Invasive grasses can be a huge problem for homeowners. These weeds can quickly take over your lawn, and they are difficult to get rid of. There are many different types of invasive grasses, and they can be hard to identify.
In this blog post, we will discuss 13 of the most common invasive grasses in lawns. We will also provide tips on how to prevent these weeds from taking over your yard!
Weeds that Look Like Grass
The first type of invasive grass is the weed that looks like grass. These grass weeds can be difficult to distinguish from regular grass and are often confused for it. These weeds have seeds that spread easily, allowing them to rapidly spread throughout your yard.
Some of these weeds are:
Another name for creeping bentgrass is colonial bentgrass. It was originally introduced in Europe as an ornamental grass used to cover large areas and is now a common weed in many parts of North America.
Creeping bentgrass has fine, thin leaves and grows close to the ground. This grass spreads easily, making it difficult to control.
Nutsedge’s scientific name is Cyperus esculentus, which is a perennial grass that grows in clumps. It has triangular stems and can be yellow or green in color. Nutsedge also has distinctive flowers that are small and clustered together.
It was formerly planted and used for its edible tubers, but is now considered an invasive weed in lawns.
Annual bluegrass, also called Poa annua, is a common grassy weed that grows in lawns. It is a low-growing, cool-season annual grass and can be easily identified by its light green color and short stems with tufted shoots.
The leaves are tender, and smooth and have narrow blades which give them the characteristic blue tinge. Because it germinates early on in the season, Annual Bluegrass thrives in cool and moist conditions.
Common couch, or Cynodon dactylon, is a common grassy weed that grows in lawns. It has long leaves with flattened stems that are light green in color.
The leaves are flat and have pointed tips at the end of each blade which give them a “couch”-like appearance. Common couch has for a long time been used as a source of hay, but it is now considered an invasive weed in many parts of the world.
Goosegrass, also known as Eleusine indica, is an annual grassy weed that grows in lawns. It has smooth leaves that are light green in color and can be identified by its unique seed heads which look like small balls of cotton.
Goosegrass was invented in Africa by early European settlers and is now a common weed in many parts of North America.
This weed was originally introduced to the United States as an edible plant, but it has since become a major lawn problem. Yellow salsify is easily identified by its bright yellow flowers and long, thin seedpods that resemble carrots.
It grows in thick clusters and reproduces quickly, making it difficult to control. The best way to manage this weed is to dig it up or use a selective herbicide.
Green and Yellow Foxtails
Also known as, Italian ryegrass, green and yellow foxtails are annual grasses that germinate in late summer or early fall. They thrive in sunny areas with sandy soils. The leaves of this grass are slender and pointed, hence the name “foxtail”.
Earlier on, it was planted as turf grass but it has now been replaced with more desirable species. The disadvantage of green and yellow foxtails is that they can outcompete other grasses in the lawn due to their aggressive growth.
Johnsongrass, or Sorghum halepense, is a grassy weed that grows in lawns. It has thin, pointed leaves and can be identified by its tall seed heads which have many small white seeds.
This grass is native to the Mediterranean region but has been introduced to North America as an ornamental plant.
Smooth bromegrass, or Bromus inermis, is a perennial grassy weed that grows in lawns. It has long, thin leaves and can be identified by its tall seed heads which have light brown seeds.
It was once used for forage and hay but is now considered a weed in many parts of North America.
Carpetgrass has always been used in much of the southeastern United States and parts of Latin America. It is a low-growing, creeping perennial grass that prefers wet soils and thrives in areas with high humidity and poor drainage.
Carpetgrass has broad, light green leaves and produces a thick mat of vegetation when established. Its ability to tolerate drought, traffic, salt spray, and other environmental stresses makes it an ideal grass for recreational areas.
It is considered a weed in some parts of the United States because it can quickly spread and be difficult to control.
The path rush is a weed that grows close to the ground and spreads by long stolons or stems which can quickly choke out other plants. It is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The leaves are bright green with a waxy coating and have a light feathery texture. The path rush takes over lawns with its quickly spreading rhizomes and stolons.
Another name for tall fescue is “turf-type tall fescue”. It is a type of grass that is found in the United States, Canada, and Europe. It grows rapidly and is tough and drought resistant.
It has a deep root system which makes it hard to remove from your lawn once it takes hold. Tall fescue also has a tendency to spread quickly and can become a nuisance to areas that are not properly maintained. Since it is highly tolerant of shade, tall fescue can be used in shaded lawns or yards.
Crabgrass is also known as “digitaria” and is a type of grass that has short, wide blades. It usually grows in patches, rather than spreading out evenly. This makes it easy to spot as it stands out from other types of grasses.
It can take over lawns if not taken care of quickly, as it quickly spreads through the grass and can be difficult to control. It also prefers areas with full sun and warm temperatures, so it thrives in the summer months.
Ways of Preventing Weeds
The best way to keep your lawn free from invasive grasses is to practice good lawn care. This involves mowing at the right height and frequency, watering properly, fertilizing, and mulching clippings or debris.
Also, make sure that you’re using a high-quality grass seed and starter fertilizer when planting new grass. This will help to ensure that the grass is healthy and more resistant to weeds.
Another way to prevent invasive grasses is to use weed barriers or landscape fabric around flower beds and garden plants. This prevents the spread of weeds, especially when combined with a layer of mulch on top.
Finally, you can apply pre-emergent herbicides to your lawn in the spring and fall, which will help to prevent weeds from sprouting up.
By following these steps, you can keep your lawn healthy and weed-free. With the right maintenance, you won’t have to worry about the invasive grasses in your lawns.
So, there you have it – 13 types of invasive grasses that can take over your lawn if you’re not careful. Now that you know what to look for, be sure to keep an eye out during your next lawn mowing session and get rid of any offenders before they have a chance to take root (pun intended).
And remember, the best way to prevent these grasses from invading is by regularly maintaining your lawn with a healthy mix of turfgrass species. Now go forth and conquer those pesky weeds!