What Is Crab-Grass?
If you’re on a yearly weed warpath, you’ve probably been lucky (or unlucky?) enough to come across crabgrass. Crabgrass is a highly invasive annual weed that thrives in residential lawns.
Crabgrass usually germinates in late spring and spends the first few weeks of its life incognito, looking like young, pale green blades of grass. However, it reaches maturity in August when its stems become tinged with purple. This is when things can get messy.
A Weed Unlike any Other
Crab-grass is a particularly tenacious weed that loves to take advantage of summer droughts to gobble up all the nutrients dedicated to the lawn.
What makes it so appealing (or not…) is that, like the lawn, it is a grass. In other words, grass and crab-grass are part of the same family. This means that crab-grass is much more difficult to control than its relatives, as a broadleaf weed control treatment will not work on it. Other methods must be used to get rid of it.
How to Get Rid of Crab-Grass?
There are rather limited methods to eliminate crab-grass. Here are a few tips from our Nutrite Experts:
1- In spring: examine your lawn
First, it is important to inspect your lawn early in the season. If you see it when it’s still very young, you can afford to pull it out. Cutting it down at this stage is surprisingly effective. However, if it already has 3 to 4 rows of leaves, it would mean that it is already bearing seeds. Pulling it out at this stage would have the opposite effect.
2- In August: avoid spreading the seeds
In August, when you mow your lawn, it is recommended to avoid herbicycling and to mow with a bag in order to collect the grass clippings. Otherwise, you could spread the grass clippings and seeds all over your property, which would be the source of its reproduction.
3- In the fall, aerate, top dress, and reseed
In the fall, crab-grass will die and turn brown, waiting for its return the following spring. To try to limit the damage and spread, you should aerate the soil, repair bare patches with good quality topsoil and grass-seeds on those areas. Crab-grass loves damaged lawn areas and that’s often why it chooses to establish itself there. So, simply repair damaged areas after summer droughts to prevent crab-grass from having room to grow. If you’ve had crab-grass, it’s likely to come back year after year. Its seeds can remain in the soil for up to 10 years. Stay alert!
The Secret: Prevention Is Key
The key to eradicating crab-grass is good lawn care throughout the season and a preventive crab-grass treatment.
If the invasion becomes too important, contact your Nutrite Expert now. Your ally will know how to get rid of crab-grass so that you can have a durable and healthy lawn.