Keeping a lawn free of pesky weeds can be even more difficult if they look like grass. If you are trying to obtain the perfect yard, these tricky plants can wreak havoc on your goals. Identifying some of the most common weeds frequently mistaken as grass can help you create the best lawn.
There are 19 different types of weeds that can closely resemble grass. Luckily, all of these respond well to common weed-killing techniques and products.
The names of these weeds are as follows:
- Annual Bluegrass
- Blanket Crabgrass
- Creeping Bentgrass
- Yellow Nutsedge
- Carpet Grass
- Broom Sedge
- Green Foxtail
- Blue-eyed Grass
- Path Rush
- Smooth Bromegrass
- Yellow Salsify
- Wild Garlic
- Cylindric Sedge
- Annual Ryegrass
It can be easy to become overwhelmed by how extensive the list of grass-looking weeds is. However, throughout this post, we will look more closely at each weed type and explore the best methods for getting rid of them in your yard.
By the end of this post, you will have all the information for ridding your lawn of anything that isn't grass.
1. Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua)
This grassy weed may not always be classified as such. You can easily find it all over North America and, most commonly, on golf courses. It is different from grass because it grows in easy-to-spot bunches.
Fortunately, being annual means that this weed only lives for one season. Because of this, it lacks a difficult root structure and makes it easier to get rid of.
2. Blanket Crabgrass (Digitaria serotina)
Like the annual bluegrass, this weed is an annual, making it a little easier to manage. Another perk is blanket crabgrass is only found in southeastern states in the U.S. However, crabgrass can be much harder to handle by hand-pulling.
For this reason, it will be better to use a weed killer specific to crabgrass.
3. Quackgrass (Agropyron repens)
This weed is almost the exact opposite of the previous two. It is common across the United States, except for states in the southeast, like Florida. Another difference is this weed is perennial instead of annual.
Because of this, it is much harder to get rid of than other grass-like weeds. It would require a carefully selected weed killer.
4. Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis palustris)
Similar to quackgrass, creeping bentgrass is a perennial weed that will require professional and specific weed treatments to be removed. However, this weed is sometimes used in parts of golf courses.
Nonetheless, it is more commonly known as an invasive weed. You can find creeping bentgrass anywhere in America, but you'll be happier without it on your lawn.
5. Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
Yellow nutsedge is yet another grassy weed that is a perennial. The good news is that it is very easy to notice this weed because it grows faster than actual grass. So if you see longer batches in your yard, odds are it is yellow nutsedge.
You can keep small amounts under control by pulling it up by hand, but for garden areas, you can use a mulch to prevent it from growing.
6. Carpet Grass (Axonopus compressus)
Carpet grass is also a perennial grassy weed. It is most commonly found in moist sections of the lawn and grows in patches. Furthermore, this weed type is more likely to be found in southern states.
Because this weed grows in a creeping way, it can be difficult to rid the yard of it entirely. Due to this factor, hiring a professional for weed treatment will be the best way to remove carpet grass from your lawn.
7. Broom Sedge (Andropogon virginicus)
Broom sedge is so named because of the appearance this plant has in the winter. Growing in clumps that dry out and turn brown in cold weather, the weed resembles broom bristles in such seasons.
This plant was once used for making brooms. Also, this weed is hard to tell from regular turf. The best way to remove it may be to burn it out after it has reached maturity.
8. Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
This grassy weed is one of the most tricky. Due to its quick reproduction, getting it under control can be quite a task. Unfortunately, it grows to be rather tall and is very common throughout the United States.
Also, johnsongrass has a more complex root structure. This means it is immune to many standard methods of weed control. It will require a hired professional and very specific treatment to remove.
9. Goosegrass (Eleusine indica)
Goosegrass can be found in most of America, except for states in the northwest. This weed is very common in lawns and cracks around sidewalks and pavement.
Because it prefers to grow in difficult areas like that, regular weed management most likely won't be effective on it. It also grows horizontally, making it hard to mow it down. You will need specific weed treatment to rid your yard of this plant.
10. Green Foxtail (Setaria viridis)
Though this grassy weed is common throughout the United States and can produce thousands of seeds yearly, it's easier to manage than others. This is because it is an annual plant and lacks the complex root structure that would give it an advantage.
Most healthy lawns will be immune to this weed. However, if it does appear, common practices like hand-pulling weeds and proper mowing will work.
11. Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium rosulatum)
This weed is one of the toughest to get rid of. It is an annual winter grassy weed and produces flowers in various colors. Blue-eyed grass is common to find in lawns and pastures in southeastern parts of the USA.
To rid your yard of this grassy weed, you will need to bring in an expert. This weed is notoriously unaffected by all other methods.
12. Dandelion (Taraxacum)
This perennial weed is incredibly common among grass lawns. However, it is easier to spot this one due to the yellow flowers it produces.
You can prevent it from growing in gardens by using mulch. But in lawns, you can either hand pull the weeds or use a broadleaf-specific herbicide. These herbicides will ensure you only get the dandelions and not harm the grass.
13. Path Rush (Juncus tenuis)
This weed can be found throughout North America, typically in woodlands, meadows, and similar wild locations. It grows in clumps making it relatively easy to notice when it appears in a yard.
Path rush is more challenging as it can withstand small amounts of foot traffic. They can commonly be planted along pathways. The best way to rid a lawn of this weed is to use a 2,4-D herbicide.
14. Smooth Bromegrass (Bromus inermis)
Originally from Europe, smooth bromegrass can be found in many areas throughout America. It is a long-lived perennial, which means it can live for up to 10 years.
This plant is strongly resistant to cold weather and makes excellent food for grazing animals. Many farmers may plant this on purpose in their pastures. Using a herbicide will be the best way to rid your lawn of it.
15. Yellow Salsify (Tragopogon dubius)
These perennials are short-lived, meaning they only live around 3 to 5 years before dying out. They are easy to identify on a lawn due to the greyish-green color of the plant and the yellow flowers it produces.
Controlling these weeds means pulling them by the roots or using a postemergence herbicide.
16. Wild Garlic (Allium vineale)
This is yet another aggressive weed type that will require professional help to get rid of. It grows with a white bulb at the base of the plant that stays hidden underneath the soil.
Due to this, pulling the plant up will be much harder, and you may not be able to get all of it. Wild garlic is also a perennial, so as long as a little bit remains, it will continue to grow back.
17. Cylindric Sedge (Cyperus retrorsus)
Another perennial grassy weed, cylindric sedge, grows in large tufts that can withstand various weather types. For this reason, it can be a little tricky to rid a lawn of it.
Largely found in the southeast, you can find this weed type in yards or sandy locations. Common weed management practices are usually not enough for this plant, so you may have to use a more specific treatment.
18. Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
Groundsel is an annual weed that can either be a winter or summer plant. It is common throughout America and can cause problems for farmers. This is because it contains alkaloids that may be dangerous for certain livestock.
Luckily, common and regular lawn maintenance practices can easily keep this plant from ever-growing. If it happens to appear in your yard, you will need a professional.
19. Annual Ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum)
Lastly, annual ryegrass is a winter weed that is sometimes used for filling in bare areas on lawns. However, once planted, it can be hard to get rid of it. This plant has very rapid germination making it great for a quick fix, but it isn't as quick to remove.
Without careful management, this weed can overtake your yard as it isn't affected by low-mowing. Weed control treatments will be the easiest option.
Several types of weeds can resemble grass in a landscape. Generally, they are easily recognizable due to small factors that make them stand out.
The best way to remove them from your yard is to know what methods work best for each weed type. Usually, this will involve some herbicide. However, others may respond better to hand-pulling.
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