How to Get Rid of Quake Grass in the Lawn


Quake grass, better known as quack grass, came to the United States via Europe and is one of the most challenging plant pests for farmers and gardeners to remove from their lawns. Quake grass spreads via underground rhizomes, so cutting or weeding it creates new rhizomes that allow the plant to regenerate, much like a starfish growing a new limb. The best way to remove quake grass from your lawn is by using herbicides, and even this method takes multiple applications to work.

Step 1

Combine a herbicide containing glyphosate with water per manufacturer's recommendation. Pour the herbicide formula in a bowl or bucket.

Step 2

Dip a sponge into the herbicide solution. Coat the quake grass with glyphosate, re-wetting the sponge in the solution as necessary. Avoid getting the herbicide on any other flowers or grass. It will kill those, too.

Step 3

Dispose of the herbicide after use, following the safety precautions on the label.

Step 4

Reapply the glyphosate to the quake grass in 30 to 45 days in the same manner. As the University of Minnesota notes, up to 95 percent of the quake grass rhizomes contain dormant buds, so the grass will not be killed with one round of chemical control. Reapply the glyphosate as often as necessary to eradicate the quake grass.

Tips and Warnings

  • Wear protective rubber gloves and long pants when applying glyphosate, since it's a very dangerous chemical that can cause liver or kidney problems, throat irritation or other health problems, according to the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Things You'll Need

  • Glyphosate
  • Sponge
  • Protective rubber gloves
  • Ventilator face mask


  • Purdue University: Quack Grass
  • University of Minnesota: Quackgrass
  • New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services: Hazardous Substance Fact Sheet
Keywords: weed control, remove quake grass, remove quack grass

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.