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Best Management Practice for Goosegrass Control

A tough and increasingly common pest, goosegrass thrives in high-traffic areas of turf. It loves compacted soils, whether wet or dry, and competes with desirable turfgrasses for water, nutrients, and sunlight. Goosegrass can germinate throughout the summer, a single plant can produce 50,000 seeds, and if left unchecked, an established goosegrass infestation is likely to be back year after year.

How to Identify Goosegrass

  • Grows from a flattened rosette
  • White or silver stems at the center
  • Usually has three to seven stems; mature plant can have as many as 20 stems


Mature Plant

Images courtesy of Dr. Lambert McCarty, Clemson University. Clemson, SC.

How to Control Goosegrass

As with most weeds, healthy turf is vital to controlling goosegrass. Proper pH and drainage, aeration, and regularly altering traffic paths help keep goosegrass under control. The low, prostrate growth of goosegrass means close mowing may have little effect on the weed, but the shade from thick, strong turf helps reduce seed germination.

In addition to healthy soil and turf, a pre-emergent herbicides (typically applied in late winter to early spring) and a post-emergent herbicide are both dependable tools for effective control of goosegrass.

Pre-emerge Best Practice

Bensumec™ 4 LF PreEmergent Grass & Weed Herbicide provides proven pre-emergent control of goosegrass, as well as crabgrass, Poa annua, foxtail, lambsquarter, and others as listed. Labeled for use on established bahiagrass, bentgrass, fescue, perennial bluegrass, and zoysiagrass, Bensumec 4 LF can be used on residential lawns, and on golf greens, tees, and bentgrass fairways.
  • Apply Bensumec 4 LF prior to goosegrass germination, typically in late winter or early spring.
  • Apply 9.4 fl. oz. of Bensumec 4 LF per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf with spray volumes of 2 gallons per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • After application, immediately irrigate Bensumec 4 LF with .5 to 1 inch of water.


Rotate pre-emergent chemistries on an annual basis to optimize performance and help fight herbicide resistance.

Post-emerge Best Practice

SpeedZone® Broadleaf Herbicide for Turf is proven to deliver fast, dependable post-emergent control of goosegrass and 90 tough broadleaf weeds, including clover, plantain, ground ivy, and spurge. Labeled for use on most warm- and cool-season turf species, including Kentucky bluegrass, Poa annua, annual and perennial ryegrasses, tall, red and fine fescues, and other species as listed. It can be used on residential lawns, golf courses, commercial areas, recreation and athletic fields, roadsides, and cemeteries.

  • For warm season grasses, apply SpeedZone at 1.5 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf at spray volumes of 1 gallon per 1,000 sq. ft. A second application may be required for adequate control.

  • For cool turf species, apply SpeedZone at 1.8 fl. oz. per 1,000 sq. ft. of turf at spray volumes of 1 gallon per 1,000 sq. ft. A second application may be required for adequate control.

Proven Performance with SpeedZone®

Goosegrass Control Evaluation – University of Tennessee, 2016

Two Applications, 28 Days Apart (July 6 and August 5)

SpeedZone® 4 pt./A followed by 4 pt./A

Untreated Control


DAIT = Days After Initial Treatment
DAST = Days After Second Treatment

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