Lawn weed identification and treatment

Asked February 20, 2019, 4:39 PM EST

Hello, I have a weed in my lawn that is slowly taking over more and more and I do not know how to treat it effectively partially because I do not know what it is. Three pictures are attached - one that shows a patch from afar and two closeups. This grassy weed has almost vine-like roots and entangles itself throughout any regular grasses. The regular grass in that spot eventually dies - if I pull out the weed I am left with a bare spot. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help! Jack

Howard County Maryland lawns and turf weeds plant identification

3 Responses

We suspect you are dealing with perennial grassy weeds that are the most complicated to deal with. They come back every year and expand. Since they are grasses (as opposed to broadleaved) they are challenging to treat without hurting your desired lawn species (which is usually turf type tall fescue).
Your first photo shows the (winter) brown, irregularly round and slowly expanding patches of what looks like Nimblewill.
Take a look at our weed page here:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lawn-weed-id-and-management
Nimblewill can be found at the bottom, under grassy perennial weeds. While there is one product that can control it, it is expensive and not typically available to homeowners unless through the internet. Digging it all out is difficult. Perhaps the best option, carefully done, is to use a non-selective herbicide containing glyphosate to kill the whole patch in mid to late summer while it is still green and actively growing, and then overseed the area in the late summer into fall.

Your close-ups don't really match Nimblewill, which probably is still dormant. As would crabgrass and invasive Japanese stiltgrass.
Do you mean grass that is green there now? Was the photo taken this month?
Grasses are not easy to i.d. from afar.


cm

Thanks for the response. The close up pictures are from the summer, and the afar picture is current. It seems to grow from a thin stringy root and then entangles itself between the grass blades in all directions , making it difficult to remove without ripping out the remaining healthy grass blades.

It is very difficult to identify grass species and grassy weeds from photos.
The weed in question from afar and the up close photos looks like nimblewill.
http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/nimblewill

mh