Goosegrass is a warm season annual. It is often mistaken for crabgrass. Another name for it is silver crabgrass or wiregrass. A great way to identify goosegrass is to roll the leaves between your fingers. Goosegrass is folded in the bud while crabgrass is rolled. Therefore, goosegrass will not roll as easily in your finger tips as crabgrass would. Goosegrass is a mat forming weed with a silverfish-white center and zipper like seed head. It is normally found in full-sun.
- Use one of the following pre-emergent herbicides Dimension, Pennant, Ronstar, or Surflan in early spring to kill goosegrass seedlings before they emerge. Most pre-emergent herbicides need to be spread when the soil temperature reaches 60-65° F. Use a soil thermometer to check the temperature of your soil.
- If goosegrass is already emerging from the ground, try using a post-emergent herbicide. Tenacity is great for killing goosegrass after it has emerged. If you want to be sure you are spraying at the right time use a soil thermometer. When the soil reaches 65-68° it normally a good time to spray post emergent herbicides. Wait 3-4 weeks, if the post emergent herbicide is showing no effects try another application.
Organic/ Cultural Control
- Increase mowing height on your lawn mower. Goosegrass thrives on low mowing heights. Increasing the mowing height will prevent sunlight from reaching the seeds that are trying to germinate.
- Goosegrass also thrives in soil that is compacted. Therefore, reduce traffic if possible and aerate. Aeration is the process of removing soil plugs and thatch out of the ground. This allows water, nutrients and air to reach the root system of a lawn. The soil plugs contain microorganisms which help break down the layers of thatch that lawns have. When thatch is broken down it becomes organic matter which is great for lawns! Aerating creates thick, healthy lawns.