Crabgrass can not only decrease the appeal of a lawn but also make the soil beneath weaker. This blue-greenish, low growing lawn weed grows in the spring when the soil is warm, with the temperature of the soil falling between 55 and 60 degrees. Crabgrass can spread throughout the yard in a short time. At a time, mature crabgrass plants can lead to around 5,000 seeds. Removing crabgrass is a difficult task and the weed can ruin a lawn’s beauty. Prevention is the best way to achieve crabgrass control. For crabgrass prevention, small steps need to be taken to make the environment unsuitable for the growth of weed. Following are some effective ways to prevent crabgrass from growing in your lawn.
Tips for Crabgrass Prevention
1. Ensure Your Lawn is Thick and Long
During the dry and hot days of summer, a lawn may start thinning out if it’s not given enough water. Thinning acts as the foothold for crabgrass to start flourishing. In case of lawns that are quite unhealthy, crabgrass can take over the entire lawn in one season only.
Keeping your lawn thick and healthy serves as the best way to prevent crabgrass infestation. Water on a regular basis and ensure that your soil always remains moist. Avoid trimming your grass too short. For best results, let the grass grow until it reaches the length of about two and a half inches. A healthy lawn reduces the chances of crabgrass infestation in it, thereby being an effective tool for crabgrass prevention.
2. Mulch Your Soil
Healthy soil is also effective against crabgrass. It’s known that the weed can come back again and again. So, right after removing crabgrass from the soil, put some mulch in the area. The mulch will make it difficult for the crabgrass seeds to germinate, which may have been left behind in soil.
Use mulch in a light layer if your lawn has had crabgrass issues in the past. However, the mulch amount shouldn’t be so much that your grass becomes compacted. Compacted areas will not allow the growth of crabgrass, but they will not let your desired grass to grow also.
3. Use Pre-Emergent Treatments
Pre-emergent treatments come in several types and you can purchase one from a reputed lawn and garden shop. The ideal time for using a pre-emergent treatment for crabgrass prevention is during early spring, before grass has started to grow. Crabgrass doesn’t start developing until the weather is hot consistently. So, there’s ample time for applying a treatment prior to beginning of the growing season.
In case you have encountered crabgrass issues before also, you will be aware of the areas in your lawn that are susceptible to crabgrass growth. Focus the pre-emergent treatments on those regions specifically to prevent crabgrass from gaining a foothold during summer.
4. Pull Out Late Season Crabgrass
If you find crabgrass emerging during late summer, the only effective way to eliminate them is pulling them out by hand. Although a process that consumes time as well as takes work, it will help you drive away all of the weeds out of the lawn. After pulling out the crabgrass, remember to treat the region that had the weeds. Crabgrass seeds don’t take long to germinate and start growing again.
Apply good mulch or a pre-emergent treatment to prevent growth of crabgrass from seeds in areas from where you’ve already pulled them out.
Herbicides are Harmful for Your Lawn
Using herbicide for eliminating crabgrass comes with a downside – the chemicals harm the crabgrass as well as the grass in your lawn. There are no effective chemical methods to get rid of crabgrass without adversely affecting your lawn.
Prevention is the best approach to combat the weed. Treat the lawn in early summer prior to crabgrass starting to emerge or pull them out by hand after they emerge. Furthermore, the weed tends to grow in dry, sunny areas in your lawn, so, use enough water in the lawn for crabgrass prevention.
If your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to invest enough time in crabgrass prevention, you can hire a reliable company offering professional lawn service. All American Turf Beauty is a reputed Iowa based lawn care company specializing in residential lawn care services that include weed control service and lawn maintenance. Contact our weed control experts today to get a healthy lawn free from crabgrass!