Quackgrass Control

Most Effective Products

Barricade Granular Pre-emergent Herbicide
Granular
As low as $28.99
Eraser 41% Glyphosate
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $15.90
Nanotek Surfactant
Surfactant
As low as $27.99
Certainty Turf Herbicide
Water Dispersible Granule (WDG)
As low as $94.51
Keith's Pro Tips

"As with any invasive weed, the best way to control Quackgrass is to make sure that you do not have it to begin with. Any plant seeds 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."

Quackgrass Control: How To Get Rid of Quackgrass

This page is a general DIY guide for controlling quackgrass. Using the products and methods suggested you get control of quackgrass. Follow this DIY article and use the recommended products, and we guarantee 100% control of quackgrass.

Quackgrass, also called witchgrass, couchgrass, dog grass, quickgrass, quitch, scotch, scutch grass, shelly grass, knotgrass, or twitch is a tough weed to control on a residential lawn. Quackgrass scientific name translates to 'sudden field of fire' in Latin and is a good description of the weeds ability to quickly spread over lawns, fields, and gardens. Quackgrass is native to Europe and has been growing in the U.S. for over 200 years in nearly every state aside from Arizona, Florida and Hawaii.

This weed has leaves that are typically wider than lawn type grasses and the grass blades have a rough texture when the blade is felt by fingers. When pulled from the ground, the roots break easily, and often pieces of the roots will stay in the soil after the plant is removed and eventually regrow.

On residential yards, quackgrass can quickly invade making it tough to control. If you want quackgrass eliminated from your property, we can help. Our DIY treatment guide was put together by our lawn care experts and will show you exactly what you need to do to remove quackgrass from your lawn quickly and affordably compared to other options.

Identification

Before you can conduct treatment, you need to be sure what quackgrass looks like so you can identify whether or not it is the weed you are dealing with. Misidentification can lead to using wrong treatment methods which can be a waste of time and money. When quackgrass is established, it can stand out easily amongst your other plants. Here are some traits to help you identify quackgrass:

Quackgrass

  • Quackgrass is a cool-seasoned perennial grassy weed that has a creeping quality. The leaf blades are flat with a dull green or light-blue color. 
  • Leaf blades are hairy on the upper-facing surfaces, but smooth on lower-facing surfaces. The blades taper to a pointed tip. Often they appear slightly twisted as they are rolled in the bud, and a pair of narrow auricles wrap around the stem of each grass leaf blade. They grow 3 to 12 inches in length and up to 1/2 an inch wide.
  • A single erect flower head (spikelet) develops at the tip of the stem, ranging between 1-2 alternating rows of spikelets. They are flattened in appearance with each spikelet producing multiple tan, narrow, oblong seeds. As the inflorescence matures, they will change from greenish blue to straw colored. The seed heads are 2-6 inches long spikes. 
  • Quackgrass grows unbranched, erect, and reaches up to 4 feet in height. It will also spread rapidly with long white to yellow colored rhizomes, which have brownish sheaths at the joint. These rhizomes can spread up to 24 inches horizontally and extend 8 inches into the soil below. 

Use our description and image above to help you to identify quackgrass on your lawn. If you are having trouble confirming the plant's identification, contact us and we will properly ID the plant for you as well as give you the best product recommendations for your weed issue.

Inspection

Once you are certain that you are dealing with quackgrass, you should then proceed with an inspection. During this phase you will pinpoint the areas where quackgrass is growing and the conducive conditions of the area. This will help you in determining where to focus your herbicide applications.

Quackgrass inspect

Where to Inspect

Quackgrass grows the best in moist, well-drained soils with thin turf and other less competiting foliage. 

Common sites for this weed to be found are croplands, semi-wet meadows, lawns, drainage ditches, roadsides, vacant fields, gardens, pastures, and along creeks and rivers. 

What To Look For

Quackgrass stands out among typical lawn grasses as it grows in sporadic single clumps. 

Keep in mind quackgrass can produce flowers and seeds from May to October. 

Treatment

Be sure to wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when handling and applying any type of herbicide material. 

Quackgrass is a terribly difficult weed to control, especially via manual or mechanical control methods. These type of methods can actually make the problem worse because pieces of rhizome that may be left behind. Any leftover plant material will just take root and sprout into a new plant. 

If you are situated in the southern United States with warm-season grasses, we recommend Certainty Turf Herbicide. This herbicide offers the selective control of weeds in warm-season turf.

To get rid of quackgrass in cool-seasoned turf and other areas of your property like sidewalks or paved areas, we recommend using a non-selective herbicide like Eraser 41% Glyphosate. Keep in mind this product will eliminate any foliage it comes into contact with. 

Step 1: Mix and Apply Herbicide

Determine how much herbicide material to use by measuring the square footage of the treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together (length X width = square footage). 

For spot applications in warm-seasoned turf, use 0.75 oz. of Certainty Turf Herbicide per 2 gallons of water per 1,000 sq. ft.

To increase this herbicides rate of control, we recommend using a non-ionic surfactant like Nanotek Surfactant. Nanotek Surfactant is a non-herbicide product designed to improve the adhesion and penetration of pesticides onto treated surfaces. Simply add 2 teaspoons of Nanotek Surfactant per gallon of pesticide solution. 

To use Eraser 41% Glyphosate, apply this product at a rate of 2 1/2 oz. (5 tbs) with 1 gallon of water to treat an area approximately 300 sq. ft. 

Mix and apply this products separately in a handheld pump sprayer. When you are using Eraser 41% Glyphosate it would be best to put a label on the sprayer stating non-selective to avoid cross contamination with other types of herbicide applications in the future. 

Fill your sprayer with half the amount of water then add in the appropriate amount of herbicide. Next, fill the rest of the way with remaining half of water water and shake the sprayer.

Once the product has been mixed, spot treat the quackgrass weeds you found during your inspection. Use a fan or cone spray pattern to ensure the leaves are fully coated, and spray the weed to the point of wet but not runoff.

Step 2: Follow Up Application

Pump sprayer treatment

You may need to do multiple repeat applications if the weed is particularly persistent and problematic.

Repeat a second application with Certainty Turf Herbicide when 4-10 weeks have passed after the first treatment. 

Most treated weeds usually show initial symptoms in 2-4 days after Eraser 41% Glyphosate application and complete kill in 1-2 weeks, but a second application may be made after 4 weeks. 

Prevention

Once quackgrass has been eliminated from your property, you will need to implement some preventative measures which will ensure that this weed does not return.

  • Not only does quackgrass spread through rhizomes, but it will also create new plants by spreading seeds. The best way to prevent new plant growth from seed is by applying a pre-emergent herbicide. Barricade Pre-Emergent Herbicide Prodiamine Granular is a granular pre-emergent that will prevent various broadleaf and grassy weeds, including quackgrass (known as witchgrass on the label) in established turf. Depending on your turf species, you may be using anywhere from 1.5 to 4 pounds of Barricade Granular Pre-Emergence Herbicide per 1,000 sq. ft. Spread the proper amount of product into a push or broadcast spreader. Broadcast the granules uniformly using your spreader. You may need to make two perpendicular passes to completely cover the treatment area. After application, water the treated area with 0.5 inches of irrigation. 
  • Maintain regular fertilization of lawns so it is harder for this weed to grow through dense foliage areas. 
  • Mow your grass at proper intervals to maintain a thick growing density. A lawn dense with taller trimmed grass is better able to choke out weeds and prevent them from establishing.
  • This weed can regrow from any small portion. By cleaning mowers, spreaders, and other agricultural equipment when coming back from an area previously or currently infested with quackgrass you can reduce odds of this weed reoccurring.
  • Til or hoe areas with this weed until roots are completely removed. Be sure to avoid tossing soil and foliage onto nearby uninfested areas. 
  • Reduce the shade cast on your lawn by trimming overgrown shrubbery and tree branches, rake away leaf litter and pick up any debris, and employ a proper watering schedule to provide the local grass with enough water to strengthen its roots, but not so much that will encourage weeds. Many grasses require 1 inch of water every week. Apply the water all at once in the morning so it has time to seep into the ground without evaporating in the sun.

Key Takeaways

What is Quackgrass?

  • Quackgrass is a creeping, sod-forming perennial grass weed that establishes quickly and is very persistent.

How to Get Rid of Quackgrass

  • Our top products to treat quackgrass is Certainty Turf Herbicide for selective control of in warm-seasoned turf and Eraser 41% Glyphosate in all other turf areas and sites. Add in Nanotek Surfactant to increase the herbicides rate of control.

Preventing Quackgrass Reinfestation

  • To prevent quackgrass from returning, apply Barricade Pre-Emergent Herbicide Prodiamine Granular. Keep up with regular lawn care maintenance and fertilization to further reduce conditions needed for this weed to grow. 
Questions and Answers
  1. Q:What can I use in my vegetable garden to get rid of witch grass? I want the grass gone but I don't want to sour my soil or kill off my vegetables!
    5/28/24
  1. Size:
  2. Size:
    SOLUTIONS
    Solutions Sprayer - 1 Gallon Poly
    $36.99 - $36.99
  3. Size:
    CSI
    Eraser 41% Glyphosate
    $15.90 - $48.71
  4. Size:
    SOLUTIONS
    Nanotek Surfactant
    $27.99 - $98.99
  5. Size:
    MONSANTO
    Certainty Turf Herbicide
    $94.51 - $94.51
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