Crabgrass is one of the most hated and feared lawn weed pests, yet most homeowners aren’t quite sure where it comes from or how to fight it despite being able to recognize it. Even if you couldn’t pick it out in a lineup from monkey grass and turf grass, you can learn to recognize it and battle it before your beautiful green lawn is ruined. Arm yourself in the fight against crabgrass with these helpful tips.
What is Crabgrass?
Unlike other weeds, such as dandelions, that are obviously not related to grass, crabgrass is one of the grassy weeds that can be mistaken for your turf grass if you’re unfamiliar with it. Unlike almost all turf grasses used in the US, it has a very wide blade that is curved so it tapers to a very fine point. While it can darken as it gets older and established, young clumps and newly sprouted growth are very light green that stands out against other turf grasses. This grass clumps readily, leaving gaps between it and the rest of the uniform turf growth, and the blades point outward rather than straight up.
How Does Crabgrass Spread?
Like other grasses, a mature and healthy crabgrass clump creates thousands of seeds and disperses them. This cycle can happen multiple times a year depending on your climate. As you can imagine, one crabgrass cluster can quickly take over an entire yard if it’s not dealt with promptly. Crabgrass primarily moves to stressed lawns, so keeping your lawn healthy is a great way to prevent the problem in the first place. Crabgrass also likes to move to dry patches and brown spots, so deal with those promptly to recover with sod or seed. Maintain even watering and reseed during every spring and fall until your lawn is lush and thick. An even mat of turf grass prevents crabgrass from getting established in the first place, even if your neighbors’ lawns are filled with it and sending seeds your way.
What is the Best Way to Remove Crabgrass?
Of course, even the strongest lawn can end up with a few isolated patches of this weed. Immediate control is the best course of action because waiting increases the chances of seeds, and those seeds can hide for years and keep frustrating you long after you think the problem is under control. Pre-emergent herbicides are the best way to treat crabgrass, along with routine mowing to rob the weeds of their food supply while encouraging the other grasses to grow thicker.
Don’t feel like choosing and applying a pesticide yourself? Only some products are effective without damaging the grass, so leave that to the professionals at Meyers Green Services. Not only are we experts at removing crabgrass and other weeds, but we can also handle all those lawn chores year-round for you. Mention that you’ve read our blog and we’ll even take 10% off your first service!