6 Grassy Weeds in SW Tennessee & Northern Mississippi (and What to Do When You Get Them)

Are you exasperated by weeds? There’s no question that they can be a major source of frustration. They seemingly pop up out of nowhere and often spread like wildfire. 

A weed is really any unwanted plant that shows up on your property. Weeds fall into two main categories: grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds. While grassy weeds share similarities to desired grass (as the name would apply), broadleaf weeds have wider leaves (like a dandelion, for example). 

Both are unwanted but for the purpose of this article, we’re digging into grassy weeds—those strange grasses that you might be seeing in your lawn. Though they somewhat resemble grass, they stand out like a sore thumb amongst your healthy turf. Not only do they typically grow much higher due to their aggressive growth rate, but they also have a different color and overall “look” from the rest of your lawn making them hard to miss.

If you’re dealing with grassy weeds in your lawn then you might be wondering what you can do about them.

The first step is identification. Once you know what type of weed you’re dealing with, then you can explore the best approach. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the most common grassy weeds in TN and Northern MS and what you can do about them.

1. Goosegrass

Goosegrass is a summer annual weed that grows well in compacted and poorly draining soil. It often pops up in areas of the lawn that have been mowed too short. There’s no question that it resembles crabgrass.

Goosegrass grassy lawn weed

In fact, it is sometimes nicknamed “silver crabgrass,” but it is not actually a type of crabgrass. It can be identified by the whitish stems that are very compressed or flattened. In addition to being a major eyesore, goosegrass is also prone to disease.

Goosegrass is best addressed with pre-emergent to prevent it and post-emergent treatments for breakthrough.

2. Nutsedge

This grassy perennial weed is sometimes called “nutgrass,” and tends to prefer moist areas of the lawn. It can grow rapidly in warm weather. Nutsedge reproduces through underground tubers (often called “nutlets”). It can be identified by its bright green color.

Nutsedge grassy lawn weed

Nutsedge is difficult to control but can be targeted with specialized products. Because it is an aggressive grower (growing as much as 5 times faster than your lawn), it often requires repeated control. Even so, it will come back year after year.

3. Dallisgrass

Dallisgrass is another weed that prefers warm, moist areas of the lawn. It will thrive in the summer. This grassy weed is a warm-season perennial grass that grows in coarse, star-like clumps and is deep-rooted. It has a distinct gray-green color.

Dallisgrass grassy lawn weed

Dallisgrass can be controlled by post-emergent weed control products but typically takes more than one application as it is a highly aggressive weed.

4. Foxtail

This grassy weed gets its name from its foxtail-like, “fluffy” top, though the foxtail blades are flat. With its characteristic top, this annoying weed is hard to miss, making it a major eyesore. Foxtail comes in 3 common types: yellow, green, and giant. 

Foxtail grassy lawn weed

Foxtail is best controlled with pre-emergents to prevent its growth, followed by post-emergent for breakthrough.

5. Bahiagrass

Though sometimes chosen purposely as a grass type, when bahiagrass creeps into your lawn unwantedly, it can be difficult to get rid of. This grass is identified by its distinct “Y-shaped” seed head. It can tolerate a variety of conditions (including drought). It is this hearty-nature that makes it difficult to control.

Bahiagrass grassy lawn weed

A lot of unwanted Bahiagrass may require digging it up and utilize selective controls.

6. Crabgrass

Of the grassy weeds in Tennessee and Northern Mississippi, crabgrass is perhaps the most notorious. It is both aggressive and difficult to control. It grows in unsightly clumps and spreads rapidly to take over large areas of the lawn. Crabgrass tends to pop up in thinned-out, sunny areas and is known to sneak in areas of the lawn where grass has been scalped by a trimmer.

Crabgrass lawn weed

This grassy weed is best controlled using pre-emergent products to prevent as much of it as possible. Breakthrough can be controlled with post-emergent weed control.

A Thick Lawn to Defend Against Grassy Weeds in TN and Northern MS

While there are other unwanted grassy weeds in our region, the 6 listed above are the ones that we deal with most often. But no matter what weed you’re dealing with (even those that are not classified as “grassy”), we would also recommend that you take advantage of lawn aeration and overseeding which will help promote a thick and healthy lawn.

Not only will this service help fill in some of the bare spots that may need to be created as stubborn grassy weeds are addressed, but it will also strengthen your lawn’s natural defense against weeds by thickening it. A thick healthy lawn is the best defense against weeds because it chokes out unwanted grasses.

In general, when it comes to optimal weed control, a comprehensive lawn care program that promotes a healthy lawn is going to be your best defensive strategy. This certainly should include aeration and overseeding as well as professional weed controls, but it also includes services like ongoing fertilization, limestone and calcium applications, and disease control products.

Your Weed Control Wishes are Our Command

At Master Lawn, we take weed control seriously. Whether you are dealing with grassy weeds or broadleaf weeds—or perhaps you frankly don’t know what kind of weeds you have, you just know you want them dealt with—we’ve got your back. After all, you shouldn’t have to become a weed identification expert in order to get your lawn under control. That’s our job, and we’ve got it covered.

Master Lawn lawn care technician applying weed control

We utilize specialty products to treat specific weeds and also vary our methods depending upon what you’re dealing with. That customized approach will help get you the best weed control possible.

If you’re dealing with grassy weeds in TN or Northern MS, or any other types of weeds for that matter, we know that you want solutions that work. We understand that. And fortunately, there are answers. You don’t have to let the weeds win. With the right plan of action, you can take back control of your yard and get back to enjoying it.

Ready to win the battle against grassy weeds? Talk to a lawn care expert, choose from 3 program options, and become the master of your lawn.

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Image sources: goosegrass, nutsedge, dallisgrass, foxtail, bahiagrass

Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is president of Michael Hatcher & Associates.

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