Quack grass

mimi_stpaul(z4Mn)August 9, 2009

With the dry summer I have had a huge amount of quack grassgrowing in the lawn. It's easy enough to pull from the garden but I need a solution for the lawn, it is taking it over. Does anyone have an organic solution for this weed?

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Are you sure it is quackgrass and not crabgrass?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2009 at 9:55PM
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frozen_north(Zone 4a - Minnesota)

It's probably crab grass, in which case the organic control method would be to take steps to ensure that the bluegrass or fescue you have can outcompete it. This is not difficult to do, if you irrigate, limit foot traffic, control thistles and dandelions, and ensure sufficient fertility.

The only chemical controls are pre-emergent ones (crabgrass is an annual), and a number of organic arsenicals, which I wouldn't recommend due to the safety problems they pose.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 7:09PM
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What is the difference between crab grass and quack grass? I believe I have both.

I think crab grass has thicker leaves than regular grass and grows faster than regular grass. It also tends to grow in clumps. However, with regular mowing, it is not that noticeable.

Quack grass, on the other hand, poisons the grass around it so that it leaves bald patches in the lawn. It looks like regular grass on top, but has thin, stalky, brown stems. It's fairly easy to pull, but it always comes back and then some. I find it much harder to deal with than crab grass.

Why do you think what Mimi has is crabgrass and not quackgrass, debsflowers and frozen north? Is crab grass more common?

As I've posted here before, I'm completely reseeding my front lawn this fall. However, I am now finding quack grass (I think) in the side lawn so I share Mimi's interest in ideas for getting rid of it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 10:57AM
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frozen_north(Zone 4a - Minnesota)

I guess I've never known quack grass to pose much of a problem in Minnesota lawns. Maybe I need to get out more.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 1:51PM
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peggy_hosta(z4 neSD)

Crab grass lays flat to the ground. both are difficult to pull because of the running root system.
Like Frozen North said, crab gr. is treated in the spring.
I thought quack grass was supposed to be in my lawn -lol!!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2009 at 2:06PM
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Quackgrass can be a real problem in MN lawns (I have it). It spreads by deep runners and cannot be easily removed. It is a perennial that thickens over time.

Best control in an established lawn involves round-up, either kill the whole area and reseed, or "spot treat" by putting a cotton glove over a long, rubber glove, dipping the cotton glove in a pail of round-up solution and applying to each blade of quackgrass individually.

The part of this post that implies crabgrass is the problem is the "easily removed in the garden" part which quackgrass is not. When we bought the house, I saw all the quackgrass in the perennial garden, threw up my hands, and fabricked and mulched over the whole bed after planting shrubs.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 10:45AM
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thisismelissa(z4a-S Twin Cities MN)

I asked my lawn guy about quack grass control.
His suggestion was this:

Quack grass grows faster than KY Bluegrass and is a lighter color, so it's easy to detect.

Right before you're due to mow your lawn, you should be able to see where the quackgrass is, cuz it'll stick up much further. Use a sponge to apply Roundup to the quack by rubbing across the tops of the blades, being careful not to allow the sponge to touch the turfgrass.

Let the roundup have a day, or two to penetrate into the roots. Then mow. Repeat this process each time you're due to mow.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 9:36AM
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Using a sponge with Round Up kills everything around it, which I found out the hard way. The only thing that kills quackgrass is Tenacity, which can be purchased online. It's not organic, but at least it kills it! You can seed within days of applying your last treatment. It's expensive but you only use a tsp in a gallon of water.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2013 at 6:35PM
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