Quackgrass, also known as couch grass, is a grassy weed found in most regions of the United States. It is considered invasive in the Midwestern and Western coastal states. Producing new shoots from late summer through the fall, this cool-season perennial can be hard to control once it appears in a lawn. The best way to stop quackgrass from growing on your property is to prevent the weed from growing in the first place. Read below to learn how.
Keep Your Lawn Healthy
The best defense against quackgrass is a healthy lawn, as the weed tends to appear in lawns that have patchy, loamy soil.
The following are ways you can help create a healthy, weed-free lawn:
- A soil test will help analyze your lawn's soil for missing nutrients. After completing the test, you can then choose a fertilizer that meets your lawn's nutritional needs and apply regularly.
- Water your lawn regularly, as needed. Water in the morning to allow the water time to dry and to prevent burning in the summer sun.
- Mow your lawn regularly, keeping the grass blades 1-2 inches long.
- Aerate your soil once or twice a year to help air and nutrients reach compacted soil.
- Fill in patchy areas of your lawn or overseed with grass seed.
Check out our Cool Season Lawn Care Schedule for more information on when and how to perform lawn maintenance.
Apply a Pre-Emergent Herbicide Treatment
Quackgrass will begin to produce new above-ground shoots in lawns in late summer and through the fall. By applying a pre-emergent herbicide in early summer and again in the fall, you can help keep your lawn healthy and strong by preventing new weed growth.
Choose a pre-emergent herbicide that is labeled for quackgrass and mix in a hand pump or backpack sprayer with water, according to the directions on the label. Then, spray your entire lawn in neat rows to ensure even coverage. You may want to add a temporary spray indicator dye to your mixture to see where the product has and has not been applied.
Be sure to wear personal protective equipment, including gloves, long sleeves, and closed toe shoes when applying. Wait 1-2 hours after your application before allowing pets and children back into the yard.
Quackgrass can be avoided with the right timing and treatment options. If you're not sure if you have quackgrass in your yard, read our Quackgrass Identification Guide before selecting a treatment. How to Get Rid of Quackgrass will help you eliminate the weeds already in your yard and the Quackgrass Inspection Guide will walk you through where to look for quackgrass in your yard.
If you have any additional questions about how to eliminate quackgrass or would like product recommendations, give our experts a call at 866-581-7378 or contact us online.