Fast growing and quick to spread, crabgrass is an aggressive annual weed that easily finds a home in thinning lawns and bare spots in the turf. It creates a thick mangled mess in an otherwise tidy lawn, crowding out grass and robbing it of nutrients. Besides its invasive nature, homeowners hate this weed for turning their turf into an eyesore. Find out how to prevent crabgrass now.
Correctly identifying crabgrass is difficult because several weeds look similar. In its early stages, crabgrass seedlings look like tiny corn stalks. As it matures, the weed grows in clumps low to the ground. Thick, bending grass-like blades make up each clump and branch outward to create a crab-like appearance. Mature crabgrass has thicker blades than grass and the blades are attached to a star-shaped stem.
Getting Rid of Crabgrass
Killing crabgrass is all about timing. Your best bet is to apply a preemergent herbicide, but this must be done in the early spring before the weed develops. If you have a small amount of crabgrass in your lawn, hand pulling is an effective method. This process requires patience and time. Make sure to only pull out the weeds before they set seed. Don’t perform this task on weeds that have visible seed head tines. You may want to treat the areas where the weeds were with an herbicide to prevent any stray seeds from growing.
Use a postemergergent herbicide on crabgrass after it sprouts, but before it sets seed. This typically requires a hand pump sprayer. Reapplications are sometimes necessary, but be sure to follow the directions on the label for effective results.
Prevent Crabgrass from Making a Mess of Your Lawn
The crabgrass plant dies in the fall. However, it leaves behind thousands of seeds that lay dormant in the winter, ready to take over your turf come springtime. To prevent crabgrass maintain a thick healthy lawn that crowds out weeds. Perform a routine maintenance schedule of mowing at the proper height, fertilizing at the right time, and watering regularly. Reseed bare or thinning areas of your lawn where weeds target and fertilize the grass at least once a year.
If you need help identifying and fighting invasive weeds, contact Free Spray Lawn Care today at 419-529-5296. We’ll help your lawn stay healthy and weed free.