Millet is a thermophilic and frost-sensitive species introduced from the subtropics. The differences are rather subtle and the type of control is the same, which is why it basically does not matter what exactly is spreading in the lawn. It becomes difficult with species that like to develop their flower spikes flat, almost lying, because then the lawnmower cannot do much. The flowers are not cut off, the seeds ripen and the plant continues to spread.

Short profile

  • Sweet grass family
  • Annual herbaceous plants
  • Grow clumping
  • Monocot
  • Chicken millet is the most widespread and most competitive species
  • Flowers and fruit from July to October
  • Culms 30 to 100 cm high
  • Prefers humus, loamy sand to sandy loam
  • Fan-shaped root system up to 1 m deep
  • Require high germination temperatures, at least 15 ° C and soil moisture
  • Like warm temperatures, between 20 and 35 ° C
  • High reproduction rate
  • Up to 1,200 seeds per plant
  • Will germinate for up to 5 years
  • Die with the first frosts

Fighting millet in the lawn

Of course you can fight millet with chemical means. This is usually the easiest way, but with side effects. Even though weed killers are often touted as harmless, they are not. Not only those who have children and / or pets in the garden should avoid it. It also works without, for the sake of the environment.

Lawn weed killers are only effective against dicotyledonous plants. The weed millets are monocotyledons. A universal weed killer works not only against millet, but against all grasses, including those that make up the lawn.


The best prevention is a dense, healthy, and well-supplied lawn. Millet is a light germ. If the lawn is dense, the seeds have no chance to germinate. One can prevent the types of millet by depriving them of their growth bases and making them more difficult to grow. In this way, at least an increased volume can usually be prevented. Individual plants will still thrive, but you can control them manually.

  • It is beneficial to scarify as early as autumn, because by then a closed lawn cover will have formed and this will make it more difficult for millet to grow.
  • Water, fertilize and mow regularly between May and August to keep the sward tight and closed
  • Avoid waterlogging
  • The grasses often straighten up through fertilization and so the stalks can be mowed more easily.

Manual combat

The most environmentally friendly way of fighting is to pull up the millet plants one by one. If the soil is loose and as moist as possible, the plants and their roots can be easily pulled out of the ground, especially if they are a bit larger and you can grab hold of them tightly.

  • Tear out the millet one by one
  • Always stay on the ball, do not let the plants bloom or even ripen the seeds
  • Alternatively, cut out

Chemical control

In chemical control, a distinction is made between two types, pre-emergence and post-emergence control. The preliminary control starts in May, when the millet plants are germinating. During the growing season, the only thing that helps is combating trailing, from the point in time when the plants have grown beyond the three-leaf stage. Different active ingredients are used.

Pre-run combat

  • At the beginning of the growing season, i.e. from the end of April or the beginning of May
  • Active ingredient Pendimethalin, stops the further growth process
  • Milltox Royal – ready-to-use herbicide in granular form, only approved for lawns
  • Second application in mid-June
  • Do not scarify or aerate after use!
  • Do not treat reseeding before the fourth cut
  • If the climate is favorable, scarify and re-sow in autumn

Follow-up control

  • Up to the 4th to 5th leaf instar
  • Between May and August
  • Wirkstoff Fenoxaprop-P-ethyl (Puma-Extra)
  • z.B. Ralon®Super
  • Systemic herbicide, apply by spraying in fine droplets
  • It must not rain for at least 6 hours
  • Is absorbed through the leaves, no active substance absorption through the soil
  • Damages the dividing tissue of the grass weeds
  • Repeat after 10 to 14 days if necessary

It is essential to observe the manufacturer’s information!

Fight weed millet biologically?

Being able to control weed weed biologically would be a big step forward for anyone who wants a perfect lawn. However, there are still no safe methods. In the USA, however, experiments are being carried out with cornstarch and the tests promise good results. It is an absolutely harmless variant, because cornstarch is a food. It is used in spring, around the time when the spring flowers are in full bloom.

  • First, the lawn must be cleaned of all the leaves, rubbish and whatever does not belong on it, so collect everything and tear it off.
  • Put the cornstarch in a fertilizer trolley and drive it over the lawn
  • Apply on a day if it rains for the next 24 hours or just then water. The cornmeal needs to get into the ground.
  • It is also said to help against other weeds and works in a similar way to precursor herbicides.
  • The proteins in the corn starch prevent the seedlings from forming roots. The millet dies.
  • I’ll try it because I also struggle with weed millet in the garden. It can’t do any harm.

Frequently asked questions

How do the herbicides work against millet?

Milltox Royal, for example, contains the above-mentioned active ingredient, which is absorbed through the shoot, roots and cotyledons. It inhibits the cell division and cell stretching process in the merist tissue. Growth comes to a standstill. It cannot influence germination. The efficiency is particularly high in the seedling stage. You need 600 to 1,000 g / 100 m². If necessary, the treatment can be repeated after 5 to 6 weeks. The granules must be distributed evenly. Then soak gently. The herbicide works against most annual grasses.

When is the best time to create a lawn in a grass-infested garden?

This is best done in autumn, when the millet is already getting too cold. In contrast to lawn, it no longer germinates. The lawn usually does not develop as well at first as if it was sown earlier, but gaps can be closed in spring, but early enough. It is important to use fertilizer when sowing so that the desired blades of grass prevail.

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