How to Kill Goosegrass

Learn how to identify, kill, and prevent this eyesore in your beautiful lawn.

What Is Goosegrass?

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.

What Does Goosegrass Look Like?

  • Goosegrass is a coarse, bunch-type grass that forms a rosette of low-growing flattened stems.
  • The leaves of goosegrass are dark green, up to 12 inches long and 1/3 inch wide, hairy near the base and smooth below.
  • Blades can be either flat or slightly folded.
  • Flowers appear in mid-summer. Two to 10 finger-like spikes that resemble a zipper will radiate out from a central point at the end of the flowering stem.
  • The lower portion of the stems near the center of the rosette are silver or white.
  • Stems can spread up to 2.5 feet long. The stems do not root at the nodes, which helps distinguish them from crabgrass. 

How to Kill and Prevent Goosegrass

  • Kill goosegrass in landscapes, hardscapes, and ground covers, and around ornamental plants with Ortho® GroundClear® Super Weed & Grass Killer. The ready-to-use formula doesn't need any mixing and will kill existing grasses at their roots without harming listed landscape plants (when used as directed). 
  • 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).

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