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Quack grass might sound like a funny name, but there’s nothing funny about this pesky grass invading your otherwise beautiful lawn. Of all the different types of invasive grass-like weeds, quack grass is one that several people have seen before but may never have known by name. Half the battle in eliminating weeds comes from knowing what you’re up against. In this guide, we’ll cover everything that you need to know about quack grass, including what it is, how to prevent it, and what you can do with existing patches of this pesky trespasser.
Don’t let the name fool you, either—this grass is no laughing matter. If it’s taken over your yard, you’re going to need to be persistent to get rid of it for good. It might put up a good fight, as it is known as one of the most difficult weeds to eliminate for good from your yard. The reason that it’s such a nuisance is because of how difficult removal can be.
Quack grass is different than crabgrass and has a unique way of growing, which is part of what causes it to get out of hand in many yards before people even know what’s going on. Read on to learn more about quack grass, how to handle it, and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.
According to Purdue Turf Management, quack grass is a perennial grass that forms in sod during tool seasons and spreads vigorously. It looks similar to crabgrass or fescue and is sometimes mistaken for one of the two, but it is its own plant and it’s one that you don’t want overtaking your yard.
Biologically known as Elymus repens, this monster can crowd out your good grass and even compete with other weeds. This grass is allelopathic, which essentially means that the grass releases chemicals during growth that will inhibit the growth of other plants and weeds. This weed often forms in large patches because it is so invasive and the spread happens so quickly.
Quack grass will stand out from the rest of the lawn, thanks to its blue-green, slightly ashy shade. It can quickly take over entire large areas and create a mess on your lawn. If you notice that you have a problem with this invasive species, make sure that you take the steps to get rid of it and prevent it in the future.
Unlike many yard weeds and pests, there is no real danger to be had here for the people and pets that live at your home. While quack grass is known to choke out the turf and other elements in your yard, it does not irritate skin or cause discomfort to pets. In many cases, this grass attracts small birds because they enjoy eating the seeds.
Quack grass is usually only removed because people don’t like the way that it looks and feels, compared to traditional turf grass. As far as safety is concerned, it doesn’t pose any threats to humans or animals.
Agropyron repens, also known as quack grass, has a dozen or more different names that it is known by in the gardening and lawncare world. It is often called devil’s grass, couch grass, or twitch grass. It’s expected that this weed has infected more than 50% of all Canadian farmland, so a lot of people just call it a pain.
Regardless of what you call it, there are several ways that you can stop this grass from invading your yard and even set yourself up to prevent future issues. That way, you won’t have to worry about treating the grass or dealing with other issues along the way. For starters, consider hiring the professionals at Yard Dawgs lawn care to deliver the solutions that you need.
If you want to prevent quack grass in the first place, make sure that you fertilize your lawn and use a healthy, sturdy grass that will grow tall and strong. That way, whenever the quack grass tries to pop up, it’ll be immediately rejected by the good grass in the yard.
Of course, the biggest issue here is that there’s not just one product that can be used to prevent or treat this issue without causing damage to the yard. This is often part of the reason that homeowners leave weed control to the professionals. They have the dedication and expertise to diagnose and treat an array of problems.
For those trying to get rid of quack grass that’s already in the yard, there are a few different options available. Of course, none of them are completely foolproof and currently, there are no biological options to control or treat this species. Usually, cultural control is the best option. Essentially, this just means that you have a healthy and dense lawn in place that will discourage the growth of this grass in the first place.
If you are looking for chemicals to treat this weed-like grass, nonselective weed killers will do the trick. Cool-season lawns with a quack grass problem can benefit from herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup) and other similar products.
It’s also best to treat existing quack grass when it’s still young and actively growing, not dried out, and flattened over the soil.
Like some of the more difficult weeds out there, getting rid of quack grass is no easy feat. It takes a lot of time and may require multiple applications to ensure that it doesn’t keep coming back. The trickier part here is that you have to let the grass grow back before you can kill it again, otherwise it won’t work and the grass will keep on growing.
When it comes to pesky issues like quack grass, weeds, crabgrass, and other invasive species that can mess up your beautiful lawn, you want to make sure that you choose the best solution. In most cases, that’s going to be going with a professional lawn services company that can deliver the solutions that you need. DIY would include a lot of mowing, trim work, plant monitoring, etc.—it would be exhausting almost instantly.
While some people do enjoy working on their lawns, others are perfectly happy to know that their belongings are safe and protected while the lawn team is working, no matter who they are or where they come from. DIY of this scale is almost unfathomable, which often causes people to skip it entirely. That, however, is the worst choice that you can make. If you think you can’t handle the work, hire someone who can.
There is any number of grasses and invasive species that can quickly take over your lawn, taking a space that was once comfortable and enjoyable for the whole family and turning it into a space where no one wants to be. Quack grass is just one of the many perpetrators, but it’s fairly simple to deal with provided that you take the time to get to know this weed, how it grows, what it thrives on, and so forth.
The good news is that you’re not alone in your quest for a beautiful lawn that’s free of weeds and grasses that don’t belong. At Yard Dawgs Lawncare, we offer an array of solutions to assist with weed control, fertilization, and other efforts to ensure that your lawn always looks (and feels) its best. Contact us today to discuss your needs for getting rid of pesky species like quack grass and find out how we can assist you.
Clare Ottenbreit is the Yard Dawgs Content Manager. In her Marketing role she coordinates and manages content, social media engagement and blogs. Clare has a diploma in Journalism from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. In addition to working with Yard Dawgs, she is an avid hiker and runner.