What Is Crabgrass and How Do I Prevent It?

Late May is an exciting time for homeowners, with warm temperatures right around the bend and more hours in the day to enjoy the outdoors. But for lawns, this can be a tricky time. Late May is also when a pesky weed tends to germinate: crabgrass.

An Introduction to Crabgrass

Crabgrass is an annual weed that favors warm temperatures and grows in bare spots of lawns where there is sunlight. While this “opportunistic” plant grows vine-like limbs and is naturally an eyesore for outdoor spaces, it also crowds out and weakens surrounding grass, making lawns more susceptible to the spread of insects and disease.

Aside from its distinct crab-like structure and light green hue, crabgrass is also defined by the fast rate at which it spreads. Once crabgrass germinates, a single plant can produce thousands of seeds between summer and fall. Growing faster than the healthy grass that surrounds them, crabgrass can quickly dominate lawns and leave homeowners unsure of what to do.

The Treatment Plan for Crabgrass

Considering the vigorous nature of crabgrass, getting rid of this weed after it germinates can be a trying task. But that’s not to say there aren’t measures that can help. A lot of this comes down to following best practices in lawn care:

  • Fill thin, bare spots on your lawn with grass seed to repair weakened areas
  • Mow your lawn at a higher setting so taller grass blades can shade the soil
  • Water your lawn deeply one or two times a week to help crowd out weeds

 

(Note: If you’re dealing with a small crabgrass infestation, you can pull them out by hand — if they are easy to remove. This should be paired with the lawn care tips highlighted above.)

The Better Bet: Prevent Versus Treat

The best way to kill crabgrass is to eradicate it before it even germinates. This solution comes in the form of a pre-emergent herbicide. How it works is simple: when applied to lawns, the granular material dissolves and creates a protective barrier near the soil’s surface to intercept and stop the growth of germinating crabgrass seeds.

(Note: Timing is important when it comes to the application of pre-emergent herbicides. To effectively control crabgrass throughout its entire growing season, pre-emergents should be put down before crabgrass seeds begin to germinate.)

Rather than take the DIY route, it’s best to let a professional handle pre-emergent applications. The licensed lawn care technicians from Lush Lawn can put down the proper preventative herbicides for your specific lawn conditions, avoiding any room for risk and ensuring the most effective results.

The Lush Lawn Crabgrass Prevention Plan

Crabgrass pre-emergent is included as a standard part of the Lush Lawn program. The preventative we use — Prodiamine — is the preferred product among professional landscapers. This granular pre-emergent provides season-long control of crabgrass, as well as other annual grasses and broadleaf weeds like chickweed, dandelions and more.

Interested in our lawn care services for your home? Contact us today for a free, instant quote.

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