WHAT IS CRABGRASS?
Crabgrass is an intrusive weed that seeks to establish itself throughout your lawn at the expense of your turfgrass. Although technically a grass, crabgrass is far from the rich soft carpet you want your lawn to have. Originating in Africa, crabgrass (scientifically known as digitaria) has coarse, thick blades that grow in clumps. The fact that this hearty plant thrives in hot, rugged conditions at one time made it a great food for livestock. Unfortunately, these once valuable traits now make crabgrass a ruthless adversary to your lawn.
Fighting such an enemy requires a multi-pronged approach. Herbicides play a big part in stopping crabgrass and other weeds. A pre-emergent treatment can halt advancing crabgrass before it has sprouted by forming a barrier that covers the surface of your entire lawn. Post-emergent herbicide can be used as a spot treatment once weeds are actually present.
One challenging aspect of crabgrass is that your lawn may be under siege long before you see any physical crabgrass growth. Before the summer heat spurs on visible crabgrass growth, millions of seeds lie in waiting. So don’t hesitate to explore pre-emergent options while the weather is still cool. What you cannot see is just as damaging as what you can.
While chemical treatments help, the best defense in fighting crabgrass and other weeds is a good offense. Weeds are locked in competition with your turf, so the healthier your lawn, the harder it is for weeds to thrive. Keeping your grass fed with fertilizer, mowing at an appropriate height, and watering your lawn on a regular schedule will bolster your turf’s health and keep weeds at bay.
Weeds are one of the biggest obstacles your lawn and landscaping will face. With the right strategy in place, you can enjoy nature’s beauty while keeping its wilder elements at bay.