Controlling Crabgrass: 10 Things You Should Know

crabgrass growing in your lawn

I am completing my 40th year in lawn care and have heard the question, “Why is there so much crabgrass this year?” for the last 39 years.  I had nothing to compare the amount of crabgrass that was evident during my first year, so I did not realize it was a problem. The point is, crabgrass will germinate every year, even if a preventer has been applied to the lawn.

Dealing With Crabgrass – Expert Lawn Care Advice

10 Things to Know When Dealing with Crabgrass:

  1. Pre-emergent materials will only prevent it from germinating if the correct amount is applied and at the right time.
  2. It is equally important to follow good cultural practices of both proper watering and mowing.
  3. Of all the follow-up practices, mowing height has the most effect on crabgrass germination. After observing lawns for the last 40 years, the people that mow their lawn short have the most crabgrass problems.
  4. A preventer, provides a type of barrier that prevents new seedlings from pushing past the soil line. The seeds will germinate, but as they reach this barrier, the plant will die.
  5. Crabgrass can still germinate despite using pre-emergent materials, but usually only along the edges of: lawns, sidewalks, driveways and other impervious surfaces.
  6. In many parts of the country, two successive applications of pre-emergent products are applied to extend its control abilities.
  7. On average, pre-emergent materials remain active for two months.
  8. Although the properties of these materials allows them to bind to soil particles, excessive rain after an application causes the material to wash further into the soil, rendering them useless.
  9. Each crabgrass plant can produce several thousand seeds throughout the summer.
  10. When working against the many seeds in the seed pool, some are bound to find a way to germinate. As it has been said many times, nature finds a way to keep growing.

Controlling crabgrass can be difficult, regardless of what type of summer we have. There is a lot of it on lawns this year, but it has been a problem on some lawns for a long time. If crabgrass is a problem in your lawn, contact your local Spring-Green professional.