Invasive Grasses in Lawns

7 Common Invasive Grasses in Lawns

It’s difficult to deal with weeds, but it’s even more challenging when the weed masquerades as aggressive grass.

Invasive grasses in lawns can have you wishing for a fairy to appear and eradicate them. They blend in with your healthy lawns, competing for nutrients and strangling the grass you’ve worked so hard to nurture.

Invasive grasses will quickly overtake your lawn, presenting a crowded appearance. As a result, you must remove them as soon as possible.

However, this will not be an easy task because you must be able to recognize the difference to address the problem appropriately. This article will show you how to identify invasive grasses in lawns.

Invasive grasses in lawns

1. Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an invasive plant that resembles regular grass. This invasive grassy weed, sometimes known as finger grass, is common in the northern United States as Large crabgrass and in the southern United States as Smooth crabgrass.

Crabgrass is an opportunistic grass that takes root and spreads rapidly on strained and thin lawns. It begins as little spots and then spreads out in concentric circles. Its aggressive nature has caused many homeowners problems because it crowds out and smothers your lawn faster than your lawn grass.

The crabgrass creates a dilemma for homeowners with bermudagrass because it looks more like Bermuda. On the other hand, crabgrass stands out due to its gritty texture and large blades of lime green color.

Because crabgrass is an annual grass, it will die off in the early winter and emerge in the early spring. When they die, they become an eyesore and are easy to deal with during this period.

Don’t forget about the seeds; crabgrass has an amazing ability to produce many seeds yearly, up to 150,000. As a result, combining a pre-emergent herbicide with mechanical treatment will successfully manage the weedy grass.

2. Nutsedge

This is an invasive grassy weed you do not want on your lawn; it is difficult to control and, when young, disguises itself as tall grass.

The seeds and rhizomes with the trademark nut-like tubers are responsible for their invasiveness, hence the name. This makes getting rid of the nutsedge exceedingly difficult.

Because the grassy weed can develop from the smallest fragments of tubers left on the ground, picking it out won’t help because you risk breaking the tuber and enabling it to spread even more aggressively.

To effectively control this weedy perennial grass, eliminate it while it is young before the tuber gets thick. Keep an eye out for any light green colored grass with a nut-like tuber on its roots; remove it immediately.

If it’s already on your lawn, you can get an effective ready-to-use nutsedge killer and apply it. It acts best when applied directly on roots and the whole plant using a sponge.

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See also: Differences between dallisgrass and crabgrass

3. Green foxtail

This invasive grass thrives in meadows. It gets its name from the shape of its stalk heads, which resemble pointed upright foxtails.

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But don’t be fooled by the appealing fluffy appearance of foxtails. Its what is making this grass an invasive specie

The grass may grow up to 40 inches tall, and a light breeze can scatter hundreds of seeds across large distances, causing havoc in your yard. The good news is that green foxtail will not be able to establish itself on your lawn if it is thick and vigorous.

See also: Lawn weeds that look like wheat

4. Wild onion and Garlic

As the name says, this grass resembles Garlic and onion plants, smells like them, and some folks use it to prepare meals. So, if you mow your lawn and it smells like something is frying, you undoubtedly have this invasive grass.

This invasive grass grows taller and quicker than your lawn. They frequently grow in bunches and tower above your landscape. The grass is simple to contain; you can uproot it or use an efficient herbicide against this invasive grass.

5. Smooth bromegrass

Another common visitor to your lawn is smooth bromegrass. This grass is a difficult perennial invasive grass-like plant to eradicate. Because the grass has a robust root system and spreads by rhizomes, it isn’t easy to control.

When faced with a thin lawn, its aggressive and invasive character makes it a beast. Aside from being an annoyance, some homeowners utilize it as a ground cover thanks to its ability to survive in harsh conditions, and it also makes excellent hay.

The best way to control the smooth bromegrass is to apply selective herbicide directly to them or to ensure your lawn is thick and healthy.

See also: Post emergent herbicide for goosegrass in Bermuda

6. Slender rush

Route rush and poverty rush are other names for slender rush grass. This invasive grass can reach a height of 24 inches and grows in clusters similar to crabgrass. It is normally bright green and mimics traditional lawn grass.

The slender rush’s aggressive invasive nature stems from its capacity to spread through seeds and tubers that run deep in the ground. This perennial grass weed is tough to control; however, keeping your lawn short will prevent it from reproducing.

Alternatively, getting rid of it as soon as possible is significantly more successful; look for clusters with all leaves growing from the base of the stem, always partly covered by sheaths.

7. Quackgrass

The Quackgrass, also known as sofa grass, completes the list of renowned invasive grasses in lawns. This invasive grass reproduces through rhizomes and seeds.

The rhizomes emit chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants, allowing them to form clear areas on your lawn.

Since this cool-season invasive lawn grass is highly competitive, many lawns that sit idly suffer from it. Crowding it out will thus be the most effective strategy for stopping this grass from taking over your yard.

Use non-selective herbicides to keep them at bay if they take root on your grass before it becomes thick.

See also: Is Goosegrass the same as crabgrass?

If you’ve ever wondered what that strange-looking grass in my yard is, it’s probably one of the grasses listed above. One of the most vexing issues homeowners encounter is invasive grasses on lawns.

Understanding how to discover and deal with them will give you the advantage you require to eliminate them.

Invasive grasses will devastate your lawn; to avoid them, look for wired plants and catch them early.


University Of Illinois Extension; Perennial Grassy Weeds in Lawns


  • Jannete

    My name is Jannete, and I'm passionate about all things related to gardening and the outdoors. I love spending time in my garden, tending to my flowers and vegetables, and I also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, hiking and camping. As an author who writes about lawn care, landscaping, gardening, and the outdoors, I have been in the business for over five years and have seen it all regarding yards. I met Ricky from We Mow Dallas at a networking event for small business owners. We started a conversation, and I could tell he genuinely loved and appreciated his work. Ricky is a second-generation lawn care provider and told me his story. We collaborated because we share a passion for the outdoors and lawn care. In my articles, I share my knowledge and experience on lawn mowing, watering, fertilizing, and other aspects of lawn care. I also write about gardening tips, landscaping ideas, and ways to enjoy the outdoors. I hope every reader will learn from my success and failures in the lawn care and landscaping industry. I believe that everyone has the potential to create a beautiful outdoor space, and I am passionate about helping people to realise that potential. Whether you are looking to start your garden or want to maintain a healthy lawn, I can offer you advice and guidance based on my extensive experience. So if you are ever in need of some expert lawn care advice, check out our We Mow Dallas Articles. You won't be disappointed.

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