Moved into a home this January where the lawn has been seriously neglected for at least 5 years. Weeds have been allowed to grow as tall as 4-6 feet in the back yard over the last few years (neighbors tell me). I have it all, but it is the quackgrass (not crabgrass) that has me really down.
I have been planning all summer to overseed this fall. I already have the seed and did one area on labor day weekend. I was working on a second area today and there is so much quackgrass (not crabgrass, but quackgrass). I have spent all summer chasing the other weeds and did not see this invasion until about a week ago and it seems to have gotten much worse in just one week. I have been mowing high, watering deep, using alfalfa pellets and cracked corn. . . There has been a huge change in the worm population over the summer. . . so some things are improving. BUT, if I overseed now, I think I am just going to end up with a quackgrass lawn anyway.
So can anyone advise how to defeat quackgrass? What cultural practices will help the bluegrass-fescue and put the quackgrass at a disadvantage?
Helen Atthowe has a market garden, with each row of veggies separated by a 3' wide clover lawn. She had quackgrass early on.
In her youtube video series, she reports that frequent mowing, sufficient irrigation, and yearly over-seeding with clover caused "scavenger" plants to out-compete the quackgrass. The champion scavenger in her case was common mallow, but I understand bluegrass is a heavy feeder, as well. It's possible that another turf grass would be better yet at supporting decomposition microbes, in which case you might include such a grass in your seed mix, perhaps adjusting conditions in the favor of bluegrass after the quackgrass is under control.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
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