Like a crab, crabgrass has many legs and is low to the ground. Also, it is difficult to get hold of when weeding and it even eludes the blades of lawnmowers. Crabgrass favors sandy, compacted soil where the grass is thin and weak. A bare lawn allows sunlight to directly hit the soil, which helps crabgrass to flourish. So how do you tackle this nasty weed that manages to grow in sidewalk cracks and along driveways while taking over your lawn and flower beds? The best way to control crabgrass is to keep it from emerging in the first place rather than trying to kill mature plants.
Crabgrass is an annual weed that starts to grow in early summer. It is drought-tolerant and is often the last green plant in your yard before the first hard frost. Crabgrass germination occurs when soil temps reach 55°- 65°F at a 3″ depth for 5 consecutive days. A single crabgrass plant can produce 150,000 seeds during the growing season. The time to get rid of crabgrass is before it produces seeds. You can do this by applying pre-emergent herbicides in the spring.
Pre-emergent herbicides work by killing the crabgrass seedlings as they germinate. The herbicide must be applied uniformly across your entire lawn. If you miss a spot, crabgrass can get established and then spread to the rest of your yard. You should not use a pre-emergent herbicide if crabgrass is already in the lawn or if you have just installed sod. Make certain to always follow package directions regarding proper clothing, protective equipment, application procedures and safety precautions.
Solomon’s Landscaping encourages you to use a professional when treating lawns with chemicals since you could do damage to your other plants.
The best defense for crabgrass is a healthy lush lawn so don’t cut your grass to low and make sure you aerate and fertilize as needed. If you have any questions about your lawn, we are here to help.
Interesting Fact: Stone Age dwellers in Switzerland cultivated crabgrass and it was important food crop in China by 2700 B.C. It’s still a traditional food in India and Africa. Would you eat crabgrass?