Perennials forum: How can I keep quack grass out?

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caitlinsgarden
Jul 15, 2016 1:58 PM CST
The only success I have had so far is to keep digging out a border around the beds. Please don't suggest chemicals but I really would like to find a less labor intensive method. I keep getting older and more decrepit every year...
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jul 15, 2016 2:00 PM CST
Ditto!
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 15, 2016 2:02 PM CST
Found this in the weed library. http://garden.org/learn/articles/view/2375/

Good luck! We haven't had any luck as yet.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 16, 2016 7:17 AM CST
The article suggests using scraps of carpeting between rows to control weeds. I tried this once, and eventually the carpet fell apart and I now have pieces of pile everywhere in my garden; a very persistence nuisance. Don't do this unless you are careful to remove carpet before it falls apart.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Tomato Heads Houseplants Garden Ideas: Level 1 Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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pirl
Jul 16, 2016 8:19 AM CST
Good idea!
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa (Zone 5a)
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billyporter
Jul 18, 2016 5:47 AM CST
My neighbors use Poast Herbicide and have good luck with it. It's pricey. I once had to dig up my entire garden. I sorted each shovelful, removing all the roots. I also cleaned up rocks, pottery and broken dishes.

This was before I had a digital camera so I didn't take pictures, but I had piles of dirt. I have kept it out out by keeping an eye on the edges where it sneaks in from the grass.
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Name: Daniel Erdy
Catawba SC (Zone 7b)
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ediblelandscapingsc
Jul 19, 2016 1:44 AM CST
I don't have quackgrass but we do have Bermuda grass and it's a real pain here in my garden. I've tried everything and nothing works. all the ideas on the net sound good but this stuff is relentless. It's an invasive grass from Africa so drought and heat don't hurt it. you can solarize it but as soon as you move the plastic it's back within a week. It will climb up raised beds, on concrete, and in gravel. It spreads via runners, seeds, and roots if you don't have please don't plant it. I wish I could give some advice on the quackgrass but it looks like we all are facing an uphill battle with grass.
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jul 19, 2016 2:58 AM CST
My experience is that digging just spreads the quack grass.
In some areas it can be slowed by covering with papers and cardboard and mulch, but in some areas spraying or painting is the only way.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jul 19, 2016 7:24 AM CST
I totally agree with Caroline, tried digging out quack grass for many years and it would spread because it is impossible to remove all the runners plus any tiny pieces that break off will grow. Finally I got tired of the hopeless task and got information on using fusillade II spray, it works the only thing that works against quack grass in my garden. Covering it here did not work as it sent its runners under the cover and would pop up wherever it wanted to grow.
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caitlinsgarden
Jul 19, 2016 8:57 AM CST
It doesn't seem to grow under the driveway! Billy Porter, are you still doing the border patrol successfully? That seems to be the only non chemical solution.
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa (Zone 5a)
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billyporter
Jul 19, 2016 11:05 AM CST
Daniel
Bermuda grass sounds positively horrible!

Caroline,
Digging will spread it if you don't sort out each and every root. And that is what I did.

Caitlinsgarden,
Yes I am! I had to dig it out of the asparagus this spring. It got started when I had the compost pile by it and I didn't see it happening. But I'll get it under control too!
A small town has no secrets except itself

caitlinsgarden
Jul 19, 2016 3:06 PM CST
How would digging spread it? it already sends up numerous spikes from the runners whether it is a partial runner or the whole thing. I would think that getting most of it out, would be better than nothing? Maybe what you are referring to is roto-tilling it into hundreds of pieces without getting them out? Asparagus is bad I always mulch heavily.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Jul 19, 2016 3:41 PM CST
Roots can reach down 12-18", maybe more. Unless you get all of it, at that depth...It will continue to grow. Vigorously.
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 19, 2016 4:55 PM CST
Flowerbeds? Or vegetable gardening. I would tackle each differently. Here's what I do for my flowerbeds, and trust me, we do have quack grass here!

First and most important, mulch! I use bark mulch. A thick layer of it. I use the biggest size, which makes it easier when you're moving plants around. That small chunk stuff isn't easy to stop falling into the holes you dig when things are being transplanted.

Secondly, a border to stop the bark mulch from being all over the lawn. Lately, I've been picking up peoples' renovation leftovers of their stone brick tiles, real cheap, off Kijiji, etc. I line the flowerbeds with it. Looks great! Underneath the tiles, I use something to block the quack grass from coming up between the tiles, like cardboard cut in lengths to fit underneath.

Thirdly, patrol!!! Every day, take a walk through your flowerbeds, checking for weeds or grass. You're probably out there anyways, deadheading flowers or watering or just enjoying what's there. I know I am. The quack grass will still come up! But...! Using these three steps, I do very little grass pulling now. I do have one area that I have hens & chicks in so I can't use bark mulch in those areas and that's where I do most of the patrolling and pulling of every single little grass leaf that dares to poke their little heads up. But even that amounts to only about five minutes every two days.

Open this up for the wide view:

Thumb of 2016-07-19/conniepr27/528479

[Last edited by conniepr27 - Jul 19, 2016 5:06 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1217490 (14)
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 19, 2016 5:05 PM CST
Now, I don't have a vegetable garden, but I do have three rows of raspberries. When I created that patch, first I lined the rows between with that black landscaping paper that blocks weeds. Then I topped that with a few inches of bark mulch. Within two years, I ended up stealing the bark mulch for flowerbeds (I kept expanding. *Blush* ). So, the cheaper option:. Every time I mowed the lawns, I dumped the grass clippings between the raspberry cane rows. I learned that a thick layer of those grass clippings really works well to keep the weeds down. Have to keep adding more, because the grass clippings eventually break down and go into the soil, which is also a really good thing! Smiling now I mulch my strawberry patch with grass clippings as well.
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa (Zone 5a)
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billyporter
Jul 20, 2016 5:20 AM CST
Caitlinsgarden,
I have wondered abut mulching the asparagus. What do you use, how thick?

Tara,
They do indeed. I find when I start to dig into the grass I loosen the dirt and follow the root, continuously loosening as I go till I can get the whole thing. That's how I get it all and keep it out.

Connie,
I like your style. I have to dig flowers up and clean them before replanting to get the grass out of a flower bed. If I get my beds the way I want them then I do mulch. I like the bark chips. Cypress will hold onto itself but it's not pretty so I only use it under the grapes. I have a long line of them and it's cheaper.
LOVE the picture! Beautiful bed and cat!
A small town has no secrets except itself
Name: Connie
Edmonton, Alberta area (Canada (Zone 3a)
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conniepr27
Jul 20, 2016 5:40 AM CST
Thanks, Sally!

caitlinsgarden
Jul 25, 2016 8:18 AM CST
Wow, I really like the look of this border. Have you ever used heavy duty weed barrier fabric? I would put the mulch and pavers on top just for looks. Something else I am experimenting with, inside the border - light weight fabric cloth with a few holes that you overplant with sedum acre, hens and chicks, etc. and can lift and weed underneath and put back down. This has happened by itself in places, and I think it has a lot of possibilities with shallow rooted ground covers...



conniepr27 said:Flowerbeds? Or vegetable gardening. I would tackle each differently. Here's what I do for my flowerbeds, and trust me, we do have quack grass here!

First and most important, mulch! I use bark mulch. A thick layer of it. I use the biggest size, which makes it easier when you're moving plants around. That small chunk stuff isn't easy to stop falling into the holes you dig when things are being transplanted.

Secondly, a border to stop the bark mulch from being all over the lawn. Lately, I've been picking up peoples' renovation leftovers of their stone brick tiles, real cheap, off Kijiji, etc. I line the flowerbeds with it. Looks great! Underneath the tiles, I use something to block the quack grass from coming up between the tiles, like cardboard cut in lengths to fit underneath.

Thirdly, patrol!!! Every day, take a walk through your flowerbeds, checking for weeds or grass. You're probably out there anyways, deadheading flowers or watering or just enjoying what's there. I know I am. The quack grass will still come up! But...! Using these three steps, I do very little grass pulling now. I do have one area that I have hens & chicks in so I can't use bark mulch in those areas and that's where I do most of the patrolling and pulling of every single little grass leaf that dares to poke their little heads up. But even that amounts to only about five minutes every two days.

Open this up for the wide view:

Thumb of 2016-07-19/conniepr27/528479




caitlinsgarden
Jul 25, 2016 8:21 AM CST
Asparagus - anything! As thick as possible. Straw, grass clippings, weeds...As long as it is not a solid barrier (like weed fabric), the asparagus will grow through it.


billyporter said:Caitlinsgarden,
I have wondered abut mulching the asparagus. What do you use, how thick?

Tara,
They do indeed. I find when I start to dig into the grass I loosen the dirt and follow the root, continuously loosening as I go till I can get the whole thing. That's how I get it all and keep it out.

Connie,
I like your style. I have to dig flowers up and clean them before replanting to get the grass out of a flower bed. If I get my beds the way I want them then I do mulch. I like the bark chips. Cypress will hold onto itself but it's not pretty so I only use it under the grapes. I have a long line of them and it's cheaper.
LOVE the picture! Beautiful bed and cat!



caitlinsgarden
Jul 25, 2016 8:35 AM CST
I just found a tutorial on quack grass that I printed out - all 18 pages!

http://oacc.info/Docs/Quackgrass_final_rev_JD.pdf

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