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The Backyard Science group regularly publishes The Daily Bucket, which features observations of the world around us.  Insects, weather, meteorites, climate, birds, flowers and anything natural or unusual are among the worthy topics.

 Please let us know what is going on around you in a comment.  Include, as close as is comfortable for you, where you are located. Each note is a record that we can refer to as we try to understand the patterns that are unwinding around us.

Trigger warning. If you continue reading below the orange portal, you will see the face of Satan.

Wiki says it is Elymus repens, a very common perennial species of grass, known as
twitch, quick grass, quitch grass (also just quitch), dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.

That long white root is a horribly fecund rhizome.  I've hired guys to dig it up out of what used to be a pretty ornamental garden outside my front door, then I paid my kid to dig up there even more, and then I dug there myself, and all the time we kept uncovering more and more and more of those roots.

My teacher in a gardening class alleged it emits a poison to wipe out its competition. The Penn. State Agricultural Sciences state it can reduce  crop productivity by 95%.

 Here's all that's left in the ornamental garden where we tried to dig it up; just a lonely peony and some lavender.

Use Round-up they say, use poisons!  

Ah, but what about the little frogs that permeate my yard?  I've read the majority of applied herbicide sprays drift off of the target plant.  What if the frogs hop through the tainted grass after spraying? Frogs breathe through their skin, any herbicide would probably kill them. I just can't spray.

I talked with the guy I hired to dig up some of it.  He looked at me like I was crazy when I said I  wouldn't spray. Finally he said he heard that vinegar would work.

My tires screeched as I drove to the grocery store swiftly, and returned with several gallons of vinegar.  Here's the test plot.

Vinegear contains acetic acid, which is the killing agent. So I should dilute it.

HA! Dilute it, hell!! Take that you little !@$!%^%!!! I poured a half gallon of pure vinegar onto the test plot.

A couple of days later, here's the result. I certainly wiped that smarmy little smirk off of its green face.

After I calmed down and read some more about this technique, I learned that adding in some soap may help the vinegar adhere to the plants, and that the vinegar works by dehydrating the plants, so applying during hot days will enhance its effects.

However, applying an acid will certainly affect your soil ph in a limited area and could also kill some of the useful soil microorganisms.  It could also damage roots of nearby, established plants.  Nonetheless, I took some hellish glee in finally dealing a setback, however brief, to the quackgrass.


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