Terrible tangle: A quacky lawn

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Oh, it is downright scary to behold, is quack grass! Its root is a giveaway, white, thick, sharp-pointed and wide-spreading. 

When quack grass invades a lawn, there's reason to be crabby

We're sorry to say all we ourselves could share was the following gloom and doom, when B recently asked for help:

Yikes, quack grass in a lawn is no fun, B. Quack grass has to be killed or dug out completely, and removed or barred wherever it originated. Sometimes it runs in underground from neighboring areas, sometimes it comes in with topsoil, or it can simply get started from seed that blew in or dropped in. Because it's tougher than lawn grass, once it's in, the bluegrass or fescue usually can't crowd it out.


Most of the time people kill off the whole area that's infested with quack grass, then wait at least two weeks to watch for sprouts that must be killed anew or dug out. That's because the quack grass will often not die from one application of an herbicide. It may have so much root mass that the amount of herbicide the blade can absorb is not enough to reach all of the root.

After an area's quackgrass free, lay sod. Seeding isn't a good move, as there is a good chance quack grass seed already in the soil will germinate along with the new bluegrass or fescue seed. It'll be impossible to distinguish until it's too late.

We've posted your question in our Forum in the Lawns folder. The people we've asked to keep watch there, the ones who work on more lawns than we do, can probably tell you more. Check there from time to time for alternate approaches. (If you become a Forum member - it's Free-- you can have the computer check automatically for you. Click "Follow this topic" at that posting and the computer will send you an email whenever someone adds information to this topic.)

At right, above: If you have areas of taller, broader-leaf grass that grow faster than the lawn as a whole, that may be quack grass. It is deep rooted, fast growing, drought tolerant, perennial and grows even when "good" grass can't.


At right: Our correspondent, B., had previously operated under the assumption that the weedy grass in the lawn was crabgrass, but was informed it's the more dreadful quack grass. Crabgrass is a flat-profile annual weed that sprouts once the soil warms in spring. Improve a lawn's vigor and density in April and May, and crabgrass will not find bare space in which to sprout.

Want to add to this article, or see what news has come in from the front. There ARE other answers, huzzah! Check it out on the Forum.