Despite having a whimsical name, quackgrass is an intense enemy that can take over your entire garden. So how can you get rid of quackgrass from your garden? There are many natural ways to remove weeds, including vinegar. But will vinegar kill quackgrass?
Yes, Vinegar can kill quackgrass.
But it can do only at the surface level. It doesn’t reach the roots of plants and won’t be effective, especially when the vinegar solution isn’t prepared well. Quackgrass is more challenging when growing its roots in the ground than other weeds. Therefore, we have enlisted some tricks to limit their growth and spread any further.
Will Vinegar Kill Quackgrass Weed?
Vinegar is a strong solution to kill all kinds of weeds when mixed with orange oil. But using it all the wrong way will not prevent the growth of quackgrass, and it will sprout out again. Even the incorrect amounts of vinegar used don’t help eliminate quackgrass.
Some may recommend using only 5% of acidic vinegar, which is too low to kill weeds. You must use at least 10% acidic vinegar to get better and permanent results. Otherwise, the least acidic will not cause wilting of weeds and doesn’t let them die.
However, you must follow all careful measures when dealing with vinegar containing 10% acid, as it is potent and highly corrosive. It can cause skin burns and leave wounds. Also, adding orange oil when you use 10% to 20% vinegar is highly recommended.
How to Kill Quackgrass With Vinegar? - Step-By-Step
Quackgrass - also known as devil’s grass or knotgrass, is easily identified by its stalk, wide blades, and thick stem.
To kill it,
- you will need a gallon of 10% to 20% vinegar added to a cup of orange oil.
- A cup of salt
- One tablespoon of dish soap.
Add all these ingredients inside a spray bottle and mix them well. It is always good to use only recommended amounts of items, but the quantities may vary with the area you want to cover.
Make sure to apply vinegar solution when the sunlight is at full strength or the average temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit for more effectiveness.
Is Vinegar Safe For Other Plants In Your Garden?
Vinegar is safe and doesn’t harm humans and pets, but applying it to weeds may affect nearby plants. If you spray it on quackgrass, the healthy plants surrounding the weed will also die.
But you can avoid it by adjusting the bottle’s nozzle in the correct setting.
Instead of mist, you must set a powerful spray setting to prevent other plants from getting in contact with vinegar.
How Long Does Vinegar Take to Kill Quackgrass?
The beneficial results come after 24 hours when quackgrass starts to wither and then die completely. However, this outcome won’t be permanent as you will need to repeat the application subsequently to hinder weed growth.
So, reapply the vinegar solution whenever you notice the sign of quackgrass sprouting.
What Are Other Effective Ways To Kill Quackgrass?
Luckily, vinegar isn’t the only way to kill quackgrass; there are many other better and more effective methods to remove this pesky weed.
Digging Out Weeds
Not the best, but still a good way to get rid of quackgrass. You can pick the weed from the surface by hand, but quackgrass's root (rhizome) lies deep in the soil. By hand picking, the roots will stay inside the ground to regrow, which you can prevent by digging out the weed up to 1 ft deep and wide.
It is almost impossible to kill quackgrass without disrupting the surrounding plants. However, smothering is a way to minimize the damage to nearby plants. For this, place a dark plastic over the quackgrass and fix it with the help of rocks. The plastic blocks the sunlight and prevents water from reaching the plant, causing ultimate death. This trick works slowly and requires at least 3 to 4 weeks to become effective.
Using Sodium Hydroxide
We may love salt in our food, but for plants, it is toxic enough to kill even quackgrass and other weeds. But just like vinegar, the salt will destroy other plants too. Therefore, you can make a solution of Sodium Hydroxide and cover nearby plants for prevention. Spray the solution on quackgrass or apply directly to kill.
Instead of covering the plant with plastic to restrict sunlight, you can overheat the weed to kill it. Here you will use a plastic bag, but not the dark one, to cover the weed. When the sun sets, let the rays directly fall on the weed. The plastic bag will mimic the greenhouse effect and solarize the ground to kill quackgrass.
But again, this method can take weeks to show effectiveness.
Using Pre & Post Emergent Herbicides
As you know, prevention is always better than cure; applying pre-emergent herbicides can keep your soil safe from weeds. Your garden will be invaded rarely by quackgrass or any other weed if you treat it well with these weed killers.
Don’t worry if it’s too late because the post-emergent herbicides can still help.
How to Kill Quackgrass without killing grass?
Using chemical herbicides is the best way to kill quackgrass without killing other plants or grass. Some post-emergent herbicides are designed to kill quackgrass without causing damage to the desired plants. You can use them to get better results.
How to Prevent Quackgrass from regrowing?
You can control the spread or limit the growth by dividing the soil into patches and cleaning their rhizomes. You can also remove the seedheads and treat the soil with inhibitors that inhibit weed growth. However, be cautious of other plants.
Vinegar is equally dangerous for quackgrass and other plants and can kill them. But you might not like the death of all plants in your garden. So, you can rely on alternative methods that are better and more efficient compared to vinegar.
But knowing how to make the right vinegar solution and apply it correctly can help you eliminate quackgrass.