Healthy Lawns have less of this Bothersome Weed
It’s a fact: No lawn is completely immune to crabgrass. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken this spring- throughout the growing season ahead- to keep it under control.
AN UNFAIR ADVANTAGE
Just one mature crabgrass plant can produce thousands of seeds, which are able to grow in the hottest, driest conditions. Even incompacted soil along sidewalks and driveways, crabgrass seeds have no trouble germinating.
SO WHAT CAN BE DONE?
The healthier and thicker your lawn, the less crabgrass it’s going to have. Four keys to a lush lawn include:
- Fertilizing regularly
- Controlling insects and diseases as needed
- Removing no more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow
- Making sure your lawn gets from 1” to 1 ½” of water per week
A post-emergent herbicide can be used to treat any established crabgrass plant in your lawn. This type of herbicide will kick off the crabgrass as it is absorbed through the leaves of the plant.
A pre-emergent herbicide will also be very effective against crabgrass as long as it is applied at the right time (before the crabgrass seeds germinate). This preventative treatment will form a barrier in the soil, and newly sprouted crabgrass will be killed off before it can emerge aboveground.
There are always going to be crabgrass seeds in your lawn. So, annual treatment with a pre-emergent herbicide, and post-emergent herbicides as needed, are recommended for ongoing control. If you’re planning on reseeding this spring, it’s important to wait six to eight weeks after a pre-emergent application (the pre-emergent can prevent grass seeds from growing too). Likewise, post-emergent herbicides shouldn’t be used on newly seeded lawns until the new grass has been mowed at least three times.
With a combination of good lawn care practices and the appropriate herbicides, crabgrass doesn’t stand a chance!