Dandelions, with their long stems topped with yellow blooms are fairly easy to identify as weeds that grow in grass. There are many other weeds lurking in the lawn that are a nuisance and in need of identification. Weeds that grow in grass can also grow in flower beds, making it important to remove the weeds wherever they are seen before they seed and spread. Recognizing what weeds grow in grass can help determine the best plan of action to eradicate them.
Oval light-green, 1/2- to 1 1/4-inch leaves and a shallow root system are the traits of common chickweed. This widespread weed grows throughout most of the United States. Because of its shallow root system, common chickweed can be pulled out by hand from flower beds. An herbicide can also be used to remove common chickweed from the lawn.
Henbit shows up in the winter with tiny, round green leaves. Keenly visible on soil or peeking through thin layers of mulch, the sprouting leaves will be numerous; and if henbit is showing in flower beds, it’s also in the grass. As the weed grows, the leaves get larger and it produces purple blooms. The plant can reach up to 16 inches in height. Henbit can be pulled out by hand from flower beds. An herbicide can be used to remove henbit from the lawn as well.
Spotted spurge starts from a center tap root and trails outward as much as 16 inches along the ground like spokes on a wheel. A blackish spot appears in the center of mature leaves. To remove spotted spurge by hand, collect the stems by running your fingertips in a circle around the tap root, and then grab and pull. An herbicide can be used to remove spotted spurge from the lawn.
Non-poisonous, ground ivy creeps through the grass on purplish-brown stems. Crushed leaves will emit a minty smell. Ground ivy produces violet 1/4-inch blooms in clusters of three. The leaves are almost round and have notched edges. An herbicide can be used on ground ivy, but the weed is hard to kill.
According to the University of Rhode Island Extension, crabgrass was introduced into the U.S. in 1849 as a potential forage crop for livestock. The seeds from crabgrass can be carried on the wind or by birds to settle in lawns. Crabgrass, as the name might indicate, is a member of the grass family. The blades of crabgrass have a touch of purple and a white strip down the center. Multiple stems can grow out of a thick base. Use a pre-emergence herbicide in the spring to kill crabgrass that grows in your lawn.