Weeds are annoying. They take over your lawn, spread like wildfire, and are generally hard to get rid of. But what if we told you that some weeds look exactly like grass?
If you don’t weed carefully, you might accidentally pull out your precious grass and leave behind a bare patch that never quite recovers! Here are ten common weeds that can resemble grass and how to avoid making this mistake. Keep reading!
Crabgrass is a weed that looks like grass but can be easily pulled up by hand. Crabgrass has a triangular shape, so if you find something that looks like grass in your lawn or garden and doesn’t bend to the touch, it’s probably crabgrass. It can be treated with herbicides but is generally easy to pull by hand, especially when young.
Dallisgrass is a perennial weed that resembles grass and grows up to 3 feet tall. It has a straight stem and grows in clumps so that you may see several stems simultaneously coming out of the ground. Dallisgrass’s leaves are lance-shaped with pointed tips, unlike the rounder leaves of common lawn grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass and Bermuda.
The waxy cuticle on its leaves makes dallisgrass difficult to control by traditional methods such as mowing and pulling because it protects the plant from herbicides sprayed onto them during treatment.
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While annual bluegrass is considered a weed, it is also warm-season grass. It can be confused with crabgrass because they look similar and are often found in the same areas. If you notice that your lawn has patches of dead grass throughout the spring and summer, you will likely have annual bluegrass growing in those areas.
Annual bluegrass spreads easily by seed and will continue to grow throughout the year unless treated with an herbicide. To control this weed, pre-emergent herbicides must be applied before germination begins in your area (typically late April through early May).
Goose grass is a perennial grass that can spread quickly, making it hard to eradicate. The grass grows in clumps, with leaves about 1/8-inch long and slightly rough. It is so easy to mistake goose for other grasses that some people have called it the “bastard grass.”
If you are trying to get rid of a goose, keep an eye out for its telltale purple flowers. They grow on top of the plant in late summer or early fall. If you don’t catch them before they fertilize and drop seeds, you will have more weeds next year!
Nutgrass (a.k.a. nutsedge)
This perennial weed can be found in both wet and dry soils. If you have nutgrass, you should know that it is difficult to control. The best ways to get rid of this pest are by using herbicides or pulling the plants out by hand.
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Quackgrass is a perennial weed that grows in clumps with dark green stems covered in white hairs. The leaves are long and narrow, growing up to 3 inches long. Quackgrass can grow in a variety of soils, but it prefers moist areas with full sunlight. It can reach heights of up to six feet! This weed can be difficult to control because it spreads easily from seed and has difficulty staying stuck on clothing or shoes.
Wild Onion and Garlic
Wild onion and garlic look similar to grasses and can grow in fields, meadows, and ditches. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows from an onion-like bulb. The leaves are flat and broad, with a strong scent when crushed. Wild onion plants produce umbels of white flowers on tall stalks; the plants do not have roots or rhizomes (underground stems).
Wild garlic has flat leaves that are waxy in texture, while wild onion has fibrous leaves without wax. Wild garlic plants grow up to 24 inches high, whereas wild onions only grow up to 12 inches high at maturity. However, both species have hollow stems, so it’s easy for homeowners to accidentally pull up these weeds, thinking they are invasive grasses!
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There are many types of sawgrass, and not all of them grow in swamps. Sawgrass is a type of grass, which means it has seeds on stems instead of flowers. However, this doesn’t mean that you can use the same strategy for getting rid of all grasses—you have to know which one you are dealing with!
Many weeds look like grass, but witchgrass is so similar in appearance to real grass that it’s easy for the untrained eye to mistake one for the other. It can grow in any type of soil and needs very little water once established. Witchgrass is also known as St. Augustine grass, Bermuda grass, crabgrass, and crabgrass-weed hybrid.
You will know you have witchgrass if it grows in your yard instead of on your neighbor’s lawn. To identify witchgrass, look at its leaves—they are narrow and pointy with a blunt tip (like an arrowhead). The stems have nodes where leaves attach and are green or purplish-brown with fine hairs along them (though not always).
Foxtails are a type of grass found in fields and lawns. They look like other types of grass (like crabgrass or quackgrass), but there are some important differences. Foxtails have a long, narrow stem and no leaves at the top. Instead, the stems grow out of narrow nodes where small bunches of sharp-tipped bristles form at right angles.
Each bunch has several hundred bristles that can easily pierce clothing or skin if caught between them while walking through tall grasses. If you see any plant that looks like foxtail grass (even if it doesn’t have any plants around it), don’t touch it!
Use of Herbicides or Weedicides on Your Lawn
If you decide to use herbicides, you must read the instructions carefully before applying them to your lawn, so you don’t accidentally kill your grass instead of the weeds!
Herbicides can also be used for other purposes. For example, suppose there are certain areas where weeds seem especially bad (such as near sidewalks). In that case, spraying those locations with an appropriate chemical solution may help reduce their numbers over time.
However, this method should only be used after careful consideration because some commercially available chemicals may not work well with certain types of soil composition or surrounding vegetation types. This could cause additional problems down the road, like making other nearby plants sickly weak due to lack of nutrients.
These Weeds Can Look Like Grass, So You Should Be Careful When You Are Weeding.
Weeding is important for a healthy lawn. It helps remove unwanted plants and prevents them from taking over your grass, which could negatively affect its growth. However, the weeds can look like grass, which makes them hard to weed. The key is knowing what types of weeds and grasses you have in your yard so you can identify them and take care of them properly.
Hopefully, we have shed some light on the most common weed look-alikes and helped you identify them. Remember: if you think it looks like grass, check it out before you pull!