What native groundcovers can out-compete goutweed and quackgrass?


Thank you for helping me identify two invasives last year: goutweed, and quackgrass. I used buckwheat to smother a patch of quackgrass (yes, it seems to working!) and have tried blackout and pulling for two other areas where goutweed has heavily taken over, including infiltrating established daylilies and lilies of the valley, many of which I’ve just had to pull up. My question is, what groundcover, preferably native, can I plant that will go toe to toe with goutweed and quackgrass and keep it from coming back? This is in part-sun part-shade areas, including under some lilacs.


Pamela Hargest, Horticulture Professional

Thanks for your question! To be honest, I don’t think there is any plant that will completely keep goutweed and quackgrass from coming back, but the Wild Seed Project has an excellent plant list (PDF) (including groundcovers) for replanting after invasive species removal. The groundcover you select will depend on the site conditions (sun and soil) of where you will be replanting.