The Q&A Archives: Crabgrass

Question: Crabgrass took over our whole lawn last year. Now the grass is dead. We called Scotts to lay a pre-emergen, but I think it may be a waste of money. If we rent a rototiller (?) and plant seed, will the crabgrass get mixed in and will we end up with the same problem?

Answer: If you want to completely renovate your lawn, use a vegetation killer (such as Round Up) to kill existing weeds. Once you've killed the weeds you?ll want to remove them, then rake and remove any other debris such as sticks and rocks. Then the soil should be tilled thoroughly, either by a mechanical tiller or digging down a spades depth over the entire area. The soil is now ready to be raked smooth, filling low spots and removing the humps and breaking up the larger clumps as you go. After you've prepared the soil, you can either broadcast seed or install sod. A thick, healthy lawn will shade and crowd out most weed seedlings so be sure to water and feed your new lawn on a regular basis. To avoid crabgrass problems in the future, use a pre emergent herbicide. 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 prevents the weed seed from germinating, but it won't kill the newly sprouted seedlings. Late April to early May is an ideal time to apply pre-emergence control. A second application might have keep your lawn a little more crabgrass free. At this point, you might want to try raking it out or hand pulling. 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. Best wishes with your lawn.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Coreopsis"