The Q&A Archives: Crabgrass

Question: I live in Putnam County, NY. I have recently noticed more and more crabgrass in my lawn. I did use Scotts with Crabgrass preventer in April and was planning to fertilize again in October. What can I use NOW (late Aug., early Sept.) to stop the growth of crabgrass?

Answer: There's a product called Bonide Weed Beater Plus that should control the crabgrass, depending upon the type of turfgrass you are growing. Read the label to make sure it is safe for your particular lawn. If not, hand weeding is the best option this time of year.

The crabgrass preventer you applied should have stopped the crabgrass seeds from sprouting so you may have applied it too late in the spring. 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 will not kill the newly sprouted seedling. Usually late March or early April are good times to apply pre-emergence control. A second application might have to be made to 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. 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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