The Q&A Archives: Crab grass

Question: How do you get rid of crab grass on a lawn? Fertilizer and weed does not work on crab grass

Answer: You're right - weed and feed products do not control crabgrass. Depending upon the type of turfgrass you are growing, there are some products that specifically target crabgrass but not some types of turfgrass. If you use one of these products, make sure your grass type is listed on the label.

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. 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, 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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