Managing a repeat lawn offender
Crabgrass is very common in home lawns due to its tremendous reproductive capabilities. Just one crabgrass plant can produce thousands of seeds, and these seeds can remain in the soil for many years before sprouting. Since crabgrass is so prolific, eradicating it completely is unrealistic. Instead, successful control must rely on preventative measures.
It’s a fact: Dense, healthy turf has less crabgrass
The thicker your turf is, the harder time crabgrass will have getting established in your lawn. Your lawn can be made less hospitable to crabgrass through:
Regular Mowing- it’s important to mow often enough so that no more than ½ of the grass blade needs to be removed at a time. Longer grass blades shade the soil, helping to discourage crabgrass seed germination.
Deep Watering- Frequent, light sprinkling should be avoided since this will promote a shallow root system and less hardy turf. Instead, it’s best to irrigate deeply, letting the water penetrate 6” deep. This will encourage a deeper root system and a more robust stand of grass.
Proper Fertilization- Providing your lawn with the proper nutrients in the right doses will promote thicker, healthier growth. This will help to crowd out crabgrass plants.
Insect and Disease Controls as Needed- Left untreated, insects and disease can do major damage to your lawn, thinning out your turf and leaving more room for crabgrass plants to grow.
*Pre- Emergent Herbicides Offer Added Insurance
As their name implies, pre-emergent herbicides prevent crabgrass plants from emerging in the first place. They work by killing off any would-be crabgrass plants soon after their seeds germinate. So, it’s important to make sure they’re on your lawn before crabgrass starts growing. Plus, since there will always be crabgrass seeds trying to grow in your lawn, yearly applications are necessary for ongoing control.
Also, keep in mind that pre-emergents will stop good grass seeds from growing too. Therefore, any reseeding of your lawn should not be done until six to eight weeks after a pre-emergent application.
With a one-two punch of good lawn care practices and pre-emergents herbicides applications, your turf will be much less likely to suffer a crabgrass infestation.