Goosegrass: The Unwanted Weed
Goosegrass, also known as Eleusine indica, is a stubborn weed that infests lawns, fields, and gardens all over the world. It has flat, spiky leaves with a white central vein, and can grow up to two feet tall. Despite its small size, goosegrass can cause a lot of damage to your plants and lawn if left unchecked. In this article, we will discuss the different types of goosegrass, how to identify them, and most importantly, how to get rid of them.
Types of Goosegrass
There are several types of goosegrass, each with its own characteristics. The most common types of goosegrass are:
1. Smooth Crabgrass
2. Hairy Crabgrass
3. Downy Brome
4. Wild Oat
5. Barnyard Grass
These types of goosegrass are often confused with each other, making their identification a bit tricky. However, with the right knowledge and tools, you can differentiate between them and choose the best method to control them.
Identifying goosegrass can be a challenge, especially when it’s still in its early stages. The spiky, flat leaves can be mistaken for many other types of weeds, but there are a few signs that can help you identify goosegrass.
1. Growth Habit – Goosegrass tends to grow in clumps and spreads out horizontally, forming thick mats.
2. Leaves – The leaves of goosegrass are flat, spiky, and have a white central vein running down the middle.
3. Seed Heads – The seed heads of goosegrass are small, green, and arranged in a panicle.
If you notice any of these signs on your lawn or garden, you may have a goosegrass problem.
Getting Rid of Goosegrass
Now that we have identified the different types of goosegrass and how to identify them, let’s discuss how to get rid of them.
1. Manual Removal – This is the most common and simplest method of removing goosegrass. Simply pull the weed out of the ground, making sure to remove the entire root. This method is best for small areas or for spot treatments.
2. Herbicides – There are several types of herbicides that can be used to control goosegrass. The most common are pre-emergent herbicides, which prevent the weed from growing in the first place, and post-emergent herbicides, which kill the weed once it has already emerged. It is important to choose the right herbicide for your specific type of goosegrass and to follow the instructions carefully.
3. Cultural Control – This method involves changing the environment in which the goosegrass is growing to make it less hospitable. Things like proper mowing, watering, and fertilization can help make your lawn less inviting to goosegrass and other weeds.
Prevention is always the best medicine when it comes to goosegrass. Here are a few tips to help prevent goosegrass from taking over your lawn or garden:
1. Regular Maintenance – Keeping your lawn and garden well-maintained can help prevent weed growth, including goosegrass.
2. Proper Planting – Choosing plants that are well-suited to your environment can help prevent weed growth, as healthy plants are less likely to be taken over by weeds.
3. Seed Mixtures – Choosing seed mixtures that contain high-quality grasses and minimal weeds can help prevent weed growth.
1. Q: Is goosegrass harmful to pets?
A: No, goosegrass is not harmful to pets. However, pets may be attracted to the plant and may try to eat it, which can cause digestive issues.
2. Q: Can goosegrass survive in shady areas?
A: Yes, goosegrass can survive in shady areas, although it typically grows best in full sun.
3. Q: Can goosegrass be composted?
A: Yes, goosegrass can be composted, but only if it has not gone to seed. If it has gone to seed, it is best to dispose of it in the trash.
4. Q: What is the best time of year to treat goosegrass?
A: The best time of year to treat goosegrass is in the spring, before it has had a chance to go to seed.
| Type of Goosegrass | Growth Habit | Leaves | Seed Heads |
| :—————- | :———-:| ——:| ———-:|
| Smooth Crabgrass | Clumping | Flat | Panicle |
| Hairy Crabgrass | Spreading | Hairy | Panicle |
| Downy Brome | Spreading | Flat | Spikelet |
| Wild Oat | Clumping | Flat | Spikelet |
| Barnyard Grass | Spreading | Flat | Panicle |
Goosegrass may be a small weed, but it can cause significant damage to your lawn and garden. Identifying the different types of goosegrass and knowing how to get rid of them is essential to maintaining a healthy lawn and garden. Whether you choose manual removal, herbicides, or cultural control, always remember to choose the right method for your specific type of goosegrass and follow the instructions carefully. By using the tips and tricks outlined in this article, you can prevent goosegrass from taking over your green space and enjoy a beautiful, weed-free lawn and garden.