As spring and summer come to Texas, many homeowners and landowners might be surprised to see crabgrass in their otherwise perfect yard. This type of weed is most often found during the warmer season and while it doesn’t cause harm to your lawn it can give your lawn an unkempt appearance. Learn more about what crabgrass is and what you can do to treat your lawn to get rid of crabgrass.
What is crabgrass?
Crabgrass is a common weed that affects lawns all across Texas. It’s composed of long finger-like blades that grow in clumps. The seasons for active growth are usually during warmer months, such as spring and summer, peaking in March. However, there are times when it grows earlier, so it’s important to make sure that your lawn is prepared for crabgrass.
Stop crabgrass before it starts
Using a pre-emergent herbicide is recommended to kill the crabgrass seedlings before they grow. Instructions vary by manufacturer, but here are some basic tips to follow:
- Apply the product when it’s warmer, usually above 60 degrees. It’s hard to keep track of the ground temperature for most people, so a good rule of thumb is to apply it when you notice shrubs blooming.
- Apply the product uniformly across your lawn. If you miss a spot, this can allow crabgrass to germinate which will then spread through your lawn
- Do no aerate the lawn after applying the pre-emergent herbicide. This could cause the chemical barrier made by the herbicide to be broken
- Do not use the product if the crabgrass has already sprouted, it will not work
How to get rid of crabgrass
If you already have crabgrass in your lawn, proper lawn care throughout the year will often not be enough to get rid of it. In this case, using post-emergent herbicides are the way to go. These products are applied to crabgrass that’s visible. Here are some tips to follow when using post-emergent herbicides to get rid of crabgrass:
- Apply the product on a calm, sunny day. Applying it when rain is expected can cause the product to be washed away before the crabgrass has a chance to absorb it.
- Apply the product in the morning after the dew has dried. If you wait until later this could give dew a chance to form and will cause the product to not be as effective.
- The ideal temperature is 60 – 90 degrees, which allows the herbicide to be absorbed quicker. If the temperatures are cooler or if it’s cloudy, the product will not be as effective.
- If you notice brown spots in your lawn shortly after applying the product, you might have used too much herbicide. In this situation, apply water in the area extensively to ensure that the lawn is not damaged.
- If you notice any new crabgrass then it might be necessary to do a follow-up to ensure that the seedlings are killed. This will require two applications of herbicide to ensure that it’s taken care of.
- If most of your lawn is crabgrass, it’s best to wait until fall to get new grass. The seedlings will be killed by frost and will allow you to invest in a new lawn.
How to create a healthy lawn to prevent crabgrass
The best defense for crabgrass control is ensuring that your lawn is full and healthy throughout the year. This will prevent the seeds from germinating and will ensure that there’s no space available for it to grow. You can do this by doing the following:
- Mow frequently to keep the grass at a consistent length. Usually the highest recommended setting is best, since this creates shade on the soil surface and prevents the crabgrass seeds from germinating.
- Water in long, heavy intervals to promote deeper root growth for healthy grass. If you water irregularly, this could cause issues with the health of your grass and lead to bare spots.
- Fertilize your grass at least once every year. This keeps your grass healthy and ensures that it has the proper nutrients it needs to grow well.
Keep your lawn protected with proper care
If you follow the instructions above you can ensure that your yard will be free from crabgrass this spring and summer. Do you need new grass for your project or yard? No problem, contact The Grass Outlet today for a great new lawn!