Also known as couch grass or dog grass, quackgrass is a type of grass that is characterized by long stems, with blades or leaves found on the upper portion of the stems. The grass also often sprouts a small spike that can contain multiple blooms. Quackgrass is native to Asia, Africa and much of Europe.
Unlike some other forms of grass, quackgrass is often classified as a weed. Along with crabgrass, the appearance of couch or dog grass is seen as detrimental to lawns and gardens in many places around the world, especially countries where the grass has been naturalized over the years. Lawn weeds of this type create a number of lawn care problems, as they are very invasive and can strangle out more desirable forms of grass with relative ease.
The intricate root system makes quackgrass very difficult to kill. If any portion of the root remains, there is a good chance the grass will re-grow in a short period of time. For this reason, it is important to dig deep when removing this kind of lawn weed. After filling in the hole, some gardeners recommend covering the area with a thin piece of cardboard topped with wood chips as a precaution.
While removal of quackgrass from the lawn or garden is difficult, it is often necessary. The grass can quickly proliferate and take over the area in a short period of time. As this happens, other plants or types of grass are unable to receive the nutrients they need to grow properly and are very likely to die.
While not considered a desirable type of ornamental grass, quackgrass does have some practical uses. The leaves and blooms from the grass are used in various types of herbal medicine, often for ailments such as an upset stomach. Quackgrass roots are sometimes dried and infused into a tea that may help ease water retention or difficulty urinating. Domesticated animals, especially dogs, may dig up and consume the root as a way to settle some ache or pain.
Many lawn and garden shops contain at least a couple of weed killers that will help to control and finally eliminate quackgrass from a lawn or garden. In addition, many professional lawn and garden services are well acquainted with this type of weed and know exactly how to contain an infestation and eventually kill it off completely. While hiring professionals to eliminate quackgrass from the lawn may be somewhat expensive, the cost is easily offset by preventing the need to purchase new plants or sections of sod to repair the damage caused by these weeds.