Goosegrass Illustration


Goosegrass, also called wiregrass, is an annual that grows as a compressed plant in turf. Leaves are distinctly folded and may be smooth or have a few hairs. It's found in a wide range of settings, but tolerates compacted, dry areas where desirable turfgrasses have thinned out. It germinates later in the spring than crabgrass and tolerates close mowing.

Goosegrass Center PhotoGoosegrass

It appears as a whitish silvery mat, forming a pale green clump with flattened stems in a low rosette. Leaves have a short membranous ligule. Flower stalks are short, stout, and compressed. Seed heads are somewhat similar to those of dallisgrass, but short and stiff. Goosegrass is normally found in compacted areas or areas of heavy wear. It produces seed even when closely mowed.

Goosegrass has a strong, extensive root system and readily invades hard, compacted soils found in high traffic areas. It adapts well to close, frequent mowing.

Prevention: apply pre-emergent herbicides in the spring when soil temperatures reach a consistent 55-60 degrees. Once the seeds have germinated, a post-emergent herbicide is required and is not generally effective in controlling this weed.


Goosegrass summary:

  • Reproduces by seeds, usually emerging a few weeks after crabgrass first emerges

  • Goosegrass is a coarse, bunch-type grass that forms a basal rosette of prostrate to occasionally upright flattened stems up to 2'

  • Goosegrass leaves are dark green

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides 1 - 2 weeks before germination in the spring; use post-emergent herbicides when weeds are small