Wednesday, September 1, 2010
I bet that's a new one on your ears! This is not the kind of crab you want to eat, its crab grass (Digitaria sp.) and it is invading every one's lawn! I have had many e-mails, phone calls, texts, that's right, texts asking how to rid themselves of this crabgrass takeover!
Crab Grass Seed Head
Well to understand how to control it, we must first understand it. Crabgrass is an annual weed. This means it completes it's whole life cycle in one year, it germinates, puts on vegetative growth, spreads seed, and dies. Like some weeds, particular plants do not come back year after year, but seeds will! So you want to stop the seed from germinating, not make a futile attempt at treating the plants! The first step in controlling seed is a pre-emergent in late winter. Crabgrass seed starts to germinate when temperatures reach fifty degrees Fahrenheit, at night, so you want a pre-emergent application before this occurs.
If chemical control is not your thing, mowing height will have a large effect on crab grass. Lawns mowed at two and a half inches and higher will be healthier, thicker, and out-compete weeds for sunlight, nutrients, and space. Also returning grass clippings to your yard and a good organic fertilizer will assist your yard in being healthy and beat those weeds down!
If its already too late, don't resort to spraying! Crabgrass doesn't like the cold, and will typically die after the first frost, which is just around the corner. The best measure to take now is to aerate your yard and over seed your yard, start mowing at a higher setting, and that way your yard gets a head start next spring!
And it looks like we finally have some beautiful weather on the way, so now is the time to get outside and enjoy the fresh air!
Posted by Dan Porter at 8:00 AM