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Getting to Crabgrass Before it Gets to You

One of the most beautiful parts of any really great lawn is what isn’t there. That’s right…the things that are missing can give your lawn the smooth, even color, and texture that makes the yard look like it’s covered with a deep green carpet. The absence of crabgrass is what we’re talking about. That infamous invader of otherwise manicured lawns. Sprouting quietly from seed each year, crabgrass quickly develops into unsightly clumps of stalky stems and light green, broad blades that go to work smothering your good grass. Left to itself, crabgrass dies at the end of the season, leaving dead patches throughout the lawn, but only after producing and dropping as many as 4,000 seeds into the soil – per plant! Because of the aggressive way crabgrass grows and spreads in a lawn, it’s especially true that prevention is better than cure. That’s what pre-emergent weed control does. It stops these bad guys, by literally, nipping them in the bud.  Forming a barrier zone in the top inch, or so, of the soil, pre-emergents put crabgrass and other seeds out of business as soon as they begin to sprout.

Dealing With Crabgrass - Expert Lawn Care Advice

Controlling Crabgrass Takes Continued Care

Remember, getting crabgrass out of your lawn is not a once and for all kind of thing, it takes continued care.  In addition to pre-emergent weed control, here are a few cultural practices to remember for the very best control.

  • Don’t let soil dry out so much that cracks appear. This breaks the pre-emergent barrier and allows crabgrass to sprout.
  • Keep grass mowed high. Scalping the lawn sets the grass back several weeks and lets more sun and warmth reach the soil surface.
  • Give extra water to the lawn along pavement. The concrete or blacktop heats up causing quicker crabgrass germination.
  • Remember that edging your walks and drives breaks up the crabgrass barrier. You may have more crabgrass in these areas if you edge regularly.