How to win the weed war

14 common garden invaders and the best ways to control them

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Quack grass (Elytrigia repens)
David Goldberg

Quack grass (Elytrigia repens)

Also known as couch grass or devil's grass, quack grass is an aggressive perennial that produces an extensive mass of long, slender, yellowish white branching rhizomes (underground stems) that can spread laterally 3 to 5 feet.

Thoroughly dig the area and remove all visible pieces of rhizome; this will slow the weed's growth for a few years. You can also suppress quack grass by smothering it; leave the cover in place for at least a year.

For chemical control, use preemergence herbicides on turf grasses and around ornamentals listed on the label. Or spot treat with an herbicide containing glyphosate, taking care to avoid contact with desirable plants.


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