All Things Gardening forum: Tips for effectively getting rid of large amounts of quackgrass

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jan 7, 2018 4:57 PM CST
well when I say large amounts, I don't mean of the weed particularly, but rather large areas-as in my entire flower beds. Grumbling
I have daylilies, sages, roses, bulbs, iris, ect. I find that this weed grows incredibly fast, chokes out everything, and when I try to pull it up, it 'runs' and pulls up the soil along with it disturbing the roots of my flowers so that the plants never get rooted strongly or thrive. My soil is on the heavy side and we have really hot/dry summers. I am just SO weary of battling this weed. Crying
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Jan 7, 2018 6:35 PM CST
I've never heard of "Quack Grass" and after reading about it, I have no clue (sort of sounds like Burmuda Grass) but did find this from University of Minnesota agricultural extension. That's close to Missouri, right? Smiling

https://www.extension.umn.edu/...

Actually, this article isn't all that helpful. I can tell you about Cheatgrass. Rolling on the floor laughing

I'll go away now....
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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jan 7, 2018 6:50 PM CST
Fusilade II is the only thing that works for me. I tried for years to pull and dig it out which was a losing battle in my garden. Someone it might have been here informed me of fusilade II, now I spray when I see some in early spring each year it is getting to be far less that grows. The product is not cheap but it works and goes a long way at least in my garden, still have some left in my first bottle to use for the coming season.
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Jan 7, 2018 7:08 PM CST
What you are calling quackgrass may have other names in other parts of the country.
It may be a good idea to first do a Google search with the keywords 'quackgrass botanical name'; the result is Elymus repens.
Look at photos to make sure that is the same plant you know as quackgrass.

Then punch the botanical name into a search adding the words 'common names'.

Couch, twitch, quick grass, quitch grass, quitch, dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass and witchgrass. Whew, no wonder it's so hard to get rid of; lots of aliases. Confused

Then search for herbicides specifically for that plant. Don't know what herbicides will do to flower plants as most label information is about crops. If you have a feed & seed store they may have something that will work. Also, check with your local county cooperative extension.
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Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jan 7, 2018 9:02 PM CST
Long time gardener here with a wide variety of flowering plants in my garden which would not get sprayed with anything that would harm them. I do spray in early spring when the quack grass starts growing and the perennials are still quite small being careful not get the spray on them if possible. Using a hand held sprayer allows me to better direct the spray to a limited area. I know that some small amount of spray sometimes gets on my perennials, so far have not lost a one of them due to the spray.

Each person should absolutely do research and ask other gardeners in your area how they handle the quack grass problem. I also got information on using the fusilade II spray from members of the AHS since besides my perennials I also have plenty invested in daylilies wanting to cause absolutely no harm to them, am a longtime member of the AHS society. I would also recommend doing some test areas to see if whatever you choose works well for you.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

[Last edited by daylilydreams - Jan 7, 2018 9:03 PM (+)]
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 7, 2018 9:48 PM CST
Elymus repens
yes this is the one!

https://www.google.com/search?...

link to images of the roots which is probably what it's known for actually more than being able to id it from it's 'tops'.

I also have burmuda grass and it too is straight from the pits of hell, I assure you! Glare
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jan 7, 2018 10:15 PM CST
I have to deal with it a lot up here, including in heavy black gumbo.
It sends it true roots DEEP, over a foot down. What you are pulling are young roots.
If there is a systemic killer use it; if you do not eventually you will have pull the entire garden and dig it out.
Miss one little section and it comes back quickly.
The old main root is brown. It spreads by seeds and rhizomes.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 8, 2018 8:59 AM CST
well I use a shovel and dig up masses of runners. I have sprayed it w roundup to no effect whatsoever. It is so entwined with so many of my plants/shrubs that I am at loss as to what to do w it. It has killed my roses in the front before I realized what was doing it.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jan 8, 2018 6:14 PM CST
You need to spray it with a non-selective vegetation killer. One that kills everything but you have to make sure you do not let it hit your plants.
Uncover a mass of roots spray them and put some of the dirt back.
If it is a systemic killer you should see many parts die off.
There is no quick fix.
Try some brand other than Round-up.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 8, 2018 9:16 PM CST
daylilydreams said:Fusilade II is the only thing that works for me. I tried for years to pull and dig it out which was a losing battle in my garden. Someone it might have been here informed me of fusilade II, now I spray when I see some in early spring each year it is getting to be far less that grows. The product is not cheap but it works and goes a long way at least in my garden, still have some left in my first bottle to use for the coming season.


so I looked at that on Amazon, wowzers at $75 a bottle Crying

I will keep it in mind as an option. I seen in some of the Q/A that some people say you can spray it directly on daylilies and it doesn't harm them?
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 8, 2018 9:22 PM CST
DaisyI said:I've never heard of "Quack Grass" and after reading about it, I have no clue (sort of sounds like Burmuda Grass) but did find this from University of Minnesota agricultural extension. That's close to Missouri, right? Smiling

https://www.extension.umn.edu/...

Actually, this article isn't all that helpful. I can tell you about Cheatgrass. Rolling on the floor laughing

I'll go away now....


Actually your link was useful Thumbs up

It says to apply a nitrogen based fertilizer to encourange growth of the underground runners -this will help to ensure that topical herbicides are more effective. I didn't know that. Not sure what all that nitrogen would do to my plants though.
I clearly should have tried to get rid of this BEFORE planting the garden, but I didn't know what it was or that it was a problem, until later.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jan 11, 2018 5:46 PM CST
Told you it was pricey, but after years of trying to dig it out which does not work this finally works even if it needs small yearly touch ups finally not all that digging. Hurray!
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 11, 2018 10:31 PM CST
I have tried and tried to dig it, it is just too deep and it always comes back Sad
I may have to try this though.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Jan 15, 2018 10:00 PM CST
daylilydreams said:Told you it was pricey, but after years of trying to dig it out which does not work this finally works even if it needs small yearly touch ups finally not all that digging. Hurray!


says you have to mix it w a surfactant, what do you use to mix it with?
Also read somewhere that applying it in the spring before the tops reach 8 inches tall is a help. Any tips?

Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Jan 15, 2018 11:53 PM CST
I just put a little Dawn dish soap in, I have a large original style Dawn just for this use in the garden it works for me. Not sure if the newer ones would work as well.
If you want to be happy for a lifetime plant a garden!
Faith is the postage stamp on our prayers!
Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Mar 2, 2018 2:38 PM CST
Here is a photo taken today of a daylily that is starting to come out. Unfortunately the weed is starting to come out right along with it. I don't know what to do with this, my whole garden looks like this. I can't possibly dig out all my plants, and where would I put them? Plus digging them out would tear up the weed's roots and all those little pieces come up as new ones. Can I just spray this stuff right over the top of my dl?


Thumb of 2018-03-02/Frillylily/7b2ab1

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tantefrancine
Mar 5, 2018 11:21 AM CST
@Frillylilly: That picture of yours could be picture of my backyard AND part of my front yard. I have my front yard split into left and right side, with a walkway in between. I have cleaned ( I really hope it is clean) 1/2 of my left front yard. I do not have a big property, only 1/8 of an acre including the house. I have pulled all my irises and dug the roots of the Bermuda grass and bindweeds in that 1/2. I went around my roses and I did not pull them out but I have extracted the roots as best as I can with all kinds of tools. I am almost 80 but I am stubborn! I found a rose aerator from DeWit. Sneeboer has it too, very expensive, but it really helps me. It has 2 prongs and I use it to dig--, then I use my cobrahead trowel or any of my numerous favorite handtools to pry the roots off from the rose roots. It took me a long time, I really hope that part does not have any bindweeds nor Bermuda grass. I work a little spot at a time. Usually I just dig out my irises and clean it, then plant it again. I cannot do that with my rose bushes. I have also bought some herbicide and plan to use it for the other parts, very carefully. Lets encourage each other! and not give up! I have bought all kinds of tools from DeWit and Sneeboer. And I also have all kinds of garden forks and spade, if I need stronger ones than the 2 prongs one.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 5, 2018 3:02 PM CST
First thing to do is clean ALL th debris away so you know exactly what is what and debris is not catching hold and spreading weed killer.

After you clean the area get a vegetation killer and an art paint brush and paint the vegetation killer on the quack grass.

It is not one and done, keep at it all summer and the quack grass amount should diminish but if it is tangled in the roots of your daylillies either you dig them up and clean out the roots or all your effort is a waste of time.
When you dig up the flower make the hole bigger than the root so you can find ALL quackgrass roots that are infesting you flower.
I learned this the hard way and will have to dig up some daylillies a third time this year.
There is NO easy way to fix this.
[Last edited by RpR - Mar 5, 2018 5:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Deb
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Bonehead
Mar 5, 2018 3:15 PM CST
I am always confused by the terms quackgrass and crabgrass - same plant? I know I have a large clumpy grass that likes to infiltrate my garden beds. I've found that keeping it cut close to the ground eventually kills it. I can also pull it out slowly by grabbing 3-4 stalks at a time. Whatever it is has really long roots that grow sideways. I don't use or condone herbicides, so no help there.
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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Mar 5, 2018 3:35 PM CST
Crab and Quack are too totally different grasses.
Quack is perennial and spreads by seeds and rhizomes.
Crab , the type that is a lawn weed, is annual and reseeds itself like annual Rye Grass.

Now Quack, can turn into a lawn but if some one wants a mono-culture lawn, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
The problem is Quack will move out of the lawn and into the garden, if not by rhizomes by letting go to seed and mowing thereby blowing the seeds into the garden.

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