Now, let’s talk goosegrass control. Goosegrass is relatively easy to identify but is one of the tougher weeds to control in turfgrass.
Goosegrass has dark green leaves that grow on stems that become white toward the base. The leaf blades are folded in the bud, about .25 inch wide and taper to a point. The ligule is membranous, toothed and divided at the midrib. (Image by John Fech.)
Generally, goosegrass is devoid of auricles. The sheath is light green on the upper parts and becomes white at the base. The sheath is flattened, with a few long, white hairs near the collar. The root system is shallow and fibrous. The seed head is divided into finger-like segments, but thicker and more robust than crabgrass. The segments are often described as zipper-like.
If not mowed, seed heads grow to be 4 to 8 inches long. Many other plants in the landscape have features that are descriptive of their names, particularly ones with distinct colorations. White poplar, yellow twig dogwood, red maple and silver maple are examples of these. The white coloration on many of the plant tissues is responsible for goosegrass’ other name, a nickname of sorts, "silver crabgrass."
Click here to learn about goosegrass, its identification and control, chemical and cultural. Nebraska turf experts John C. Fech and Roch E. Gaussion authored the article that appeared in TURF magazine’s sister magazine Superintendent.