Animal friendly treatment

Asked August 14, 2020, 10:31 AM EDT

We’ve suddenly noticed what looks like Crabgrass or Quackgrass taking over a 10’x8’ area of our lawn. What should we use to eliminate it that’s not poisonous to dogs? Thanks

Ramsey County Minnesota

3 Responses

Thank you for writing.
I need a close up.
This is a fairly comprehensive set of images.
https://apps.extension.umn.edu/garden/diagnose/weed/idlist.html

Thank you for the pictures.
This is knotweed. https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/ladys-thumb
Quite invasive. Bees like it.
I have it and there is a lot this year. The best method is to pull by hand before it seeds. Most young weeds can be pulled from the soil. They will slide out most easily if you pull them when the soil is wet. Getting the root up is crucial, so think of the main stem as the root's handle, and grasp it as close to the soil line as you can. If you find that the weeds are breaking off at the crown as you pull, slip a kitchen fork, dandelion weeder, or similar tool under the weed, and pry and twist as you pull it up. Weeds that have taproots, such as dandelion and plantain, usually must be pried out. A flexible pair of waterproof gloves will keep your hands comfortable as you weed, and it's good to have a nice sitting pad, too. Let pulled weeds bake in the sun for a day or so before composting them. If pulled weeds are holding mature seeds, compost them separately in a hot, moist pile before using this compost in the garden.

Mulching is a good way to prevent regrowth if you find it in a garden. Mulch must be at least 3 inches deep, with synthetic materials underneath to once again block out the sun, and provide a barrier to restrict seed growth.
For Lady’s Thumb, some of the best control methods work when applying products containing dicamba, 2,4-D or glyphosate.
Dicamba is pet toxic. http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/dicamba_gen.html#:~:text=Pure%20dicamba%20is%20low%20in%20toxicity%20if%20breathed.&text=Pets%20may%20be%20exposed%20to,area%20where%20dicamba%20was%20applied.
The problem is that these herbicides kill a wide range of plants. If you do go that way, follow the manufactures directions, carefully aim spot applications and only apply on a windless day. Be mindful of stepping on sprayed areas.