Late summer is a stressful time for your lawn. Not only does it deal with drought, heat, pests, and extra traffic from outdoor activities, but crabgrass is one weed in particular that loves to invade your lawn this time of year. When it comes to crabgrass control, there’s two ways to go: with chemicals or without.
The Nature of this Nuisance Weed
Crabgrass thrives in the hot, dry weather and its wandering stems quickly take over the yard, stealing nutrients from native grasses and plants. Turf weakened by a summertime of stresses makes a perfect target for this invasive annual weed. And, before it dies off in the fall, each plant produces thousands of seeds to haunt you next season.
Crabgrass Control Using Chemicals
The best crabgrass control is prevention, and using a pre-emergent herbicide is the most effective way to stop the weeds before they start. Timing is tricky, though. Apply this treatment in the spring while weeds are still seedlings and before they sprout. A pre-emergent herbicide creates a barrier on the soil that prevents the seedlings from emerging.
As the name suggests, a post-emergent herbicide kills crabgrass after it germinates and is applied directly to the plant. Treatments often need to be repeated after the first application. It’s important to pick a dry, sunny day for application, since a rain shower washes away your hard work before it sinks into the soil. The soil should be moist before treatment, so water the lawn well a day or two before application if necessary.
Control Crabgrass Naturally
Want to control crabgrass without the chemicals? Corn gluten functions as a natural pre-emergent herbicide when applied before the weed sprouts. As a bonus, it also acts as a fertilizer for your grass. Unfortunately, once weeds have emerged, corn gluten is ineffective.
Once crabgrass establishes itself in your lawn, hand pulling is another natural method to use. This method requires patience and only works with a small amount of weeds. You must wait until the weed is big enough in order to get the whole plant out, roots and all. Weeding tools get the job done, but a hoe or screwdriver works, too.
Good lawn maintenance gets you ahead of the weed game. It’s the most important crabgrass control method. When you establish a good maintenance routine that consists of regular watering, mowing grass at the proper height, and fertilizing at least once a year, your lawn is thick and strong enough to keep most weeds away.
Call in a Crabgrass Expert
Whether you battle crabgrass with chemicals or nix it in a more natural manner, you don’t have to fight it alone. We can help you with crabgrass control, or any other weed worries. Call Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] today.