It doesn’t have to be an uphill battle
Scientists have recorded 50-year-old crabgrass seeds sprouting after being brought to the surface from deep in the soil! They are very tough seeds, and a challenge when it comes to controlling this grassy weed.
A Very Prolific Producer
Just one mature crabgrass plant can produce from 4,000 to tens of thousands of seeds, which are then brought into your lawn by birds, on the shoes of your mailman or other visitors and blown in by the wind. Once these seeds lodge in your soil, they don’t need much to germinate, grow and begin to spread. Because crabgrass is an annual, it grows quickly to a circular plant 12 inches in diameter. It defeats your slower growing turf and leaves large holes or voids when it dies in the fall.
A Two Prong Attack to Win Against Crabgrass
- Crabgrass needs bare or nearly bare soil in order to germinate. It has trouble getting a hold in thick and healthy lawns. So the first step is to keep your lawn healthy and thick. That means a good fertilization program: keeping up with pests and being sure the lawn gets enough water and is mowed properly.
- Use a combination of both pre- and post- emergent herbicides to directly control crabgrass.
A pre-emergent herbicide is applied in the spring or late fall to set up a barrier in the soil. As weed seeds just begin to germinate, they are eliminated by the pre-emergent.
A post-emergent herbicide can be used to treat any established crabgrass plants in your lawn. This type of herbicide will kill off the crabgrass without harming your established lawn.
Crabgrass and other annual weed seeds will keep coming into your lawn. The best solution is to remember the “two prong” attack- healthy lawn practices and a combination of herbicides- to get any that slip through and make sure you win this year!