How to Identify Grass Weeds Early in the Season

Grasses are some of the trickiest weed species to identify. They are easier to distinguish once their seedheads emerge, but that’s well past the ideal stage to control them, warns Dr. Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware Extension weed scientist. And knowing which grass is in your field can inform your herbicide choices.

That’s where this video can help. Watch as Dr. VanGessel explains how to identify eight common problematic grass weeds by small differences in their leaf blades, sheaths, collars and hairs, as well as their growth habits.

For quick navigation, use these timestamps:

00:55: Key Leaf Structures
01:55: Leaf Hairs
02:20: Growth Habits/Structures
03:00: Differences in Herbicide Control
03:55: Goosegrass
04:45: Barnyardgrass
05:27: Large Crabgrass
06:30: Giant Foxtail
07:02: Fall Panicum
08:05: Johnsongrass
09:50: Texas Panicum
10:48: Broadleaf Signalgrass
11:40: Conclusion

For more help with weed identification, see the GROW Weed ID page and GROW Weed Identification Tools and Resources.

Video by Claudio Rubione, GROW, and Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware. Text by Emily Unglesbee, GROW.