The Q&A Archives: Lawn problem and choosing a ground cover

Question: My lawn has large areas of brown spots and a lot of crabgrass. I read your website and would like to know if this would be the time to treat these problems. In July Scotts Southern Turf Summer Guard was applied and have been applying each month a schedule that my lawn man uses. However none of these chemicals have helped the crabgrass or brown spots are even worse since th July application.

Answer: Crabgrass is a warm season annual and it will die out this winter. You can rake it out or pull it out by hand. Then you can apply a pre emergent herbicide to keep the remaining seeds from germinating when the weather warms up.

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 so timing is important and a second application may be required. Scott?s Turf Builder with Halts is a good product. At this point, you might want to try raking it out or hand pulling. 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.

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