Many pests, fungi, and weeds pose a threat to lawns. Even though some of these weeds may seem like grass, their presence is never welcomed. They can weaken or even eradicate entire sections of your yard.
Grass-like weeds can be challenging to spot and mistaken for a desirable part of your lawn. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 10 weeds that look like grass so you can quickly and easily identify them. Knowing how to recognize these weeds is crucial for effective lawn care.
Different types of weeds demand other application methods. Recognizing the difference between the weed types is a crucial step in treating grass problems. The weeds that have sprung up in your yard may be a harbinger of deeper soil and grass problems.
Many weeds may fool you into thinking it’s grass, but we’ve compiled a list of the most frequent ones below.
|Scientific Name: Digitaria Sanguinalis And Digitaria Ischaemum|
Crabgrass is among the most widespread weeds that may spread over a lawn. Crabgrasses, which are members of the genus Digitaria, are also sometimes referred to as finger grasses.
Crabgrasses grow on patchy lawns that are barely watered, in dry soil, and poorly drained. Since they only live for one year, they perish with the first frost of winter. However, each plant may yield up to 150,000 seeds that will sprout the following spring.
Crabgrass can create ugly swaths of dead grass in your yard when it dies. Still, it is simple to deal with. Crabgrass won’t be able to compete if you reseed your grass and maintain a healthy, well-watered lawn so that it won’t return the previous summer.
However, it will quickly spread over your grass if you do nothing.
To get rid of it, you may either pick it up by hand as it pops up or keep cutting it, so it doesn’t go to seed. Herbicides are an alternative option for more severe infestations.
2. Annual Bluegrass
|Scientific Name: Poa Annua|
Annual Bluegrass is a prevalent issue on North American lawns. This plant enjoys cold, damp weather and typically thrives in parts of yards covered by trees.
It shares a genus with Kentucky bluegrass but is a much paler and more vivid green. The lengthy ligule (membrane) that attaches the leaf’s base to the stem is another distinctive feature.
This plant, which thrives in the chilly conditions that prevail during the spring and fall, turns brown as the summer heats up. This weed prefers moist, shaded regions of residential lawns. This plant dies in dry, hot conditions, leaving barren areas behind.
It would help if you did not give it what it needs. Thus, avoiding making a shady, damp space is your best bet. Herbicides can kill any growing plants, and pre-emergent herbicides can be applied to areas where the weeds are expected to emerge.
|Scientific Name: Cyperus Esculentus And Cyperus Rotundus|
In most cases, Nutsedge will begin to grow in the summer. The blades of this grass, sometimes known as Nutgrass, are typically one to four times as tall as those of fescue or Bermuda lawns. The taller it gets between cuts, the more obvious it is, even in neatly mowed yards.
When removing Nutsedge from the ground, grab it around the soil’s base and pull it up on the entire root system. If you don’t, you’ll end up slicing the root, resulting in more weeds sprouting from the original plant. Unless it is kept in check, Nutsedge, a perennial sedge, will continue to spread from year to year.
The simplest way to prevent Nutsedge from taking over your lawn is to maintain it looking lush and healthy all the time. Once it has established itself, herbicides will likely be required to eradicate it and stop it from returning.
4. Common Couch
|Scientific Name: Elymus Repens|
The invasive plant called “Common Couch” creates a thick carpet-like covering on lawn grass. This plant is pervasive because its stems spread by rooting at the soil’s surface and shooting up through the grass. Hardy rhizomes allow this plant to expand at a quick pace. Its umbrella- or windmill-shaped flower stalks are supported by flat, hairless leaves. It’s a deep forest green and prefers bright light. As a result, it does not do well in partially shaded regions.
Despite its classification as turf grass, this plant is more often than not viewed as a noxious weed by the general public. It is feasible to remove Common Couch by hand pulling. However, using this approach, removing all of the roots is vital, and sadly it is easy to overlook rhizomes. If you bring a rhizome to the surface, it will dry up and die within a few days. Herbicides should be used to combat a severe infestation of this grass.
You may dig it out by hand if you discover it in your grass, but if you don’t get every last bit, it will come back, and you’ll have to deal with it again in no time.
5. Tropical Carpet Grass
|Scientific Name: Axonopus sp|
This thick grass, also called Axonopus Compressus, thrives in subtropical and tropical conditions due to its hardiness and blunt, rounded leaves. This type of grass spreads by sending forth runners, thus the name. It spreads out in a low mat, making its leaves glossy and waxy. The wrinkles in its leaves are a distinctive feature. It is primarily green but contains purple and red undertones. Despite its potential utility as a lawn, park, or other landscape grass, it’s often considered a weed.
In the absence of sufficient water, this grass might perish. Additionally, it is vulnerable to broadleaf herbicides. Its elimination is due to methods such as spraying which is a very simple method.
6. Creeping Bentgrass
|Scientific Name: Agrostis Stolonifera|
The aggressive Creeping Bentgrass can quickly take over a lawn if left unchecked. It spreads rapidly and forms dense mats, making it difficult to get rid of in the yard. Being a cool-season grass, its rapid growth is limited to the spring. Compared to darker grasses like Kentucky Bluegrass, the green of creeping bentgrass is noticeably lighter and brighter. You’ll notice the distinctive long, narrow leaves when you know what you’re looking for. Putting greens, tennis courts, and other specialty uses occasionally call for this grass.
If creeping bentgrass has overtaken your yard, it is best to use an effective herbicide to eradicate it.
7. Green Foxtail
|Scientific Name: Setaria Viridis And Setaria Pumila|
The seed heads of this plant, which grow on stalks like grass, are the source of the weed’s common name. The tops resemble fluffy little foxtails. Prairies and meadows are teeming with these plants, which range in height from 10 centimeters to more than a meter. It may have a pretty name, but this invasive species causes severe problems for farmers and is an eyesore for homeowners worldwide.
With adequate wind, the hundreds of seeds produced by each foxtail plume of this hardy annual plant may be dispersed across considerable distances. These lawn weeds are surprisingly selective regarding germination, despite their apparent resilience once established. They thrive in damp areas but are stifled by overly-planted yards or fields. However, green foxtail will likely germinate between May and August when soil temperatures are between 15 and 35 degrees Celsius. It can sprout at any time of year, given the right conditions.
Like many common lawn weeds, green foxtail may be managed with herbicides. Still, thick, healthy grass is the most excellent defense against this invasive invader.
Also Read:- 10 Weeds With White Flowers (With Pictures)
8. Smooth Bromegrass
|Scientific Name: Bromus Ramosus Ramosus|
Aside from ryegrass, smooth bromegrass is another perennial that can withstand a wide range of temperatures and persist for a long time after it has taken root. Bromegrass, like Nutsedge, can spread rapidly across a lawn because of its rhizomes, which it spreads using complex root systems. Because of these characteristics, it is an exotic species that may rapidly spread.
Bromegrass, however, has significant value as hay or grazing areas for cattle. Its sturdy root system can aid in halting soil erosion.
Most homeowners would rather not have it in their yards despite its positive attributes. Mowing your lawn down to a low height is a good technique. It out-competes Smooth Bromegrass with a dense, healthy turf overstory. They are both effective methods for reducing its prevalence. It eventually gets rid of it entirely. The worst-case scenario is that you spray a herbicide to kill grass-like weeds.
9. Slender Rush
|Scientific Name: Juncus Tenuis|
This grass-like perennial is sometimes called “poverty rush” or “path rush.” It grows in clusters, resembling Crabgrass.
Above-ground seeds and tubers formed by the plant’s roots are used for reproduction. Because it can spread by rhizomes below ground, the slender rush is a tough invasive plant to eradicate from lawns. Herbicides are typically ineffective when used to manage the slight rush.
Manual weed management is usually the most successful method when dealing with this invasive plant that masquerades as grass. It may need the use of manual labor, such as weeding. Take your time and make sure to get the roots as well.
One alternative is to maintain a regular mowing schedule that prevents the plant from flowering, setting seed, and dying.
10. Tall Fescue
|Scientific Name: Festuca Arundinacea|
You may be familiar with this species of grass. Still, suppose a different form of turfgrass dominates your lawn. In that case, you should know that it is an invasive perennial with weed-like traits.
The rhizomatic nature of its propagation and its resistance to drought make this a tricky plant to eradicate. Covering it with a tarp, cardboard, newspaper, or anything similar and leaving it in the dark until it starves to death is your best bet.
Tall fescue, like some of the other species mentioned above, may spread by sending out underground stems called rhizomes. It can withstand long periods without water and quickly spreads to take over an area, frequently replacing native grasses.
If tall fescue grass has taken over your yard, you may need to solarize it to get rid of it. Large areas of grass can be “solarized” or covered up to prevent sunlight from reaching it and to increase the temperature under a tarp, killing off any vegetation that might be there. Solarizing tall fescue is preferable to using herbicides, which would be costly and potentially detrimental to the environment because of the enormous amounts needed.
A horizontal, above-ground stem that produces new grass plants by rooting at the nodes (located in the crown). The reproductive structures of a grass plant, such as flowers and seeds.
The height of common chickweed can range from upright to flat, and it can even form mats. Typically, the stems will be forked with a row of hairs running along either side. Leaves are ovate in outline, taper to a sharp point, and are either wholly hairless or have hairy borders. The leaves are regularly spaced along the stem and lie on opposing sides.
Producing a thick turf, the fine-textured turfgrass has leaf blades ranging in color from green to dark green but is not glossy. The spreading stolons (or “creepers”) of creeping bentgrass give rise to the species common name. Rhizomes seldom form below ground.
One of the most widespread weeds that looks like grass is annual Bluegrass. Since it comes from the Poa genus, it shares the common name “Poa” with other grasses, including Kentucky Bluegrass. Annual Bluegrass stands out due to its more vibrant hues.
Perennials are typically stimulated from root or stem disruptions, making hand-pulling less effective. If you pluck at perennial weeds by hand, you may make them stronger and more prominent.
As you may have seen, these grass-like weeds are most successful when they locate unhealthy lawns to establish themselves. It facilitates their entrance and proliferation and makes it difficult to eradicate them once they have established themselves.
Maintaining healthy, well-cared-for grass is an effective deterrent against these pests. However, if these grass weeds find a home on your lawn, you must recognize them promptly and eradicate them before they can spread.