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Cultural Control of Crabgrass

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Crabgrass is a grassy weed found in Texas, Illinois, Indiana and most of the United States. In this blog, we will discuss how to identify crabgrass and the cultural controls of crabgrass to eliminate it from your lawn. A crabgrass patch in a nice lawn sticks out like a sore thumb because crabgrass is low-growing, clumpy and grows at a much faster rate than the grass. Crabgrass thrives in hot and dry areas so you will usually find it near driveways, sidewalks, and patios. This makes it highly visible to homeowners and people walking by.

How to Prevent Crabgrass

The first thing you can do to prevent crabgrass is to keep those areas properly irrigated. Following proper watering strategies for your lawn will keep those areas cool and moist which is unfavorable for the growth of crabgrass. Crabgrass, like any other weed, also thrives in bare areas so keeping your entire lawn thick and healthy chokes out crabgrass and other weeds. To keep your lawn thick and healthy you should fertilize every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Seed any bare or thin spots in the spring and the fall and always follow local watering and cutting guidelines.

Chemical Control of Crabgrass

If you follow these practices and still have issues with crabgrass, then you should apply chemical treatments to get rid of the problem. Like any stubborn weed, crabgrass is easiest to control via prevention or early-stage treatment. You can prevent crabgrass by hiring a professional to apply a pre-emergent crabgrass treatment. Pre-emergents create a barrier that prevents crabgrass from growing. In addition to this, even a good pre-emergent is unlikely to fully control the problem so you will also need to hire a professional to apply a post-emergent crabgrass treatment. Try to apply early in the growing season (May/June) when crabgrass is in its early stages. Crabgrass is harder to control once it is more established and it eventually goes to seed in the late summer/early fall. Once it goes to seed you will almost certainly have to contend with it again in the following year.

At the end of the treatment process, once the crabgrass is dead or dying off, be sure to heavily seed any spots. Next year there will be more healthy grass to compete with. Also, keep those spots irrigated well to create unfavorable growing conditions next year.

Different images of crabgrass

crabgrass in mulch area
Crabgrass Picture
crabgrass on bare lawn
In Bare spots

Finding the right company to take care of crabgrass is not easy, you will need a company that has been established and knows the cultural control of crabgrass and is knowledgeable on what to do at the right time of year.

Want to learn more or have any questions?

For more information on Crabgrass, please contact our Lawn Care Expert, Luis Perez, via email at luisp@doctorgreen.com.

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