crabgrass vs quackgrass

How to Differentiate Between Crabgrass and Quackgrass

Both crabgrass and quackgrass can be a menace to gardeners as these 2 ruin the prospect of a beautiful garden. We all know how weeds are harmful to other cultivated plant life and thus preventing them becomes extremely necessary. Often people believe that all kinds of weeds can be successfully treated in the same way, but that’s not the case. You must identify the kind of weed that infests your garden and treat so likewise. 

Crabgrass and quackgrass are the most common kinds that invade your garden. If you’re wondering how to differentiate and treat them – you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re gonna talk all about these two species – crabgrass vs quackgrass and how you can get rid of them. 

Stay tuned till the end of the article to acquire a complete body of knowledge regarding the same.

What is Crabgrass?

In the crabgrass vs quackgrass article, defining the two is of utmost importance. Being familiar with the species is of utmost importance. 

Crabgrass grows in the warm season. So, if you are a northerner you might not see it until May. The term itself is an umbrella term for a number of species that come under it like smooth and hairy crabgrass. It requires very little to bloom and it generally thrives in places where nothing else can survive. This beast survives literally anything. It doesn’t care about moisture, fertility or pH, as long as the warmth is supportive.

In the winter season, however, this grass dwindles on their own due to cold, and your garden is left with dry leaf blades. They reproduce a large number of seeds every year and if not controlled, it could go out of hand. 

Crabgrass Identification

To deal with it you must know what does crabgrass looks like. There are way too many kinds of crabgrass to identify from and precisely why it becomes difficult to identify it in the crabgrass vs quackgrass game. However, time plays a crucial role in identifying the former. It grows from white underground white rhizomes and grows in star-shaped stomps. The leaves also grow independent of the shoot. So pay attention to these signs, while you’re looking to identify the weed.

Crabgrass Control Tips

Managing crabgrass can be really tricky but not impossible. 

Choke out the shoots 

Choking out the shoots means that there will be no further growth in that area. Be careful about doing it the right way as they can have a regrowth pretty soon. Keep checking for regrowth and if required, perform the activity more than once. 

Mowing the Lawn 

Mowing the grass of your lawn up to two to three inches will help keep the crabgrass in check. So make sure to get the best mower out there and go down on your garden. If you’re an amateur or not used to mowing, you can hire professionals for this work. 

Use Pre-emergents 

You may use pre-emergents such as corn gluten to stop the growth of crabgrass from the root. It’s not harmful to your lawn and soil, but the results might be limited. However, if you’re willing to put in a lot of extra care –  go for this option. Also, make sure to use the best crabgrass preventer

Using Post-emergent Grass Killers 

Not all of us have the patience and time to tend to the garden, so we pick chemical stuff to deal with such nuisance. For this post-emergent is the best option, as these herbicides kill the weed over the ground. 

And if money’s not a problem, you can also get organic post emergents, they’re less harmful to the soil.  

What is Quackgrass?

The major difference between crabgrass and quackgrass is that the latter grows in winter and is extremely invasive. It is a perennial weed which means that it will religiously appear year after year. It produces both underground stems and seeds and thus you might wanna mix and match different products and techniques to combat the invasion. 

Just remember that this grass stores its nutrients in the roots, so if you cut off just the shoot, there’s a high chance that it will again grow from the roots. 

Quackgrass Identification

What does quackgrass look like? They have a shallow structure on the ground. The stems grow single populating an area. In the battle between crabgrass vs quackgrass, the latter is more difficult to control. So if the weed appears in your garden way too often, be sure that it’s quackgrass. 

Quackgrass Control Tips

Inhibit Soil Conditions 

In addition to moisture, sunlight, and wind quackgrass will begin to grow when the temperature hits 55 degrees. To prevent this, achieve a luscious and dense lawn condition. This will prevent the shoots from growing as they would have to compete with other vegetation. This is the best way to control the population, as once it spreads its roots, you’ll have a hard time controlling it. 


If you noticed the growth only after it has manifested its presence on the ground, make sure to uproot it. Just trimming the area will not solve problems. Reach the lower level of the topsoil and uproot the vegetation. After this process you can use chemicals and other products, to ensure a better result. 


In the case of any weed, herbicides work great. Use the best and in proper intervals. 

Crabgrass Vs Quackgrass: Key Differences

Grows from underground rhizomes 
Crablike structure that remains on the ground in shallow appearance 
Cool season Warm season 
More difficult to control and requires a number of complex waysCan be prevented by uprooting during the period of germination 
Grows from single shoots Grow from stumps in numbers 
Leaves hook around the stemGrows independently from its stems

Final Word

Now that you know all about crabgrass vs quackgrass and how to prevent them, we hope you’ll get the best crabgrass and weed killer so your lawn could be a  paradise that you’ve always wanted for yourself and family. The season for BBQs and outdoor parties is here soon, so make sure your friends and relatives will look at your lawn turf with admiration.

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