Quack grass is taking over in my yard. How can I kill it?
Dakota County Minnesota
The first thing you should do is to be sure that you have quackgrass and not crabgrass. The two are often mixed up. The treatment strategies for the two are very different. Take a look at the following three sites to be sure that you are dealing with quackgrass.
I am going to answer your question assuming you have quackgrass. If you decide that you have crabgrass, please disregard what I will say and get back to us.
For the immediate time, other than trying to pull it up, there is not much to do. In late August to early September quackgrass begins a very vigorous growth cycle. At that time try to kill the quack grass with a product such as Round Up. It should readily take up this herbicide, especially into its roots. Under ideal conditions, this may kill the quack grass before it releases any of its seeds. However, do this very selectively using a hand sprayer. Try to direct the herbicide directly onto the quack grass and avoid getting it onto surrounding grass. Within a few days, you should see the quack grass turning color and wilting. This will be your sign that the quack grass is dying. If some quack grass still looks unaffected, hit it again with Round Up. You may have to repeat this tactic next year as well. Getting rid of quackgrass is not a single year project.
If you find that some grass has been killed in this process, you may need to do some reseeding next spring or, more preferably, this fall during late September.