How To Get Rid of Johnson Grass?

Johnson grass

If you’re a homeowner or gardener, you’re probably all too familiar with the frustration of getting rid of weeds.

One particularly pesky weed that can be difficult to eliminate is Johnson grass. As a perennial plant, Johnson grass grows back year after year, making it even harder to control. 

In this article, we’ll discuss Johnson grass, why it’s bad, and most importantly, how to get rid of it. Whether you’re struggling with Johnson grass in your lawn or garden, we’ve covered you with various effective control methods.

So if you’re ready to bid farewell to this pesky weed, keep reading!

What Is Johnson Grass?

Johnson grass is a type of grass native to North America. It is a perennial plant that grows back year after year, making it difficult to control.

Johnson grass is known for its long, slender leaves and distinctive seed heads. It can quickly take over a lawn or garden, crowding out other plants and grasses.

Johnson grass
Source: John Tann

Johnson grass spreads quickly through its roots and seeds, making it even harder to eliminate. When dealing with Johnson grass in your yard, it’s essential to identify it so you can take the appropriate steps to eradicate it accurately.

Why Is Johnson Grass Bad?

Johnson grass is a nasty weed because it can quickly take over an area, harm the health of other plants, and is difficult to control.

The weed overgrows and takes over an area, crowding out other plants and grasses. This can lead to a less attractive lawn or garden.

In addition to its impact on the appearance of your yard, Johnson grass can also harm your plants’ health. It can compete with other plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight, stunting their growth and killing them.

Solarize Johnson Grass To Kill It

Solarization is a method of using the sun’s energy to kill weeds and other pests. Cover the area with clear plastic to solarize your lawn or garden, and secure the edges with dirt or sand. The heat and light from the sun will build up under the plastic, killing the Johnson grass and any other weeds or pests present.

How To Get Rid of Johnson Grass?

Johnson grass
Source: NY State IPM Program at Cornell University

If you’re dealing with Johnson grass in your lawn or garden, you can try several methods to eliminate it.

Here are some options to consider.

Method #1: Pulling the Grass by Hand

This is a good option for small infestations of Johnson grass or for young grass that has yet to establish deep roots.

To do this, use gloves to grab the grass as close to the base as possible and pull it out. Be sure to remove as much of the root system as possible to prevent the grass from growing back.

Method #2: Using a Chemical Herbicide

Suppose the infestation is extensive, or you want to remove Johnson grass from a sensitive area, such as around trees and flowers. In that case, it’s best to use a chemical herbicide like Ridomil or Roundup.

These products are typically applied to the grass leaves. It is then absorbed into the plant, killing it from the inside out. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the product label and take any necessary safety precautions.

Method #3: Using a Grass-Specific Herbicide

If you don’t want to use a chemical herbicide, you can also try using a grass-specific herbicide, such as glyphosate.

These products are designed to kill grasses without harming other plants. However, these herbicides may not be as effective as products specifically formulated for Johnson grass.

Method #4: Plants Resistant to Johnson Grass

Another option is to try planting grasses or other plants resistant to Johnson grass. These plants can crowd out the Johnson grass and prevent it from spreading.

Some examples of resistant plants include clover, Bermuda grass, crabgrass, fescue, and wheatgrass. You can also use mulch to block sunlight from reaching the Johnson grass.

Method #5: Combining Methods

Try combining a few of these methods for the most effective control. For example, you could pull out the grass by hand and then follow up with a chemical herbicide to kill any remaining roots.

For best results, you should repeat these methods every two to three months until the Johnson grass has been eradicated.

White Vinegar Is the Secret Weapon

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply the solution to the leaves of the grass. This method is especially effective on young, newly sprouted Johnson grass.


Johnson grass is a fast-growing grass that can quickly take over a lawn or garden and is difficult to control. However, using the methods outlined in this article, such as pulling the grass by hand and using a chemical herbicide, you can effectively eliminate this pesky weed.

Ultimately, the best approach for getting rid of Johnson grass will depend on the size and severity of the infestation, as well as your personal preferences and circumstances.

By trying various methods, you can find a solution that works for you and helps keep Johnson’s grass at bay.

Leave a Comment