It might sound funny, but Quackgrass is no laughing matter.  Quackgrass (sometimes called devils grass, quick grass, and knot grass) is a perennial grass with stalky thick stems and wide hairy looking blades and is often confused with Crabgrass or tall fescue.  Even though quackgrass looks similar to these other weeds the treatment is different and so it is important to have a correct diagnosis.

Quakgrass is often planted in your lawn or gardens by birds who love the tasty seeds that this weed produces.  It can also be spread by straw bales.  Once quakgrass begins to grow it spreads rapidly and if you wait until this weed goes to seed to mow it down you can further complicate the problem.

With a prolific weed such as quackgrass you want to deal with it as soon as you notice its presence.  If you do find quakgrass in your lawn or garden bed, remove as carefully as possible, trying not to break off the roots.  If a root breaks and part of it is left in the soil it will soon grow again into a new plant so you will want to check that area frequently to remove any new growth.

Once quackgrass sets in it is one of the hardest weeds to eliminate because it is almost impossible to kill quackgrass without affecting neighboring plant life.  

Besides manually pulling up the weed there are a few options you can try.

Although it takes some time and patience you can smother or solarize the grass.  If you place dark plastic over the location and anchor it with rocks you can block out access to sunlight and water and smother the grass within 3-4 weeks.  Or if you use a clear plastic in the summer you can overheat the grass and solarize – this will also take a few weeks to work.

You can use a herbicide to treat quackgrass but because there isn’t an herbicide that will selectively treat this invasive weed, you risk killing any grass or plants around it.  Once you have killed off the weed with a herbicide you will want to make sure and seed those areas in your lawn to promote the growth of the grass you desire. 

Because of the difficulty in eliminating quackgrass once it takes hold in your lawn it is wise to remember that a healthy dense lawn is your best defense in keeping this weed from germinating in the first place.  Applying fertilizer and mowing and irrigating properly are all steps you can take to help your lawn resist this prolific weed with the funny sounding name!

If your Idaho lawn or garden is being overrun by quakgrass or any other weed and you would like assistance in eliminating them, contact us for a free estimate on our services.  We can be reached by phone, 208-884-8986 or by email,

Don’t forget to find and follow us on Facebook!