Crab Grass in healthy lawn - Knowledgebase Question

calabasas, Ca
Question by jim01
September 14, 2009
I have a very plush lawn but because my gardeners mow other lawns before getting to mine, I am beginning to get crab grass along the edges where they first mow when they come to my house. I have them washing their machine before mowing my lawn, but in warm weather in the low 90s in california, what can I use to generally spray and get rid of the crab grass?

Answer from NGA
September 14, 2009


How annoying! The good news is that crabgrass is an annual weed and will die out when the weather cools. The bad news is that even if you pull it out by the roots, it will leave seeds in the soil which will try to sprout next 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. Late April to early May is an ideal time to apply pre-emergence control in your region, but watch the weather patterns and apply sooner if the weather warrents. 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. 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. Next spring use the pre-emergent, reapplying in 30 days. That should keep the crabgrass under control. Best wishes with your lawn.

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