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Goosegrass Vs Crabgrass: Let’s Differentiate Between Weeds

If you mow your lawn this summer, you may come face-to-face with Goosegrass and Crabgrass.

These hefty weeds can cover your entire lawn within a few weeks and very much look alike, but you must know a few of their traits to remove them successfully!

Generally, you can distinguish between Goosegrass and Crabgrass by growth patterns, leaf characters, growth patterns, and tolerance to different weather conditions and others.
Go through this article to learn more about the differences and similarities between Goosegrass and Crabgrass.

Similarities between Goosegrass Vs Crabgrass

Goosegrass and Crabgrass are both classic annual weeds that are found in lawns.

Goosegrass Vs crabgrass
Goosegrass grows in a prostrate manner, while Crabgrass is upright.

On top of that, they both are hard to control, but the key similarities between them are mentioned below:

A. Weed Characteristics and Invasive Tendencies

Both Goosegrass and Crabgrass are annual weeds and share similar weed characteristics and invasive tendencies:

  • They both are rhizomatous weeds and spread quickly by rhizomes.
  • Similarly, they bear tiny, triangular seeds that the wind can blow easily.
  • They both can grow in a variety of soil types and conditions.
  • On top of that, both herbs show resistance to herbicides and are usually not killed by herbicides.

B. Methods of Propagation and Spread

Goosegrass and Crabgrass are difficult to control because they can spread quickly through seeds and underground stems:

  • Seeds of both weeds can remain dormant for germinating later under the soil.
  • Goosegrass and Crabgrass are rhizomatous, in which rhizomes colonize a new place rapidly and form a dense mat.
  • Both weeds are highly tolerant to environmental extremes, including heat, drought, and poor soil conditions.

C. Impact On Agriculture and Gardening

Goosegrass and Crabgrass share some similarities in their impact on agriculture and gardening:

  • They can compete with crops for water, nutrients, and sunlight. This can lead to reduced crop yields.
  • Both of them produce seeds with seed heads, which can be a problem even in fields treated with herbicides.
  • Both of these grasses have sharp leaves that can irritate the skin and eyes of those working in the fields.

Differences between Goosegrass Vs Crabgrass

Although Goosegrass and Crabgrass share many similarities with one another, there are also some key differences between them:

A. Leaf Characteristics and Growth Patterns

Here are some key differences between Goosegrass and Crabgrass in terms of leaf characteristics and growth patterns:

Leaf Leaf Shape: Flat, thread-like

Leaf Arrangement: Rosette at base of the plant

Leaf Color: Dark green
Leaf Shape: Triangular

Leaf Arrangement: Alternately arranged on stem

Leaf Color: Light green
Growth HabitProstrate, mat-likeUpright
Seed ProductionMore seedsFewer seeds
Tolerance To HerbicidesMore tolerantLess tolerant
Tolerance To ShadeLess tolerantMore tolerant

B. Seasonal Growth and Lifecycle

Goosegrass and Crabgrass have some differences in seasonal growth and lifecycle:

  • Germination: Goosegrass germinates later than Crabgrass in late spring or early summer.
  • Growth: Goosegrass grows in prostrate, mat-like habit, while Crabgrass grows upright.
  • Flowering: Goosegrass flowers in mid-summer, while Crabgrass flowers in late summer.
  • Seed Production: Goosegrass produces more seeds than Crabgrass.
  • Dormancy: Goosegrass goes dormant in the Fall, while Crabgrass becomes dormant throughout the winter.

C. Tolerance to Different Weather Conditions

Here are some differences between Goosegrass and Crabgrass in terms of tolerance to different weather conditions:

  • Shade Tolerance: Goosegrass is prostrately grown and can thrive in shady areas. While for Crabgrass, it is hard to thrive in shady places and needs more sunlight to grow.
  • Drought Tolerance: Goosegrass is more drought tolerant than Crabgrass. This is because the Goosegrass has deeper root systems and can to moisture unavailable to Crabgrass.
  • Salt Tolerance: Goosegrass is more salt tolerant than Crabgrass because of its waxy coating on the leaf surface.

Managing Goosegrass and Crabgrass

Because of the quickly spreading habit of Goosegrass and Crabgrass, they are hard to control.

So, you have to apply some major management strategies to control them.

Flowers of Goosegrass and Crabgrass
Keep your lawn free of debris. Debris can provide a hiding place for weeds and their seeds.

Cultural Practices to Reduce Their Growth

Using non-chemical methods to control weeds helps prevent crop yield in a healthy manner.

These practices include:

  • Do not overwater the crops, as it creates suitable conditions for growing weeds.
  • Regular mowing also prevents the seed setting of Crabgrass and Goosegrass.
  • Plant herbicide-resistant crops to prevent crop yield loss.

Chemical Control Methods

There are two chemical control methods: Pre- and Post-emergent herbicides.

  • Pre-emergent herbicides are applied to the soil before the emergence of weeds from the soil. Similarly, they prevent germination by blocking the absorption of water and nutrients from the soil. So, pre-emergent herbicides are effective in the Spring before the weeds can germinate.
  • Post-emergent herbicides are applied to the weeds after they have germinated. They kill weeds by interfering with their growth or causing them to defoliate. However, post-emergent herbicides are more effective than pre-emergent.

From Editorial Team


You can make homemade herbicides to kill these weeds. Mix 1 cup of table salt and 1 cup of dishwashing soap in 1 gallon of white vinegar.

However, avoid spraying the herbicides around other important crops in your garden.