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:
- Pre-emergent materials will only prevent it from germinating if the correct amount is applied and at the right time.
- It is equally important to follow good cultural practices of both proper watering and mowing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Crabgrass can still germinate despite using pre-emergent materials, but usually only along the edges of: lawns, sidewalks, driveways and other impervious surfaces.
- In many parts of the country, two successive applications of pre-emergent products are applied to extend its control abilities.
- On average, pre-emergent materials remain active for two months.
- 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.
- Each crabgrass plant can produce several thousand seeds throughout the summer.
- 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.