The Q&A Archives: Crabgrass Control

Question: When should halts/crabgrass preventer be applied in SE Michigan? We have lots of weeds including crabgrass at our lake property in Ann Arbor. What can we use?

Answer: Halts should be applied in early spring before the crabgrass sprouts. Crabgrass starts germinating when soil temperatures are 50 to 55 degrees F for ten or more days and germination can take place over a 6 week period. Pre-emergence herbicides provide excellent weed control for crabgrass but they last only about 30 days. The compound doesn't prevent the weed seed from germinating, but kills the newly sprouted seedling. Late April to early May is an ideal time to apply pre-emergence control. A second application, 30 days after the first, might keep your lawn a little more crabgrass free. Next spring use the pre-emergent again, reapplying in 30 days. That should keep the crabgrass under control. Proper lawn maintenance practices can limit crabgrass invasions. A dense stand of turfgrass prevents the weed from germinating and establishing. Fertilize at the end of May and remember that fall fertilizing, overseeding, aeration and thatch control can also limit spring problems. Best wishes with your lawn.

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