Gerry's Blog



Question about Quackgrass


We notice that the grass areas are being over run with "Quack Grass".  Seems to be a problem throughout Millcroft.  Is there a lawn maintenance product that can take care of the problem ???  Would you please advise me about the "quackgrass."


Hi Dennis

First, is to determine what it is. Quackgrass, crabgrass, bentgrass?

If it is crabgrass, this is an annual weed that comes up from seed and dies every winter. Nowadays, the only application is to put a seed germinating preventer on before the crabgrass germinating season.

There are also a couple of other annual grasses - foxtail and barnyard grass. Treat them more or less as you would crabgrass. This time of year- remove manually to reduce the seed production. Then cultural practices will help fight it. Mowing height is especially important.

Quackgrass, on the other hand, is a perennial grass. It doesn't die in the winter. Crabgrass preventer products may reduce germination, but do nothing for existing plants. Normally quackgrass doesn't go to seed in regularly mown turf.

The only product that will control quackgrass is a non-selective herbicide like Roundup although, under McGuinty's current Pesticide Ban legistlation, this product is not legal for use in this manner.

So, if it is quackgrass, digging it up is possible, but the underground stems or rhizomes can be up to 12" deep. A small piece of the root (as small as a few inches long) left behind in the soil has the ability to grow into a new plant. These rhizomes on an established plant can grow sideways and pop up a foot away from the original plant. This is why it is hard to eradicate by digging. You may dig up the mother plant as well as the daughter plant, but if the underground rhizome connecting the two is left behind, it will re-infest the lawn.

Quackgrass tends to grow more upright, while crabgrass tends to grow more horizontally (which does allow the seedheads to develop below mowing height and produce thousands of seeds per plant.)

Quackgrass tends tio grow faster than the regular grass. After the mowing, the quackgrass will stand up above the rest of the lawn in a day or two.

Cutting the lawn more often will help the lawn to better compete against quackgrass. This is not something that can be done for a couple of months and make the quackgrass disappear. The problem is that a hot dry summer allows quackgrass with its deep roots to survive better during drought conditions.


MAY 2018

Hello,  I read your article on quack grass.  Our 1/4 acre country yard was sodded with Kentucky Bluegrass.  Unfortunately quack grass has moved in and spread in such a way that it is not possible to do too much except try to control it.  Planning on mowing frequently to try to control and overseeding.  My question... Is it a bad idea to aerate in spring or in fall to try to loosen soil and grow good grass seed? or will this aerating just cause the weed to spread even more?
Any advice & specifics would be appreciated.


Hi J.

Quack grass is a hard to control plant. It is very vigorous and hardy. Its roots are deep so if we have a dry summer - it can tolerate drought conditions better than Kentucky bluegrass. 
Overall I think seeding will be good. 28 years ago when we moved in, we put down a lot of sod so the kids wouldn't be in the mud and dirt. Then we seeded a lot of lawn areas that didn't warrant the $ and where time was less essential. The seeded lawn always outgrew the sod in how well it grew. 
So lawn that are grown in situ and with more varieties of grasses should be stronger than lawns that have been transplanted from elsewhere and with only one grass variety. I had sort of forgotten about that situation but was reminded of it the other day in Dunnville, The front lawn was sodded and was patchy and thin. The back yard had been seeded and was much thicker, growing better etc. 
So - yes seed to improve the grass population
cut more often if possible
Fertilize as other grasses will respond to fertilizer better than quack grass.
the aerating should encourage the good grasses to spread- it may increase the spread of quack grass, but if fertilized the good grasses should take advantage of the quicker response to nutrition.
On a side note, but related to all this- I was observing some quack grass on our country lawn and I see it seems to do well along some garden beds where we have plastic edging. I would say that the roots seem to like to grow along the interface of the soil and edging- must be easier for the root to grow along there than it is to grow through the regular soil. I would see a clump of quack grass and six inches away long the edging-would see a small clump- investigation shows the root had traveled along the edging.- taking the easy path. 

 If you have a lawn/tree/shrub that needs some Tender Loving Care- get The KING OF GREEN:

Home Page

or call us at 905.318.6677 or 1.888.TURFKING (887.3546)

 If you would like more information, please Contact us

Follow us on Twitter

Join our Facebook page  

Copyright 2011Turf King-Hamilton. All Rights Reserved.

Here's our Facebook Page

Help! Grubs!

See the lawn library. Click here.

Turf King

Lawn care makes a difference. Click here.

Free Estimate

Request a quote. Click here.

Anniversary Savings

See our video for savings! Click here.

Login Form