Crabgrass Prevention & Control
Crabgrass is an annual weed with a long germination period. They have spreading stems with wide leaves that lay relatively flat to the ground and point outward. One crabgrass plant is capable of producing 150,000 seeds per season and growing up to 12” in diameter. With many bordering lawns in the suburbs, previous signs are not necessary for new growth. Crabgrass is a difficult weed to control once it has sprouted and will leave large void areas in the lawn where they are killed. In turn, these “void areas” are typically popular stops for re-growth the following year. Click link for more information on crabgrass identification.
Typically two conditions are helpful in crabgrass control; a healthy lawn and a preventative pre-emergent. A healthy lawn limits the growth of weeds because a strong, thick grass root system will limit growth. Therefore, fertilization and proper watering is the beginning defense to produce a healthy, thick lawn. In addition, a pre-emergent is a spread-on, granule-based product which creates a barrier in the soil limiting germination. These products are spread early enough in the season to stop unwanted germination but not too early to stop desired germination (i.e. grass seed). Crabgrass begins sprouting when the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees for around 3-5 days, which typically happens in May when the average air temperature is 70 degrees. This would constitute a proper application time in April and May. A pre-emergent application as early as March has the capability to last all season.
Even with all the preventative maintenance there is always a chance of crabgrass sprouting. Crabgrass has excellent survival and reproductive qualities. A weed control application would be the most effective way to stop the crabgrass before it fully grows and begins seeding.