Crabgrass Prevention – Maintaining Your Lawn

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baton rouge crabgrassTIPS FOR PREVENTING CRABGRASS

The persistent weeds and unwanted grass growing on someone’s manicured lawn are blamed on Crabgrass. They mostly grow during the warmest parts of late and mids of summer. If you see grassy weed growing in the early spring, it is not crabgrass.

There are many types of weeds that give a similar look like crabgrass and even the way they should be treated are both similar. If you are facing a problem that is actually because of crabgrass. There are a number of ways in which you can get rid of this weed and protect your lawn.

THE LAWN SHOULD BE THICK AND LONG

Crabgrass is that kind of a weed which is opportunistic. In the summer time, if the lawn is not fed with enough water, the grass begins to dry out. This is exactly the condition which is favorable to crabgrass growth. If the lawn is unhealthy, it takes only one season for the crabgrass to step in and take over the lawn.

The best way to prevent the growth of crabgrass is to keep the lawn healthy and thick. Sufficient water should be poured in the lawn to keep the soil moist. The grass should not be trimmed too short. Let the grass attain a height of two and a half inches. The healthier the lawn is, the lesser the opportunities crabgrass will get to creep in your lawn.

SOIL SHOULD BE MULCHED

Sometimes even in healthy soil, the crabgrass gets a chance to grow. Those who know about crabgrass also know this that they can come back every year. After removing the crabgrass patch, the area should be mulched. Due to mulching, the crabgrass seeds that may be in the soil would have a sufficient time in germinating.

If you had a crabgrass problem in the past, a little layer of mulch can be beneficial. This should be kept in mind that the soil should not be too much mulched as this can compact the grass. Although compacted areas restrict the growth of crabgrass, but they even restrict the growth of desired grass for your lawn.

PREVENTIVE MEASURES

There are some pre-emergent treatments that can be purchased for making the lawn good. The time of early spring is the best time for using a pre-emergent as it is the time before grass starts to develop. Until the weather is extremely hot, crabgrass does not grow, so there is a lot of time to apply the treatment.

You will have the knowledge of the areas in your yard where the crabgrass can grow, if you had this problem of crabgrass in the past. You should then concentrate more on those areas so that when summer comes, the crabgrass would not get a chance to grow.

CRABGRASS OF LATE SEASON

crabgrassThe main trouble is this that once the crabgrass grows in late summers, you cannot do much to rid your lawn of them. The little you can do is to pull them out with your hands. This may be a time consuming process but it will help you to clear your yard off some of the crabgrass. After pulling out the crabgrass out of the yard, you should treat the area from which crabgrass was taken out as soon as you can. Crabgrass seeds don’t take too long to germinate and grow again. Good mulch can also be used to prevent the crabgrass seeds from becoming healthy.

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH HERBICIDES?

Though crabgrass may give the look to you like that of a grass, but it is a common weed. Using a herbicide is the only effective chemical to remove the crabgrass, but the problem is this that it is harmful to our grass also. The natural methods that are used on broad-leaf weed , like the dandelions are futile in case of crabgrass. Unfortunately, no chemical method is good that can help you get rid of crabgrass without affecting your lawn.

The best thing that you can do is to keep a check on weeds when they begin to grow in your lawn during early summer and pull them out by hand as soon as you spot them. Crabgrass creeps in on those areas that are sunny and dry. So, if you use plenty of water, some of your problem can be solve. Being an annual weed, crabgrass dies off during the first frost every year that time can be utilized to implement the pre-emergent so that the crabgrass does not come again in the next season.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Don’t think and wonder why the crabgrass is again in the summer although you used the preventer in spring. The basic reason for the failure of weed prevention technique is this that the application may have been too late to stop the germination of the pesky crabgrass seeds. One more thing that lawn owners think the preventer failed as they are not aware of the fact that the weed preventers are meant to stop the “annual weeds” like crabgrass from germinating but are not effective on the “perennial” weeds that have the tendency to grow back from their roots. So you have to make sure that you apply the preemergent weeds control before the germination of crabgrass and other annual weeds. You can apply Scotts Bonus S which not only helps in weed prevention but also keeps the actively growing weeds in the lawn under check.

Coming to timing, how can we know when is the best time to apply the pre-emergent? The answer is also there. Crabgrass can only germinate if they have soil temperature in the 60s for almost an entire week. The trouble is this that we have no soil thermometer but the plants in our vicinity are the best indicators to show that the conditions are favorable to crabgrass germination. Apply the pre-emergent when you see the yellow blossoms falling off from the forsythia bus or when you get a sight of lilacs in bloom or before you get a glimpse of dandelion puffballs.