Grass Weed Seeds

Identifying lawn weeds is easy with our Common Lawn Weeds guide. Find out which weeds are lingering in your lawn and how to control them. Having a difficult time identifying lawn weeds that look like grass? I've rounded up a list of common grass-like weeds to help you ID weeds in your lawn.

A Guide to the Most Common Lawn Weeds

Weeds may be green, but they are plants growing where they’re not wanted within your lawn.

Weeds can take any form and can vary depending on where they grow and typically produce large numbers of seeds, assisting their spread.

Unfortunately, weeds are often excellent at surviving and reproducing and are commonly the first plants to colonise and dominate.

In our full guide below, myhomeTURF offers lawn lovers a comprehensive guide that helps identify Common Lawn Weeds and gives guidance on prevention, control & best herbicides to use.

Table of contents

  • WINTER GRASS
  • CROWSFOOT GRASS
  • CRABGRASS
  • OXALIS WEED
  • SUMMER GRASS
  • MULLUMBIMBY COUCH
  • NUT GRASS
  • PASPALUM
  • DANDELION WEEDS
  • WHITE CLOVER
  • BINDI WEED
  • How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds Manually

WINTER GRASS

About the weed

Winter Grass is a widespread weed problem throughout Australia and is more prevalent in winter and spring.

Winter Grass is characterised by its prolific seed production which makes it hard to manage.

If seeds appear, they are quick to germinate, and it is more than likely you will have Winter Green in your lawn again the following year.

The Winter Grass weed is a pale green colour with smooth leaves and has a white cotton-like root zone.

While Winter Grass is easy to remove my hand, as there is so much of it often it grows back.

Control

There are two methods of controlling Winter Grass –post-emergent and pre-emergent herbicide control.

Post-emergent control is when you selectively poison out the Winter Grass weed after it germinates (for example, during the autumn and winter months).

The most important thing is to apply the post-emergent control exactly as directed. The herbicide can take a considerable amount of time to work, anywhere from between two weeks and two months.

If the post-emergent is applied too late into the winter, it can be hard to get a result.

Pre-emergent control works on the basis that you control the seed before it germinates which is an easier way to manage the problem. Application is usually going into winter.

myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

CROWSFOOT GRASS

About the weed

Crowsfoot Grass is a hardy annual weed that grows during spring, summer and autumn.

It is a tufted, short-lived, grass with spreading of semi-upright stems growing up to 60cm tall.

Crowsfoot has leaf sheaths that are prominently keeled with a membranous structure (5cm to 10cm long) at the base of the leaf blade.

Its narrow leaf blades (3cm to 35cm long and 30cm to 80cm wide) are mostly hairless.

Crowsfoot Grass has seed-heads with 1-15 branches (3.5cm to 15.5cm long) that radiate outwards from the same point.

Numerous flower spikelets (35cm to 70cm long) are densely arranged along the seed-head branches.

Crowsfoot grows in all soil conditions and can survive in heavily compacted areas where Couch grass won’t grow and may survive for more than a year in climates not subject to frost

This low-growing weed is capable of setting seed even when closely mown.

​Control

For the control of Crowsfoot, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

CRABGRASS

About the weed

Crabgrass is one of the worst lawn weeds in the world, and when found the homeowner should never hesitate in removing or killing it as soon as possible.

Due to the severity of Crab Grass weed and how fast it can spread, it simply must not be ignored.

Crabgrass is easily known by most people, it is most noticeable by its wide leaf blade and grass-like appearance.

This grass, however, will send out tough stems with fingers of seed heads at its tips. Crabgrass will become most prominent when it’s leaf blades grow faster than the surrounding lawn and when it reaches out and become taller than the other turf.

The seed production of Crabgrass is extremely prolific. Every season, a single weed can send out thousands of seeds, so it’s easy to see how it can quickly spread and take-over and ruin an entire lawn.

​Control

Ongoing control of Crabgrass involves regular year-round lawn mowing which will aid in constantly removing new weed seeds as they are produced and before they mature.

If you need to use a herbicide, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

OXALIS WEED

About the weed

Oxalis can appear like a miniature clover plant, but it bears tiny yellow flowers.

Some gardeners occasionally grow Oxalis for groundcover but for most of us it is an annoying weed.

Oxalis is a perennial weed, which spreads through interlocking rhizomes that are easy to break apart, these rhizomes eventually produces tiny bulbils.

The seeds of Oxalis are prolific and ejected when ripe from tiny seed pods that look like mini okra.

Anywhere the stem touches the ground the Oxalis weed can root, potentially producing more and more plants.

Oxalis also forms a fleshy taproot and an extensive branching root system which can make it challenging to manage.

Control

Hand removal can be done but it is slow and laborious, and it may take several seasons to remove the Oxalis from your lawn.

For the control of Oxalis, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

SUMMER GRASS

About the weed

Summer Grass is a common fast-growing weed, found Australia-wide, that sends out shoots in all directions from its centre during conditions of high heat and humidity.

Summer Grass spreads prolifically through its stolons, with stems that can be brown or red in colour and thin grey-green leaves with fine spiky seed heads that shoot upwards.

When first noticed in your lawn, Summer Grass should be removed immediately by hand as it competes with your turf for nutrients and growing space.

Summer Grass goes to seed during autumn and if not controlled re-emerges the next year.

Competition is greatest from Summer Grass when it is thin and open, the mowing height is incorrect and light frequent irrigations are applied.

Control

Once Summer Grass appears it is hard to control so prevention is the key and feeding your lawn with fertiliser will assist.

Therefore, for the control of Summer Grass, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

MULLUMBIMBY COUCH

About the weed

Mullumbimby Couch grows year-round and is a mat-forming grass-like plant with long underground runners and upright flowering stems measuring up to 40cm in height.

The weed has tough long, rhizomes which are red to purple in colour and stems that are triangular in cross-section.

Mullumbimby Couch has bright green leaves (10cm to 30cm wide) that are hairless and sheath the stem at the base.

Its pale green seed-heads (60cm to 70cm long) have three or four green leafy bracts at the base and contain numerous small flower spikelets which appear throughout spring and summer.

Mullumbimby Couch has ‘seeds’ yellow to reddish-brown in colour.

Conducive growing conditions for Mullumbimby Couch occur when there is excessive soil moisture and humidity.

See also  How Long After Seeding Can You Weed And Feed

Mullumbimby Couch is a member of the Sedge family and can quickly colonise areas of the garden by setting seed and underground rhizomes.

Control

Control of Mullumbimby Couch is difficult. You can use a spade to remove the weed but ensure that no roots or bulbs are left in the soil or it will reappear.

Alternately for the control of Mullumbimby Couch, myhomeTURF recommends a selective herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Halosulfuron-methyl.

myhomeTURF suggests using Indigo Halo-Force, a selective herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm is a dry flowable granule Herbicide that disperses in water and can be used for selective post-emergence control of Mullumbimby Couch in your lawn. Suitable for Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

NUT GRASS

About the weed

Nut Grass is a long-lived grass-like plant that is a member of the Sedge family and can be found in your lawn year-round.

The weed usually grows to about 20cm to 50cm in height and produces a network of creeping underground stems with small tubers (100cm to 250cm long).

Nut Grass has upright flowering stems that are smooth and three-angled in cross section.

The weed has very narrow leaves (7cm to 20cm long and 20cm to 60cm wide) which are borne in a tuft at the base of the stems.

Its seed heads have three to eight branches that vary in length (up to 10cm long) and are supported by two to four green leafy bracts.

The easiest way to distinguish Nut Grass is through the branches which have several elongated reddish-brown or purplish-brown flower spikelets (100cm to 250cm long and 20cm to 25cm wide).

Control

Nut Grass control is very similar to that of Mullumbimby Couch and is also difficult to control.

A spade can be used to remove the weed but ensure no roots or bulbs are left in the soil or it will reappear.

Alternately for the control of Nut Grass, myhomeTURF recommends a selective herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Halosulfuron-methyl.

myhomeTURF suggests using Indigo Halo-Force, a selective herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm

Indigo Halo-Force 750WG 25gm is a dry flowable granule Herbicide that disperses in water and can be used for selective post-emergence control of Mullumbimby Couch in your lawn. Suitable for Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

PASPALUM

About the weed

Paspalum is one of the most difficult weeds to control and predominantly found in the south-eastern states of Australia.

It is a long-lived tufted grass growing up to 1.5m tall with slightly folded leaf blades at the base which are usually hairless.

Paspalum’s seed-heads are borne at the tips of upright flowering stems and have 2-11 branches (2.5cm-11cm long) that are alternatively arranged along a main stalk.

Each Paspalum seed-head branch bears numerous small flower spikelets that are covered with hairs.

Paspalum mainly grows throughout the warmer months from late spring to autumn.

The weed prolifically spreads through its sticky seeds which easily grasp onto pets and shoes before been relocated.

Control

Like with most weed control, removing by hand is the best method as long as the entire plant and roots are removed.

Alternately for the control of Paspalum, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Prodiamine.

myhomeTURF suggests using Barricade, a herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Barricade 1L

Barricade 1L is a pre-emergent liquid herbicide that controls a wide range of weeds and is suitable for use on Zoysia , Kikuyu , Buffalo and Couch grasses. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

DANDELION WEEDS

About the weed

Dandelions have green leaves edged with teeth’ that grow mostly flat to the ground and are distinguished by their bright yellow flowers that fade to form a white puffball.

They appear in spring and autumn in lawns that aren’t as full and healthy as they could be.

Above-ground, Dandelion seeds ride the wind currents, and drop into the slightest opening in your lawn and propagate.

Below-ground, the Dandelion weed lays down a taproot up to 25cm long however, pulling the taproot as a means of removal is problematic.

The Dandelion’s thick, brittle roots easily split, and any fraction left behind will regenerate.

Control

With careful digging and pulling the Dandelion weed can be removed by hand.

Using post-emergence herbicides (referred to as broadleaf weed control) are the most effective dandelion killers that are safe for lawns. The Common Active Ingredient 2,4-D is an example of a selective and systemic post-emergent herbicide.

myhomeTURF recommends a post-emergence herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

WHITE CLOVER

About the weed

White Clover is a classic three-leaf clover with bright green leaves adorned with white crescent shapes.

It appears from spring through to autumn and usually in thin lawns with nutrient-poor soil.

White Clover grows in a creeping manner and will develop roots wherever a stem node touches the ground.

The flowers on White Clover are spiky and white with a brownish green centre.

Control

If White Clover is established in your lawn you can start by hand removal.

However, if White Clover is prolific throughout your lawn then a pre or post-emergent herbicide is recommended but first check with your Local Garden Centre to ensure it is suitable for your lawn type.

It is important to note that killing White Clover weed is easy but killing the White Clover seed is not.

White Clover has seeds that can survive high heat, low temperatures and can stay dormant for years before germinating.

Therefore, be prepared to hand weed or, myhomeTURF recommends a pre-emergent herbicide with the Common Active Ingredient of Oxadiazon.

myhomeTURF suggests using OxaFert, a combination fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

Oxafert

myhomeTURF recommends OxaFert , which is a combination product containing both fertiliser and pre-emergent herbicide. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

BINDI WEED

About the weed

Bindi Weed is a broadleaf winter annual that is also known as Lawn Burweed and Spurweed.

It is a very invasive, low growing weed that produces bur-like fruit that poses a hazard to humans and animals due to their sharp edges.

The weed evolves during winter and develops carrot-like leaves, during spring it produces a single flower that matures to form a prickly seed pod with three spines.

Control

The best time to remove Bindi Weeds is during late winter or spring.

If you only have a small amount of Bindi in your lawn, then hand removal is suitable if you remove the plant along with the roots.

If your lawn is rife with Bindi, then myhomeTurf recommends a Broadleaf Weed Herbicide with the Common Active Ingredients of Clopyralid, Diflufenican and Potassium Salt.

myhomeTURF suggests using Bow & Arrow, a Broadleaf herbicide that can be purchased through our online store.

For more information see our specific article about Controlling Broadleaf Weeds

Additional Articles that you may be interested in:

Bow and Arrow 500mL

Bow and Arrow 500mL is one of the most effective broadleaf liquid herbicides on the market. Suitable for Zoysia, Kikuyu, Couch and Buffalo grasses however transient discolouration may occur on Kikuyu, Carpet and Queensland Blue Couch lawns. Always read the safety directions and instructions on the product label before use.

How to Get Rid of Lawn Weeds Manually

The trick to preventing weeds from taking hold is to keep your lawn in good condition with a solid lawn care routine.

However, if you do find yourself in the position where you want to remove weeds from your lawn yourself, always remove seed heads from weeds and take care when digging them out to remove all of the roots. Watch our helpful video below for advice.

List of Common Weeds That Look Like Grass

You’ve been working hard on cultivating the perfectly manicured lawn, taking all the necessary steps to plant seed or sod, fertilize, and mow appropriately. Despite your best efforts, there seem to be patches of your lawn that don’t match the rest. There are some common weeds that look like grass which tend to blend in with a lawn and thus can be more difficult to identify and target when compared to the average dandelion.

In this article I’ll help you identify these grass-like weeds and offer advice for how to combat and eliminate them from your lawn.

Common Weeds That Look Like Grass

Click to jump to a specific weed that resembles grass

Crabgrass

Also known as finger grasses, crabgrass can be an invasive type of weed that looks very much like grass.

See also  Cheap Weed Seeds Ontario Canada

It often sprouts in smaller patches throughout your lawn and has a distinctly coarse texture compared to the rest of your lawn. Thankfully, crabgrass is an annual plant so it only survives for the season and then dies.

That said, it spreads quickly, and because of its thick blades and lateral growth, it can quickly do permanent damage to your lawn by crowding out and smothering the grass surrounding it.

This is why it’s important to be vigilant and act right away if you see crabrass in your lawn.

The best way to get rid of crabgrass is by preventing its germination using a pre-emergent herbicide that can be commonly found in combination with fertilizer that you can spread in early spring.

Once crabgrass has germinated, the best way to get rid of it is by pulling it or using a direct herbicide.

Thankfully, crabgrass is not perennial so it is relatively easy to get rid of it with some diligence, and once you improve your lawn the canopy will be too dense for crabgrass to grow.

Wild garlic and onion

While it looks very much like a tall grass, wild onion and wild garlic are very fragrant and thus these grass-like weeds are pretty unmistakable once you get close enough to smell them.

If you finish mowing and it smells like you’ve been making pasta sauce, there’s a good chance you have some wild onion and/or wild garlic hiding in your lawn.

Wild onion and wild garlic also become noticeable as they grow faster than regular grass and quickly surpass the height of your lawn.

They grow in clumps, so if you have them, the rate of growth and growth habit make them pretty easy to identify.

For those who love garlic and onion as an addition to many dishes, this may be more of a fortuitous find (transplant them!). However, even the biggest garlic fans probably don’t want a swath of it in the middle of their lawn.

Thankfully, these weeds that resemble grass tend to only grow in early spring and late fall, becoming dormant in the summer season.

To remove them from your yard, dig them up (I recommend transferring them to a pot or herb garden) – just make sure to get bulb and all, or they’ll come back.

Herbicides will also work to kill wild garlic and onion, just make sure to check the label of the product your purchase to ensure that wild garlic and onion are included in the list of weeds it treats.

Nutsedge

Before it matures and blooms, nutsedge can look much like a tall grass.

Unlike crabgrass, Nutsedge is a perennial weed that can be quite invasive and difficult to get under control due to its hardy root systems.

It can also be spread throughout your lawn (or from a neighbor’s lawn) both by airborne seeds as well as underground rhizomes or tubers. It will continue to come back year after year unless you get it under control.

Sort of like fight club, the first rule of Nutsedge is not to pull Nutsedge.

If you try to combat it by pulling it, you’re likely to leave behind tubers or rhizomes that will end up sprouting.

One of the most effective ways to prevent Nutsedge is to grow a thick and hardy lawn that will crowd out Nutsedge, and prevent this invasive grass-like weed from being able to properly root and grow those rhizomes and tubers that make it so invasive.

But if you have it, recommending that you hop in your time machine and take steps to prevent it doesn’t help you.

If you have Nutsedge in your lawn, there are specific herbicides that can be applied directly to the base of Nutsedge to kill the entire plant including the underground components, and while I always recommend an organic approach when I can, in this case this will be your best course of action.

Common couch

Another common weed that looks like grass is couch grass or common couch.

Sometimes referred to as quack grass, this is another invasive species that is hardy and can propagate quickly in your lawn via rhizomes as part of a complex and fibrous root system.

This makes it hard to pull in its entirety.

It also spreads via airborne seeds, thus being able to travel longer distances and quickly find a home in thin lawns.

Similar to many of the other grass-like weeds, prevention by crowding out seeds is the most effective way to prevent these species from invading, which is why proper and regular lawn maintenance and improvement are always my best defense against lawn weeds.

Green foxtail

This weed gets its name from the appearance of the mature heads that bloom on these grass-like stalks. The heads look like small fuzzy foxtails!

They can grow anywhere from 10cm to 100cm tall and are very common in prairies and meadows. Despite its cute name, it is an invasive species that can be quite problematic, especially for farmers, and a nuisance to lawn owners everywhere.

This hardy annual plant with hundreds of seeds per foxtail plume spreads easily, as these seeds can travel great distances with enough wind.

Despite how hardy these lawn weeds are once established, they are quite a picky species when it comes to germinating. They prefer moist soil and are easily crowded out by densely planted lawns or fields.

Green Foxtail also prefers warmer soil in the range of 15 to 35 degrees Celsius (59-95 degrees Fahrenheit), but this weed can germinate at any point in the season as long as conditions are favorable.

Like most lawn weeds, Green Foxtail can be controlled with some herbicidal solutions, but the best way to prevent this invasive species is by crowding it out with a thick, healthy lawn.

Smooth bromegrass

Another hardy perennial, Smooth Bromegrass, is highly adaptable and it is able to grow even in cold conditions and survive for quite a long time once established.

Like Nutsedge, Bromegrass can grow rhizomes underground through intricate root systems, which will help it to spread across your lawn quickly … especially if your lawn is thin.

These qualities make it an invasive species that can easily get out of control.

However, Bromegrass serves an important purposes as hay and grazing fields for livestock and it can also help to prevent soil erosion due to this strong root system.

Despite these qualities, most homeowners probably don’t want it in their lawn. To control and eliminate Smooth Bromegrass in your lawn, I recommend mowing it down low and attempting to crowd it out with a thick, healthy lawn canopy. In a worse-case scenario, you should opt for an application of herbicide designed to target this grass-like weed.

Slender rush

Also known as “poverty rush” or “path rush”, this grass-like perennial tends to grow in clumps, which is similar to crabgrass.

It is propagated by above-ground seeds as well as below-ground tubers that form with the help of the root system. The deeper root structure with rhizome propagation makes slender rush a particularly invasive species to get under control in lawns, because it can still be present even if you can’t necessarily see it yet.

Herbicides are not usually an effective way to control slender rush.

Manual weed management tends to be the most effective way of dealing with this invasive weed that looks like grass. This can involve pulling weeds by hand. Do so carefully, and be sure to get the root system as well.

The other options is a mowing routine that doesn’t allow for the plant to mature and spread seeds above ground.

Tall fescue

You’ve likely heard this species discussed in the context of a grass, however it is an invasive perennial that has characteristics of a weed, particularly if your lawn is primarily a different type of turfgrass.

Similar to some of the other species discussed above, tall fescue has the ability to propagate via rhizomes underneath the ground. It is highly drought resistant, and in areas where it has been planted it has often taken over, crowding out other species of grass.

If you wanted to get rid of tall fescue grass that has run wild in your yard, you’d probably have to solarize it. Solarizing involves covering up large areas of grass to deprive it of sunlight and also increase the heat underneath the tarp so that it kills everything underneath.

Herbicides could also be used, but it would take a large amount which could get costly and be harmful to the environment, so I recommend solarizing tall fescue.

See also  Best Temp And Humidity For Germinating Weed Seeds

Restoring Lawn and Order

It’s interesting to compare various grass-like weeds and perennials that are less desirable than the perfectly manicured lawn.

Eliminating Weeds That Look Like Grass

Careful selection of grass species is important in establishing a lawn.

It’s also possible to crowd out many of these invasive species by planting additional grass seed seasonally (overseeding) to create a thick and lush lawn.

Pre-emergent methods can also be an effective backup method of prevention, and using a pre-emergent every spring for several years as you overseed, fertilize, and use proper irrigation to improve your lawn can help to create that thick, dense lawn canopy that will prevent weeds from taking root in your grass.

Finally, spot treatment with the appropriate herbicide can nip any problematic weeds in the bud.

You May Also Enjoy:

by Sarah The Lawn Chick

I’ve learned to love caring for my lawn naturally and enjoying it daily. On this blog I’ll share some of my best tips and tutorials to help you make your lawn the best on the block!

16 thoughts on “ List of Common Weeds That Look Like Grass ”

Need help with naming an invasive looking weed that has leaves that look like a rocket, long thick body with small wings. It’s overtaking my raised beds. I have a photo.

I’ll see if I recognize it! Email me a photo (my first name @ lawnchick.com)

Hello Sarah,
I have a few new spring weed grasses popping up that I didn’t see last year. Are you ok with sending the pics to your email for your opinion?

Thank you
Brian

Sure, Brian – I may not get back to you until this weekend but I’ll take a look as soon as I can!

Hi Sarah!
I just discovered your website/posts while researching ‘weeds that look like grass’. I breed, raise and train springers which are flushing dogs. Recently, I came back from an excursion and one of my springers got a ‘grass thorn’ stuck in her paw. I always check for these things but somehow I missed this one. Nasty little thing but it was removed and after treatment, my dog was right-as-rain!
I was researching lawns / grasses etc. as I’m planning to re-do my yard, making it more ‘dog friendly’. I was shocked to learn that Tall Fescue grass is considered an invasive weed on your website. This was the grass that was ‘highly recommended’ for those who have dogs. As I’m not keen on putting anything in that resembles bamboo in it’s underground system (I’ve had a 30 yr battle with this horrific stuff), can you suggest anything else? Any information you may provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the comment. Springers are great dogs!

There are a LOT of different types of fescue, and as with any grass … what some consider a weed, others consider the foundation of a beautiful lawn. If you like the characteristics of fescue, I’d recommend you consider Turf Type Tall Fescue. It’s an improved variety designed for lawns and something I think you’ll be really happy with if you’re determined to go with a single type of grass for your yard.

You can read more about all of your options for Fescue here, and I have a comparison of TTTF and Kentucky Bluegrass which you may find interesting here.

You also may be interested in my article about how to grow grass with dogs that love to destroy it, which has some good tips on maintaining your lawn with four-legged friends. You can check that one out here.

Finally, I’d suggest that it might be a good idea to get a blend of grass seed, with whatever you settle on as the primary seed. I’m in New England and my lawn is a mix of Perennial Ryegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, and a few different fescues. Getting a seed blend that’s made for your area will give you good results, and provide good coverage in different areas of your lawn (full sun, part shade, shade, wet, dry, etc.). I think that’s easier to maintain than having to baby a single type of grass on parts of your property where growing conditions might not be ideal. With a blend of seed you allow different grasses to become dominant where the conditions are best suited for them, and your whole lawn looks and feels healthier.

Hope this helps – good luck!

Hi Sarah! Thank you so very much for all your help! This is the most information I have ever received! I love the idea of mixing grass seed … this could be a very good solution. My lawn is not very big … I have four ESS and of course they have worn paths to their various ‘barking stations’ ! The lawn is basically sunny and has thrived well. But, over time, some of the grass has worn despite my best efforts at ‘re-seeding’. I was relieved to learn that there are many types of Tall Fescue Grass. I would really like to see some great photos of lawns using this variety: google just doesn’t cut it!
Again, thanks so much Sarah. I live in BC., Canada so our climate is quite different from yours. Fortunately, living in the southern part (coast), we experience quite a mild climate, lots of rain in the winter with very little snow and our summer highs almost never reach higher than 34C. I will take all your suggestions under advisement and begin my research pronto!

You bet, Sharleen! Good luck and have fun with your project!

I have an area of lawn that has really compact soil, where a portion of the section gets scorching sun and the remainder is covered in shade. This year, I’ve tried growing Bermuda grass, but that is only taking somewhat in the sunny area. It has been so bad for so long that I’m now researching “weeds that look like lawns” that I can plant in this area and just be done with it! We are in central Virginia and have hot/humid summers and still some winter.

The transition zone can be tough for grass for some of the reasons you’ve outlined here. I’d try the Combat Extreme Transition Zone seed blend from Outside Pride. I’d plant it in September to give it the best chance of success so it can establish itself as things start to cool down in your area and it can build roots and come back strong and healthy for next season. The Outside Pride website has a calculator specific to this seed that will tell you exactly how much you’ll need to order and spread (I’d go a bit heavy, but that’s me). Here’s a link to an article with some resources to measure the lawn area you plan to re-seed so you’ll know exactly how much you need. I’d give this one (or one like it) a try before you throw in the towel. You need a good blend that can take sun and shade, and a fescue blend should be best for you as it’ll have the deep roots needed to withstand your summer heat.

Do you know what species prefer weeds to monocultures? All pollinators! Please consider why you feel you need a vast monoculture of grass in the first place.

Totally agree with you – I have huge perennial beds filled with native, pollinator-friendly plants that are in flower from spring through late fall for exactly this reason. I’m of the mindset that you can create a beautiful lawn for your family to enjoy while also supporting pollinators.

I have quite a few resources on this site that address this subject, as well. Here are a couple you may enjoy:

Thanks for your comment!

I just happened upon your website, Sarah. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with those of us who want weeds diminished in our lawns. Is there a specific herbicide that we should consider in dealing with nutsedge? Thanks for your attention to this matter. Frank

I’d try the Ortho Nutsedge product. It’s probably something that’s available locally, but you can also get it online (Amazon link). I like it because it comes ready-to-use in a hose-end sprayer. For those of us who don’t really like mixing herbicides, that’s a benefit.

As with any herbicide, I recommend testing it out in a small area before you spray it all over your lawn just to be sure it’s effective and that it isn’t going to kill your turfgrass in addition to the Nutsedge and cause a big headache for you.

We’re trying to identify a grass-like plant in our lawn (we’re in New Hampshire). I think it looks like a flat circle of knives. Pretty, but not the nice soft grass you’d want to walk through barefoot.

We have a picture that we can send.

I’ll see if I recognize it! Email me a photo (my first name @ lawnchick.com)