When To Apply Crabgrass Preventer In Texas

July 14, 2021 | Fertilizing Tips, Pests, posted by Dejan

Crabgrass is an obnoxious weed that can take over your lawn if it isn’t properly managed. Fortunately, with the right preemptive measures (more on that below), you can keep your lawn looking its best. 

In this informative post, find out how crabgrass preventers can help control crabgrass in your yard, and when and how to apply it in Texas.

What is Preemptive Crabgrass Preventer?

Pre-emergent crabgrass preventer is a type of herbicide that helps control crabgrass and other annual grassy weeds before they germinate and grow. It’s applied to lawns and landscapes in the late winter/early spring and late fall months to prevent the germination of crabgrass and other weeds. Pre-emergent crabgrass preventer works by forming a barrier on the soil surface that prevents weed seeds from germinating. The active ingredient in pre-emergent crabgrass preventer is usually either a form of the herbicide prodiamine or dithiopyr.

How Does Crabgrass Preventer Work?

Crabgrass preventer works by forming a barrier on the soil surface that prevents weed seeds from germinating. The active ingredient in pre-emergent crabgrass preventer binds to the soil and creates a barrier on the surface that prevents weed seeds from sprouting. 

The trick when it comes to addressing crabgrass is to stop it in its tracks before the crabgrass seedlings have the chance to sprout and overtake your grass. That’s where a pre-emergent herbicide, one that targets crabgrass specifically, can help. By preventing crabgrass seedlings from sprouting, a crabgrass preventer can help preserve your existing grass and prevent crabgrass outbreaks throughout the season. 

It’s important to note that a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer works best when it’s applied to your lawn at the right time using the right application method. This is especially true in a state like Texas, where high temperatures, unique climate, and diverse ecosystem can make applying the right product, at the right time, a bit tricky.

When To Put Down Crabgrass Preventer in Texas

In Texas, the best time to apply crabgrass preventer is typically during the spring, when the weather is warm outside, ideally higher than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Most weed seeds will begin to germinate when soil temperatures have been about 55°F for a few days, so applying a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer before this time will give you the best control. 

Note: It can be difficult to determine what the ground temperature might be like, but a threshold of 60 degrees outdoors indicates that the crabgrass preventer will have the best chance at stopping the growth of these weeds. Also, a soil temperature map for your area is a great tool to facilitate when planning your pre-emergent applications. 

It’s also important to follow the directions on the product’s label when applying a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer. Over-applying pre-emergent herbicides can lead to damage to desirable plants, so it’s important to make sure the product is applied correctly and at the correct rate. Additionally, it’s important to remember that pre-emergent herbicides are only effective on weed seeds that have not yet germinated, so it’s important to make sure the product is applied before weed seeds have had a chance to germinate.

You can ensure that your pre-emergent crabgrass preventer works effectively by following these three general tips:

  • Apply pre-emergent crabgrass preventer evenly across your entire lawn, not just in one spot or historically problematic areas. Missing one spot can leave room for crabgrass to germinate successfully, which then opens the door to seedlings sprouting and spreading throughout your property.
  • Avoid aerating the lawn once you’ve applied the pre-emergent crabgrass preventer. The last thing that you want is to break the chemical barrier that the herbicide creates and cause issues later on.
  • Lastly, don’t use a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer in hopes of eliminating existing patches of crabgrass. This is very unlikely to work and could be seen as a waste of time, considering the nature of the product. If crabgrass has already begun growing in your lawn, explore other options for eliminating these and other common weeds.

FAQs About Pre-Emergent Crabgrass Preventer

Will crabgrass preventer kill grass seed?

Yes, a crabgrass preventer can kill new grass if it is not applied at the right time. If applied too early, before the grass has had a chance to establish strong roots, it can slow or halt growth and the grass could die before it is able to establish. Pre-emergent herbicides are typically effective for about 90 days. So, to avoid damaging new sod, it’s important to wait 90 days to plant new grass or apply the pre-emergent to newly installed sod.

Should I mow before applying crabgrass preventer?

Yes, you should mow before applying crabgrass preventer. Make sure to mow the lawn first, then rake and remove any clippings before applying the crabgrass preventer. This will ensure that the preventer is evenly distributed across the lawn and that it has direct contact with the soil for maximum effectiveness.

Can I overseed after the crabgrass preventer is installed?

It is possible to overseed after a crabgrass preventer is applied. Yes, as long as you wait 90 days, you can overseed by applying a starter fertilizer and spreading a thin layer of grass seed over your lawn. You’ll also want to water your lawn after seeding to help the seeds germinate. However, Bermuda is the only warm-season grass you should overseed, and it does have drawbacks.

Can I put a crabgrass preventer down in the fall?

Depending on the weather & soil temperatures, crabgrass preventer is typically applied in the late fall and again in the late spring/early winter months. 

How long does crabgrass preventer last?

The length of time that crabgrass preventer will last depends on the product, but typically it lasts around 90 days.

Get New Grass ASAP With The Grass Outlet

The presence of crabgrass is a common issue that can be avoided with preemptive lawn care, but if there’s one thing that maintenance can’t fix, it’s an unattractive lawn. 

Don’t let crabgrass take over your lawn and leave your property looking like a verdurous jungle! The Grass Outlet is a three-generation family-owned sod farm in Texas, that can provide you with an array of high-quality sod to revamp your lawn. With our quick delivery options, we’ll have your sod grass delivered fast, so you can start enjoying your new lawn as soon as possible. With our premium sod grass and our expert tips, your property will look great for years! 

Contact us today to let us help you get the lawn of your dreams!