Quackgrass... Do not Call me Crabgrass

Quackgrass is a weedy grass that probably gets its feelings hurt every time someone refers to it as "crabgrass".  Crabgrass gets all the glory.  It's understandable to confuse quackgrass for crabgrass because they have some similar characteristics, a coarse leaf blade and lime green color that causes it to look different from the rest of the lawn. Here's a picture of Quackgrass taken this spring.


If you see something that looks like crabgrass in the early spring in the midwest, you can be almost 100% sure that it isn't true crabgrass.  Old Fashioned Tall Fescue is another grass that commonly is confused with crabgrass. 

Who cares whether its crabgrass, Tall Fescue or quackgrass you ask?  It's still ugly and you still don't want it right?  Well, it matters because if you don't know what type of grass you're dealing with, it's difficult to know how to eliminate it.  For example, pretend you see quackgrass in your lawn and assume its crabgrass, you might decide to apply a natural pre-emergent crabgrass product, or worse, a chemical crabgrass pre-emergent to get rid of it, you won't have success will have potentially used a chemical for no reason.  Nobody is happy.

So what exactly is Crabgrass?

True Crabgrass is an annual grass that is only present in the lawn between June and October.  I usually don't see it sprouting until late May or early June in  Ohio.  At that point it is young and not very objectionable.  It doesn't get big and ugly until later in the summer.  Here's a picture of crabrass before it gets too ugly.


Crabgrass is a summer annual weed that sprouts in the spring, flourishes during the summer, and dies in the late fall.  The best way to eliminate true crabgrass is by thickening your lawn (seeding in the late summer/early fall), mowing high, and watering 1-2 times per week instead of daily.  You can also apply an organic fertilizer that contains corn gluten meal like our early spring organic lawn fertilizer to help prevent new crabgrass seeds from germinating.  Visit our website for more information about how to control crabgrass organically.

How to eliminate Quackgrass?

Quackgrass is actually more difficult to eliminate than crabgrass.  Unlike crabgrass, quackgrass is a perennial that does not die each season.  The best way to handle quackgrass organically is to overseed the area with desireable grasses, mow regularly, and fertilize organically to encourage the healthy grasses to outcompete the quackgrass.  If it's really bothering you, you can spray the quackgrass with roundup (not organic) and reseed the entire area (the roundup will kill the grass too).

Most Recent

What's Hybrid Organic Lawn Care

March 29, 2017 by Alec McClennan

What is Hybrid Organic Lawn Care? (Spoiler Alert: Its a wolf in sheeps clothing) It seems that choosing an organic lawn care company is getting more difficult. Back in 1999, when Good Nature Organic Lawn Care was founded, there was one type of lawn care company and they all used the same lawn care chemicals. Nobody really questioned whether using chemicals on their lawn was a good idea or not. People assumed that since the chemicals are approved by the government, they must be safe. Truth is, lawn care chemicals are not safe and any lawn care company that tells you that they use safe lawn care chemicals is breaking the law. At Good Nature, we use vegetable meals, proteins, sea plant extracts, humus containing products, plant oils, and micronutrients to keep grass and plants healthy so that they can defend themselves from insects and disease while defending their territory against weed invasion.It might surprise you to know that youll find many of our ingredients in the food you eat and

Your Lawns Could be Harming Your Cats

September 30, 2016 by Leigh Marcos

This guest post is from Leigh Marcos, a lover of all animals, especially cats. You can read more about how to care for your pets at the Shield My Pets website. This article is personal to me. As a cat lover, I have seen first hand what going all out to have the perfect lawn can do to your cat. In my case this was the piratic Mr. Spot. The great wanderer and mischief maker supreme. This is a summary of what Ive learned the hard way about how our lawns can affect our cats if we are not careful. How Pesticides Affect Cats In short, the fertilizers and pesticides we use on our lawns are poisonous to cats. As cats spend a large chunk of their time outdoors, this puts them at a higher risk of interacting with these toxic substances. Cats often nibble at grass and plants for medicinal reasons, but even if they do not, they step in the fertilizer and brush against plants sprayed with pesticides then they lick their fur and their paws while cleaning themselves. If ingested in large enough

This Summer's Weather Promoted Lawn Disease

September 27, 2016 by Alec McClennan

Conditions This Bad Not Seen In A Decade! What a summer! Drought-like conditions in July followed by rain, rain and more rain in August. Unfortunately, those are perfect conditions for infectious lawn diseases. Honestly, we havent seen this type of disease-favorable weather in 10 years! Think of it as the perfect storm for lawn disease. Diseases like brown patch, dollar spot, Pythium blight, leaf spot diseases and the appearance of symptoms of summer patch and necrotic ring spot. While temperature and moisture can bring on these diseases, there are other factors that take over once the disease becomes established. Also, some grasses are more affected than others by lawn disease...but all lawns are affected... Kentucky Bluegrass * Less prone to brown patch, dollar spot, gray leaf spot and Pythium blight * Very susceptible to root diseases such as necrotic ring spot and summer patch * Can tolerate some infection * During periods like is past summer, infection-impaired plants cannot

"Making the world a little better place, one organic landscape at a time"
Cleveland (216) 641-9800
Columbus (614) 885-5296
Akron (330) 836-9800
fax(216) 641-9805
Good Nature Organic Lawn Care - Corporate
7621 Old Rockside Road
Cleveland, OH 44131

And always stay informed of the latest Good Nature news and events!

© 2015 Good Nature Organic Lawn Care. All Rights Reserved.
Powered by Virteom