List of Common Weeds That Look Like Grass

When you’ve been working really hard on your lawn, it’s only natural to want absolutely nothing to destroy your hard work. You’ve spent weeks, sometimes months seeding, sodding, fertilizing and mowing as you need to in order to create the lawn of your dreams.

Here’s the problem – there’s one little area of your lawn that’s been nagging at you. It looks like grass, but not really – it looks a little out of place. This isn’t just badly grown grass – these areas that look a little different are often made up of weeds that closely resemble grass, almost to the point where they blend in.

This can make it a challenge to work out whether the area in question is actually made up of weeds rather than grass. At least with dandelions you know what you’re looking for!

If you are concerned that some of these sneaky weeds have made their way into your yard, you need not panic.

We’re here to give you all of the information that you need in order to help you to identify the weeds in question, and we also have some guidance on how to say goodbye to them. With our help, your garden can be back to immaculate in an instant! 

Crabgrass

When people usually think of weeds that look like grass, it’s crabgrass that comes to mind. In fact, this weed looks so much like grass that you may not even notice it isn’t grass unless you’re specifically keeping an eye out for it.

The weed goes by another name too – finger grasses. Unfortunately, it’s not as nice as it sounds since the weed can be incredibly invasive. 

You will notice this type of weed as it will crop up in small areas dotted about the lawn and it looks much more coarse than your average grasses. The good thing though is that this weed is one that only crops up for around a season and then it dies out.

Unfortunately though, since it’s so invasive it can spread really fast, so you will want to get rid of it quickly if you notice it on your lawn. If it does manage to spread quickly the lateral growth and the thick blades can do a lot of damage to your lawn that will have lasting effects. It can essentially wipe out the grass that’s near to it.

Acting fast will be your best chance of saving your lawn if you notice any crabgrass appearing. It’s usually best to work on preventative measures. Ideally, this involves making sure that the crabgrass doesn’t end up germinating.

An emergent herbicide will help you with this, and you can usually get this in fertilizers that you would spread early on in the spring when you are working on bringing your lawn back to life after the winter. 

If the crabgrass has already germinated then it’s a good idea to either work on pulling it out of the lawn or you can use a herbicide that works on it directly.

The great thing is that it’s not a perennial weed, so if you have the tenacity to work on getting rid of it, you should manage to do so without much issue. If you take steps to make your lawn a lot stronger then the crabgrass will have hardly a chance to sprout in the first place too.

Onion and Wild Garlic

This is one that could easily catch you out, especially if the grasses on your lawn are long! Wild onion and garlic have long blades of leaves that look like leaves on top.

The difference is that you will be able to smell the actual onion and garlic when you get close to these weeds, so it’s very easy to tell what they are. This will certainly go in your favour.

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When you are mowing, keep smelling to see if it smells like you’ve been cooking something with garlic or onion in your garden. It’s an almost sure sign that you have some onion or wild garlic lurking on your lawn.

This is not the only identifying factor, either. These weeds will grow significantly faster than the rest of your lawn, so you will quickly notice that the height of the weed is much higher than that of your lawn. 

In addition to this, they tend to grow in small clumps so you will often see many of them in the same place. This makes them very simple to identify if you know what you are looking for.

Finding wild onion and wild garlic in your garden isn’t always the worst thing in the world if you are a big fan of having either of these in your dishes. You can simply pick them and use them in a dish.

With that being said though, there’s a good chance that you don’t want to find a bunch of garlic and onion in your garden, so you will want to do everything that you can to get rid of them. 

Most of the time you will only find these particular weeds during the spring season and then again at the tail end of fall. They don’t tend to grow during the summer.

If you want to get them out of the yard, all you need to do is dig them up, ideally putting them into your herb garden or a pot. Be careful to ensure that you have also taken the bulb out of the ground or else they are just going to continue to sprout on your lawn.

If need be then it’s also possible to use a herbicide to kill the wild onion and garlic. You will just need to check the actual label on your herbicide to make sure that it does indeed kill wild onion and garlic, otherwise it’s going to be pretty much useless to you for this purpose. 

Nutsedge

Nutsedge will eventually get mature and bloom, at which point it can look like something totally different to grass. Before this point though it can look a lot like the rest of your lawn.

This kind of weed is actually a perennial, and it’s quite the pain. It will be very invasive on your lawn and this can mean that getting rid of it will be a challenge, especially since the roots of the plant are so resilient. 

The weed spreads really easily too because it will spread through the air and underground, whether the weed is in your garden or even in your neighbor’s.

You wont get any respite from it after the season is over either thanks to the fact that it’s a perennial, so you will need to make sure that you do everything you can to get it under control as soon as you see it.

There’s one thing that you absolutely must avoid when it comes to nutsedge too – do not, under any circumstances, try to pull on this weed. If you do so then the rhizomes and tubers can stay behind, and this means that the weeds are much more likely to come back in the future. 

As with anything, it’s always best to do what you can to stop the plant from growing in the first place. To begin with, you should ensure that the lawn you grow is thick and durable.

If you make it a tough lawn, then it’s less likely that the Nutsedge will grow in the first place. The weed won’t be able to root and develop properly so it won’t be able to penetrate your lawn.

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If the nutsedge is already present, then this advice isn’t going to be much use to you. Instead, you will need to do what you can in order to get rid of it. Thankfully there are herbicides out there that are specifically designed to get rid of Nutsedge.

You will need to apply the herbicide to the root of the weed and this will kill both what you can see on the ground and underground. This is the best way to get rid of nutsedge if you find it in your yard.

Common Couch 

The common couch can look very similar to grass in many respects. It also goes by the name of quack grass, but rest assured you won’t see this and notice a bunch of ducks emerging from the ground.

Instead, this is an invasive weed that can grow at a rapid pace in your garden thanks to those good old rhizomes and some incredibly tenacious roots. Thanks to these roots it is usually very difficult to completely pull out the weed.

Not only is it difficult to pull out but the plant also has airborne seeds that will help it to spread to other parts of your yard. It covers quite the distance in your garden, so you are going to have some serious problems if you notice any in your yard.

The best thing to do is to create a strong and efficient lawn so that the weed has no chance to grow to begin with. Keeping on top of your lawn maintenance is thus the best way to ensure that the common couch stays far away from your garden.

This usually tends to be the best thing for preventing weeds from growing in your garden in general, not just for this particular weed.

Green Foxtail

You will notice that this particular weed has little fuzzy tails on the end of the leaves. Well these look like foxtails, hence the name of the weed. The leaves look a lot like blades of grass, as you may expect.

These weeds like to grow and grow some more, and can range from 10-100cm tall. You will often find them in meadows and prairies. They may sound adorable thanks to the name, but rest assured they are quite the pain to have in your lawn.

This weed is invasive, and can quickly take over your lawn. Farmers often have particularly bad problems with them, and if you’re a land owner you will be pretty annoyed to see this weed growing in your garden.

The plant is a strong one that grows on a yearly basis. It spreads its seeds throughout the air, and the seeds can travel very far if they are caught in the wind. They don’t like to germinate everywhere though, which is quite the contrast to many of the other weeds that we have mentioned on this list.

Instead, they prefer to germinate in specific areas, namely areas that have moist soil. If you have a lawn with a lot of other plants then the weeds will have a very hard time trying to germinate in your garden.

Likewise, this weed also prefers a certain climate for its soil – 59 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, to be specific. In most cases though the weed is able to germinate all through the seasons if it has the right conditions for growth. 

Once again the best thing to do is to ensure that your lawn has the defences in place to make sure that this weed can’t get into your garden to begin with – specifically, don’t give it the space to grow. You can also use certain kinds of herbicide to get rid of it, but prevention is always the best measure. 

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Smooth Bromegrass

This tenacious weed is sure to be the bane of your existence if it makes its way onto your lawn. It’s able to manage in pretty much any environment – your yard could be at freezing temperatures and it will still find a way to grow. If it makes its way into your lawn it can last for a significant amount of time, too.

It’s pretty similar to the nutsedge that we discussed earlier in the sense that it will set off rhizomes underneath the ground because its roots are so strong, and this can mean that it will spread very quickly from one place to another.

If you have a thin lawn then this weed will grow very easily. As such, it’s incredibly invasive and can easily take over your lawn if you don’t take the steps to keep it under control.

The thing is that this type of weed isn’t entirely a nuisance. If it is present in grazing and hay fields it has an important role, since it is good at ensuring that the soil doesn’t erode because the roots are so strong. 

Nevertheless, if you’re a homeowner and you notice this weed on your lawn, there’s a strong chance that you probably want to get it gone rather quickly. To remove it, mow the lawn down low and do what you can to ensure that the yard is so overcrowded that the weed can’t get into it.

Having a thick and healthy lawn canopy will help you with this. If the weed has already gotten into your garden then don’t worry – an effective herbicide that targets the weed will be sure to remove it. 

Slender Rush

This grass is a perennial, so you already know that you’re in for some trouble with it! It’s very similar to crabgrass in many respects because it grows in clumps. It can spread easily, thanks both to the seeds above the ground and the tubers that can grow beneath the ground because of the hardy root system.

It’s a very invasive species as you can likely imagine, and even if you think that it isn’t there, it can still crop up because it can lurk underground. As such, herbicides are not going to help with getting rid of this weed.

Instead, you will need to practice some manual weed management. Pull out the weeds using your hands and be incredibly careful, trying your best to also pull out the weed system. You can also mow the lawn more regularly to ensure that it can’t grow to maturity. 

Getting Your Lawn Back to Normal

Now that you know about the main types of grass like weeds out there, here’s how you can get your lawn back into its best condition.

Getting Rid of the Weeds

When you are trying to put your lawn in place, it’s a good idea to ensure that you choose the right kind of grass to make sure that the lawn is healthy.

With the right kind of grass, and grass that has been planted correctly, you can ensure that the weeds have no room to grow to begin with so they won’t become a nuisance in your garden. By doing this your lawn will also look a lot more luscious.

The best method of getting rid of weeds is to prevent them to begin with, but if you need to then you can also use a herbicide spot treatment to get rid of any nuisance weeds that may be getting in your way.