How to Kill Goosegrass

Goosegrass is an annual grassy weed that resembles crabgrass. The stems all radiate out from a central point and grow low to the ground. The portion of the stems closest to the center of the plant are silver or white.

Ortho offers helpful tips on how to kill groosegrass, an annual pesky weed that radiates out from a central point and grows low to the ground.


Goosegrass is a summer annual grassy weed that is also known as silver crabgrass, even though it is not a type of crabgrass. It is found in the lawn and landscape beds in the summer and is common in areas with compacted soil. Goosegrass can be prevented in the lawn by applying a pre-emergent weed control in the spring.

The leaves of goosegrass are dark green, up to 12 inches long and 1/3 inch wide, hairy near the base and smooth below. They can be either flat or slightly folded. Flowers appear in mid-summer. Two to 10 finger-like spikes that resemble a zipper radiate out from a central point at the end of the flowering stem.

Goosegrass is a coarse, bunch-type grass that forms a rosette of low-growing flattened stems. Stems can spread up to 2.5 feet long. The stems do not root at the nodes, which helps distinguish them from crabgrass. The lower portion of the stems near the center of the rosette are silver or white.

What To Do and Helpful Tips

  • Regular feedings, 2-4 times per year, provide the nutrients your lawn needs to grow thick and strong and help crowd out weeds.
  • Mowing at a height best for your lawn allows the grass to grow thick and develop a deep root system. Grass clippings recycle nutrients back into the soil.
  • Your lawn will begin to wilt when water is needed. As much as possible, take advantage of nature's sprinklers and rely on the rain to water your lawn. If using sprinklers, water lawns deeply and infrequently (1" of water per week is all that your lawn needs).