• Call (800) 479-6583
  • Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
  • |
  • Sat 9am-5pm

quackgrassHow to Remove Quackgrass from your garden and turf

Quack, quack! Don’t let the funny name fool you, Quackgrass is no laughing matter,causing agitated lawn owners to go into fits from its persistence and rapidly spreading. Eliminating this weed from your garden can be frustrating job but it can be done. Getting rid of quackgrass requires persistence. We here at Solutions Pest and Lawn know the best methods and products to get rid of this troublesome plant. Read on to learn more about it and how you can choke this invader from your lawn for good.


Quackgrass Background Information

Quackgrass (Elymus repens) is a perennial weed and a very difficult weed to control when it emerges upon lawns.The Latin name for quackgrass translates as 'sudden field of fire', and attests to its sheer ability to quickly take over lawns, fields and gardens. Quackgrass is actually native to Europe and has been growing in the U.S. for over 200 years in all states except Arizona, Florida and Hawaii.

The leaves are typically broader than lawn type grasses and the grass blades have a rough almost burr-like feel to them when the blade is felt by fingers. The roots are thick and white. When pulled from the ground, quackgrass roots break easily and often pieces of the roots will stay in the soil after the plant is removed.

Quackgrass grows from underground rhizomes to an unmowed height of 1 to 4 feet. It has thin, flat, bright ashy green leaf blades. The seed spike grows from 3 to 8 inches long and appears in July. Each quackgrass plant produces about 25 seeds which can remain viable between 3 to 5 years in the soil. It takes 2 to 3 months for a newly germinated plant to develop rhizomes. It is very important to eliminate the plants before they reach this stage.

Rhizomes (underground stems) vary from yellow to white, 1/8" in diameter, with distinct joints or nodes every inch or so. Each node has the ability to produce fibrous roots, which sends a new blade of grass through the soil. If left to grow, they will form a dense mat 4" thick in the upper part of the soil. One plant can produce 300 feet of rhizomes each year.

In the home garden, quackgrass can invade gardens containing perennial flowers or vegetables, making it extremely difficult to eliminate.

Quackgrass Control Options

Recommended Pre-emergent and Post-emergent Herbicides:

As with any invasive weed, the best way to control quackgrass is to make sure that you do not have it in the begin with. Any plants that you bring home from stores or nurseries must be carefully checked for quackgrass and remove the quackgrass plant and roots completely if discovered. Another essential part of getting rid of quackgrass is to act quickly when you do find it in your garden. Quackgrass moves rapidly through any soil, but moves like wildfire through loamy or sandy soil.

Check your beds often for any trace of this invader. If quackgrass is found, remove the quackgrass plant and roots as best as possible. Check the area daily for any new growth and remove any new quackgrass found as soon as possible. If your flower beds or lawn turf have become overrun with quackgrass, herbicide application is usually hit or miss because quackgrass tends to be resistant to weed killers and not respond well when applied.

Here at Solutions, we carry some selective herbicides which claim to remove quackgrass but it will require timing and persistence on your end to ensure that they are completely eradicated. We have listed them above.  If the quackgrass doesn’t take to the selective herbicides, your best best is using RoundUp or Glyphosate, which is a non-selective weed killer. Glyphosate is certain to eliminate quackgrass but will also kill any plants the quack grass is growing near.

Whether you go selective or non-selective with your herbicide, you will need to commit to conducting follow-up applications. Wait one week and treat the area again. Wait one more week, and if quackgrass is starting to grow again, repeat application. While this may seem a bit extreme in order to control quackgrass, this is the only way to ensure that you have eliminated this stubborn weed. This approach may be somewhat time consuming, so it is important to treat this weed early and fast. The reward is that you never have to worry about getting rid of quackgrass that has taken over a once beautiful flower bed.

Quackgrass Control Tips and Recommendations

  • A good tool to use to aid with your herbicide application is mixing your selected herbicide with a surfactant so that your application can stick to the goosegrass and not runoff. You should also use a Spray Pattern indicator to mark areas of your lawn that you have already treated with herbicide to avoid over spraying.

  • Please follow instructions on the label when handling herbicides. Weed killers vary when it comes to application rates.

  • Herbicides can be harmful if you come in contact with it. Protect your eyes, skin, mouth and nose by wearing protective equipment any time you handle herbicide chemicals.

  • Browse our knowledge base and check out our helpful How-To Videos to get more thorough step-by-step guidance in applying the herbicides we carry.


To get more information on controlling quackgrass and other troublesome weeds in your yard as well as receive free help over the phone, contact us at askapro@solutionsstores.com or call our customer service line at (800) 479-6583.

Contact Us