Crabgrass is a widely distributed annual that germinates throughout the summer. Seedlings sprout quickly, forming a clump with extensive roots where soil is moist. Once established, it is difficult to weed out because it roots at the nodes. The large crabgrass seedling is pale green and covered with coarse hairs. Plants form open clumps up to 2 feet tall. Smooth crabgrass can be distinguished from large crabgrass by its shorter, wider leaf, and lack of hairs; it is most often found in turf grass.
The best time to control crabgrass is in spring, generally before May 15th. At that time, a pre-emergent is put down that sets a barrier on the soil to prevent crabgrass from germinating.