8 Grass Weeds That Look Like Grass + How to Kill Them

Joseph Gilpin
By Joseph Gilpin • Last Updated: April 5, 2022
8 Grass Weeds That Look Like Grass + How to Kill Them

At first glance, you might think weeds are just another patch of normal grass. But next thing you know, your healthy lawn is no longer the bright green color it used to be!

In this guide, you will learn how to spot different lawn weeds that look like grass and get rid of them.

Here is a list of the most COMMON types of weeds that look like grass:

  • Annual Bluegrass
  • Crabgrass
  • Nutsedge
  • Common Couch
  • Carpet Grass
  • Blue Fescue
  • Goosegrass
  • Bentgrass

These different grass weeds require DIFFERENT application solutions and identifying what differentiates the weeds from the other if you want to solve your lawn problems completely.

8 Most Common Weeds That Look Like Grass

The first step to weed control and keeping your lawn healthy is distinguishing invasive weed from regular grass.

To do so, we have compiled a list of some common weeds that look like grass to help you get started!

Annual Bluegrass

Annual Bluegrass

Annual Bluegrass (a.k.a Poa annua or simply Poa) is one of the most common weeds that you can find on your lawn.

Like its relative Kentucky Bluegrass, its bright green or yellow color can easily make you think it’s just tall grass.

Poas’ leaves are curvier than that of Kentucky Bluegrass.

They thrive in moist, shaded environments and grow mostly during early spring. They will turn brown or die throughout the late summer.

You can avoid this weed growing by providing it with conditions that it does not like.

For instance, you can take away the shade and avoid creating a moist environment.

The best way to prevent this weed is by letting it die naturally during warm weather. Otherwise, you can also use a pre-emergent herbicide to keep it from regrowing.

Crabgrass

weeds that look like grass - crabgrass

Crabgrass (a.k.a finger grass) is an invasive species of weed grass that grows in small patches and is mostly found in unwatered and unfertilized lawns.

Crabgrass is an annual plant, which will die out during the winter, but it is not enough to wait until then! It is best to treat it IMMEDIATELY!

If not, it can crowd your lawn and smother the surrounding grass!

Some ways to get rid of crabgrass are using pre-emergent herbicides or cutting them to prevent germinating.

Once your lawn is well-maintained, watered, and fertilized, it will be more difficult for crabgrass to sprout.

Nutsedge

weeds that look like grass - nutsedge

Purple or Yellow Nutsedge is a perennial weed and is harder to get rid of once it’s in the ground because of its tough root system.

They can grow up to 1-4x taller than tall fescue or bermuda grass.

It can also spread to a neighbor’s lawn by air or seeds and grow rhizomes underground.

To get rid of it, you will have to pull out the entire root system, which is difficult as it will leave behind FRAGMENTS, which could cause it to still sprout.

Instead, the best method to prevent Nutsedge is to keep your lawn well-maintained!

Keeping your lawn lush and thick will prevent Nutsedge from sprouting. Otherwise, you can use an herbicide, but an organic approach is still recommended.

Common Couch

weeds that look like grass - common couch grass

Common Couch grass (a.k.a Quackgrass) is an invasive species that grows its stems deep underground and spreads quickly via rhizomes or airborne seeds.

You will be able to spot it by its light green color, hairless, finger-like leaves, and tall flower stems. Common couch grows well in sunny conditions and not in shaded areas.

You can get rid of this weed by hand pulling, but it is not a better method than keeping your lawn well-maintained.

If you must hand-pull them, pull them out from the root!

Otherwise, a herbicide will do but use it minimally to prevent damaging other parts of the turf.

Tropical Carpet Grass

tropical carpet grass in lawn

Tropical Carpet Grass may seem like harmless grass-like weeds as it is commonly found in yards and parks, giving them carpet-like ground cover.

It is a common lawn weed that can easily spread once it appears. It creates dense grass with coarse, green leaves with hints of red and purple at the base.

You must mow carpet grass every five days to prevent weeding and seed stalks from appearing, which could make your lawn look messy.

Carpet grass is also invasive and can control flower beds and sidewalks.

They will likely die from lack of moisture and can also be taken care of with herbicides.

Blue Fescue

weeds that look like grass - blue fescue

Blue Fescue is an invasive, cool-season perennial weed that can grow by rhizomes underground.

You will easily spot them due to their light blue-green color and long and narrow leaves that look like NEEDLES.

These weeds are drought resistant and can crowd up other plants and lawn grass species.

Like most tall fescue grasses, this weed is mostly found on turf grass and can be removed manually or by spraying a glyphosate herbicide.

Goosegrass

weeds that look like grass - Goosegrass

You will recognize goosegrass by its growth habit of forming into the shape of a goose’s foot.

Goosegrass is highly tolerant to multiple conditions, making it harder to kill off.

Goosegrass thrives in warmer conditions and can spread to areas where the soil is compact and fully exposed to sunlight.

The best prevention method is to give your soil proper aeration and drainage to prevent low soil fertility, stop the growth of these invasive weeds, and prevent soil erosion.

You can also use herbicides during winter or spring or pull them out by hand to prevent the growth of this weed.

Creeping Bentgrass

You will often see Creeping Bentgrass commonly planted on the putting greens of golf courses.

However, these grass-like weeds grow dense and can invade other lawns quickly, especially during the spring and wet conditions.

Once summer hits, this weed grass starts to brown, leaving an unhealthy-looking patch in your lawn.

You can spot this grass because of the bright shade of green and thin leaves.

You can get rid of Bentgrass by pulling them out by the entire root or with a glyphosate spray.

Wild Garlic

weeds that look like grass - Wild Garlic

This type of weed is dormant in the summer and active during spring and fall, so you may be able to tell if it’s around because of the SMELL after mowing or cutting.

To take this weed out of the ground, dig out the garlic by the bulb.

You can also cook them if you want!

If you want to get rid of them, you can use a herbicide to kill the wild garlic.

But be careful with herbicides as you could contaminate the other grass or nearby produce in the surrounding area!

Green Foxtail

You will know a green foxtail when you see one due to its resemblance to a fox’s tail.

Those bushy things that look like foxtails are seed heads, which produce seeds to spread the weed everywhere!

Green foxtails can thrive in any condition and moist and dry soil.

You can wait for them to die or pull them out to prevent them from spreading. However, the best way to stop it is a proper lawn care and maintenance!

You can apply pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicides as well.

Path Rush

Path Rush weeds are spiky, warm-season, perennial weeds like crabgrass.

This invasive weed spreads underground via rhizomes and above ground through seeds and is hard to control once they appear.

Because of its deeper root structure, it can be difficult to tell if it has arrived or not.

Most pre-emergent herbicides are NOT an effective means to get rid of these weeds.

The best way is to manually pull the weed out by the roots. Make sure to leave no fragments to prevent it from regenerating.

Yellow Salsify

weeds that look like grass - Yellow Salsify

Native to Southern and Central Europe, this weed thrives in hot and sunny locations.

It may look dead with gray-green leaves at first but eventually forms into nice, yellow flowers.

They are invasive to North America and can be prevented through proper mulching and keeping your lawn healthy.

Or, if you want to experiment, you can also try taking them out and cooking them!

Johnsongrass

Johnsongrass starts as corn seedlings before turning into tall plants will reddish-purple flowers.

It is a perennial plant that you can kill by pulling out by hand on spraying with VINEGAR.

You also expose it to cold conditions in the wintertime to kill them.

How to Kill Weeds That Look Like Grass

Grassy weeds that look like grass are persistent plants that will sprout at any time! But that does not mean we can’t prevent them!

Here are some easy weed prevention methods that you can try out!

Herbicides

Let’s go over some pointers you need to know when handling herbicides.

Get Your Sprayer or Spreader Ready

There are many different products for different weeds.

It is best to do some RESEARCH before buying any herbicides and what plants and settings work best.

You will likely find the recommended amount on the bottle or label.

Apply the Weed Killer

Make sure to get a good amount of weed killer or herbicide into the spray bottle.

TOO LITTLE may not be enough to get rid of the weed, and TOO MUCH may cause good plants around it to die!

Spread or Spray on the Weeds

Now that you have your spray ready make sure to target the weed only! You do not want to apply herbicide to plants that you want to keep alive!

Make sure to spray the weed gently but sufficiently. Afterward, do not water for 1-2 hours.

Hand-Weeding

When it comes to smaller lawns, hand-weeding is the best prevention method!

Pulling annual weeds by hand while they are still young is the simplest way to prevent them from sprouting.

However, perennial weeds require a bit more care and effort. To prevent perennial weeds from growing, you will have to yank them out by the roots.

Take out any other fragments of the roots to prevent them from regrowing as well.

Conclusion

We hope this guide helped you distinguish the different weeds that look like grass!

The next time you see something unusual in your garden that looks like grass, you will for sure know what it is and what to do about it!

Happy gardening!

Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s go over some questions that are still relevant to this topic.

Hopefully, this will help you shed light on some concerns you might have regarding your lawn.

  • What Are the Advantages of Keeping Weeds?

    Weeds aren’t all bad, sometimes.

    Some weeds bring up water and nutrients that are deep underground, making the soil more fertile.

    Additionally, weeds can also indicate how healthy the soil is. Their appearance lets you know that it is time to take care of the soil!

    Even though some weeds appear in areas with weak soil, they can also balance nutritional components of soil!

  • Is It Better to Spray Weeds With Herbicides Than to Pull Them Out by Hand?

    Both are equally effective ways to get rid of weeds, and it is just a matter of what the lawn owner prefers.

    Most lawn owners would encourage spraying as it can be done faster and requires less physical effort.

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