Crabgrass is the silent killer of a beautiful lawn. Once you have it in your lawn, it may take years to truly get rid of crabgrass as it grows again the next year. As crabgrass can affect the long-term health and life of your turf, it’s important to know everything you can about the weed in order to remove it and prevent it from growing in the first place.
What Is Crabgrass?
Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows in thin spots of grass and slowly devours the entire lawn, preventing your lawn from absorbing necessary nutrients. The name was coined by the way the weed grows, spreading low to the ground and radiating from the center, resembling a crab.
When Does Crabgrass Grow?
Crabgrass thrives in warm weather and spreads quickly and viciously if not addressed properly. It starts to grow in mid-spring, once the soil temperature reaches 55F, and slowly dies as the weather cools in the fall. Although it does not live forever, a single crabgrass plant will leave thousands of seeds to germinate the following spring. Learn how to stop crabgrass from growing in the first place.
How Do You Prevent Crabgrass?
Regularly scheduled lawn care is essential to prevent crabgrass or any form of weed from growing. Encouraging a lush, full lawn leaves little room for it to grow as crabgrass grows in thin spots of soil. If your lawn is prone to crabgrass, it’s best to hire a professional lawn care company. That way, not only will you have a well-manicured lawn, but your lawn will be able to prevent crabgrass and all types of weeds.
When you hire a professional lawn care company, the technicians will usually do the following to prevent crabgrass:
- Mow at the proper height, typically between 2.5-3.5 inches depending on grass type.
- Feed your lawn every 6 to 8 weeks and as needed for your grass type.
- Deep water your lawn regularly.
- Repair lawn damage from frost or heat.
How Do You Get Rid of Crabgrass?
Crabgrass can be difficult to get rid of once it digs its roots into your lawn. The best way to get rid of crabgrass and ensure it disappears before planting seeds is to remove the weeds as they appear. This can be done by hand with a weeder tool, such as a weed whacker. Removing the weed from the roots ensures the removal of any seeds that may sprout. Post-emergent herbicide designed for crabgrass can be effective as well, however, some owners would rather avoid herbicides—that’s why at Hope Lawn Care, we do not use chemicals or herbicides with our weed control.