionally short stolons.

Timothy can be distinguished from most other grasses in that one or occasionally more of the basal internodes of the stem swell into a bulb-like growth near the surface. Timothy is often cultivated for hay and grazing purposes, hence the nickname Herd’s Grass.

Timothy Control -

Good cultural practices such as proper mowing habits can assist with the control of Timothy. This is due to the plant’s inability to tolerate low mowing heights.


However, if chemical control is necessary, this weed can be controlled with non-selective weed controls such as Round-Up, which will kill this weed and surrounding turfgrass. Re-seeding may be necessary to repair treated areas where Round-Up is used.

In certain parts of the country, selective systemic weed control programs may be an option.

Scotts LawnService is the trusted industry leader for professional quality lawn care. Our exclusive lawn care products include premium grass seeds and professional-grade fertilizers; our lawn service teams consist of highly trained, industry-certified professionals. Contact a representative today for Timothy control options available in your area and to learn how you can enjoy a lush, thicker lawn that only Scotts LawnService can deliver.