Preventing and controlling crabgrass is a task that burdens many homeowners.Digitaria is a species of creeping grass that is native to warm climates. Most homeowners know it as Crabgrass and it is a common problem that plagues many lawns.
Because this grass variety thrives in warm weather, it can really become a problem during the summer months. Each plant may distribute thousands of seeds, which is why it spreads so quickly. The key to keeping crabgrass under control is to prevent it before it has a chance to germinate. If preventative measures are not taken, there are some things that can be done to control the crabgrass after it has started growing.
Here are 10 Tips For Preventing and Controlling Crabgrass Before It Starts
1. Get started in the Spring.
Crabgrass prefers warm weather, so get ahead of it while the temperature is still cool. At Canopy, we recommend applying pre-emergent weed control. Pre-emergent weed control is specifically designed to stop common weeds like Crabgrass before germination. Applying a pre-emergent to your lawn will go after the weeds only and not effect your grass from coming in.
2. If you see a YOUNG crabgrass seedling, pull it.
If you spot crabgrass in your turf, pull it while the plant is still young. By pulling the plant as soon as it begins to poke through the soil, you are not only leaving a smaller hole in your lawn, but also preventing the plant for releasing as much seed.
3. DON’T pull mature crabgrass seed heads.
Unlike new sprouts, pulling seed heads after crabgrass has grown in can actually damage your lawn. Mature seed heads can spread thousands of seeds.
5. Maintain a healthy lawn.
Keeping your turf healthy is actually the best defense against crabgrass and other weed varieties. If your grass is thriving, it is harder for invasive weeds to to come in.
6. Don’t over-water your lawn.
The deeper the roots of your turf grass, the stronger and healthier it will be. People often over-water their lawns without realizing the effect it may be having on their turf quality. If your lawn is established, you should only have to water it about once per week giving it about an inch of water. If mother nature has already delivered an inch of rain, you can skip the sprinkler that week. Only when your grass is new, do you want to water it more frequently. However, be sure to use less water each time than you would on an established turf.
7. Mow regularly, but don’t cut your grass too short.
Healthy grass likes regular mowing, but if you mow your grass too often or too short, you can burn your lawn. Keeping your grass trimmed on a regular interval at a height that is recommended for you lawn will keep your turf thriving. Crabgrass likes plenty of light, so if your lawn is thick and healthy, it will be harder for the crabgrass to fill in.
8. If it is too late for pre-emergent, post-emergent can get your crabgrass under control.
Post-emergent herbicides are designed to go after weeds that have already germinated. The key here however, is to ensure that you are applying the right product. You should only apply herbicide that is safe for your lawn, otherwise you can damage the grass that you are trying to protect from crabgrass in the first place.
9. Check the weather, check the product and keep checking your lawn.
Certain herbicides prefer certain temperatures and can only tolerate a certain amount of moisture. Applying the herbicide at the optimal time for the individual product will ensure its effectiveness. After application, keep a close eye on your lawn. If you see new crabgrass seedlings popping up, you will need to re-treat those areas. If your lawn appears to be turning brown, you have likely applied to much herbicide and should apply water to the lawn as soon as possible to help dilute the product.
10. Call Canopy Instead.
Let us do the work for you! At Canopy, our landscape professionals are educated and trained to provide optimal care for your lawn. They can quickly identify the needs of your turf and landscape and treat them accordingly.
Our weed and fertilization plans are designed to maintain the health of your lawn and prevent and treat weeds on a schedule that will allow your turf to thrive. Better yet, sign up for one of our full service packages and we will cover all of your landscaping maintenance needs.