Crabgrass in my lawn - Knowledgebase Question

independence, Ke
Question by mhorn11
August 28, 2010
My lawn has been neglected this year. I began using the scotts step program, but I was not able to keep up the regime. Now my lawn has large amounts of crabgrass. I really don't want to tear up the lawn, so I am looking for a way to get rid of the crabgrass, and possibly reseed before winter. I live in Northern Kentucky, so we usually don't get our first frost until late November.


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Answer from NGA
August 28, 2010

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Crabgrass is an annual weed, but it will leave lots of seeds behind so next spring you'll want to apply a pre emergent to help keep it under control. 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. Watch the weather - late April to early May is an ideal time to apply pre-emergence controls. You can use a product such as Scotts with Halts.

Pre-emergence herbicides provide excellent weed control for crabgrass by preventing the weed seeds from germinating, but it will not kill the crabgrass that is already growing. At this point, you might want to try raking it out or hand pulling. Don't use a pre emergent now if you plan to overseed your lawn this fall. An option to hand pulling is to kill the crabgrass with a vegetation killer such as Round Up. This is a non selective herbicide that will kill your turfgrass, too, but if you plan to overseed anyway, it might be a good approach.

Whichever method you decide to use, next spring use a pre-emergent and it 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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