How to Control Crabgrass in 6 Easy Steps: Lawn Care Experts Speak

how to control crabgrass in Iowa

Crabgrass can be tenacious; in fact, it’s more tenacious than any other weeds. It really helps to be familiar with a plant’s lifecycle to eliminate it from your lawns. At All American Turf Beauty, we have prepared a handy guide to tell you how to control crabgrass. As spring is not far behind, we hope that it will prepare you to effectively control this nemesis of lawn owners.

3 things to remember for crabgrass control in Des Moines:

Crabgrass may live on your lawn for a brief period, but it will leave a long-lasting impact on your lawns. Understanding how it works will help you to break the vicious cycle.

  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides to kill the weeds
  • If it still emerges, you need to rely on post-emergent herbicides
  • A healthy lawn is the best defense to prevent it from coming back

What is the time period for crabgrass infestation?

During spring, when the soil temperature ranges between 55 and 60 degrees F, crabgrass seeds start to germinate. The seeds sprout in full action between mid-summer and fall; this is the time when they attempt to increase their numbers. With the first frost, the weeds are killed.

Although this warm-season seed has the propensity to live, germinate and die within a year, they leave their trail behind. Each plant produces about 150,000 seeds that stay behind, ready to germinate in the following spring.

What happens if crabgrass seeds germinate?

How to control crabgrass if the seeds already germinate? As a homeowner, the best way to get rid of crabgrass in Ames is to stop the seeds from germination. But once they germinate, mowing the lawns won’t stop the infestation. With its low crab-like growth, the seeds can set very low in a 1 ½ inch tall grass. It is impossible to mow the grass so short as it’s way below the recommended height.

How to control crabgrass before it comes up?

Once crabgrass decides to settle down on your lawns, mere lawn maintenance is not enough. Even when you apply the best weed control method in Des Moines, you will always feel their unattractive presence. The best way to handle this problem is with a pre-emergent herbicide that kills the crabgrass seedlings before they begin to germinate.

When you apply the pre-emergent herbicides, you need to follow a few simple rules

  • Timing is crucial when you apply the herbicides. The time of application depends a lot on weather patterns and regions. Like in warmer areas, herbicides should be applied a little early than usual.
  • Note the ground temperature. It should rise above 60 degrees to apply the herbicide. If you can’t monitor the temperature, pay attention to the budding trees and blooming shrubs. Rainfall and warm nights instigate crabgrass germination. Apply the herbicide if your region experiences such weather patterns.
  • If you have a newly seeded lawn, mow the lawn thrice before herbicide application to avoid destroying the seeds.
  • Always apply the herbicide uniformly; miss a spot and crabgrass will find its way in your lawn.
  • The best time to use a pre-emergent is in late winter or early spring to prevent crabgrass from the previous year from developing.

Controlling crabgrass in Quad Cities after it comes up

The pre-emergent herbicide will not work if crabgrass has already made its home in your lawns. The next best way to tackle it is by applying post-emergent herbicide. Depending on the type of grass, you need to determine the amount to be applied.

When you apply post-emergent herbicides, you need to follow a few simple rules

  • Always check the weather forecast; the best day for application should be a sunny day with no weather disturbances like rainfall.
  • The best time to apply the herbicide is in the morning after the dew has dried. Don’t wait till late afternoon when shower or dew may hamper the application.
  • Look out for temperature between 60 and 90 degrees F. The warmer temperature allows plants to absorb the herbicides. The product becomes ineffective if the weather is cloudy.
  • If you notice the grass turning brown, it may happen that you have applied too many herbicides. Water the area properly to dilute the extra herbicides, so that your lawn is not damaged.
  • After applying herbicide, keep a note of the newly germinated weeds. Those spots will require follow-up treatment.
  • To eliminate crabgrass infestation, you need to apply the herbicides twice. Go for the second application 4 to 7 days after the first application.

Professional crabgrass control in Des Moines:

Wondering how to control crabgrass this season? Follow these tested tips by lawn care experts to control the weed.

  • During fall, lawn fertilization in Des Moines is a must. When you apply more compost, the lawn will get its essential nutrients. Healthy turf is a great barrier for lawn weeds. Don’t leave any spot uncovered as opportunistic crabgrass can germinate literally anywhere. Go for overseeding to cover the bare spots.
  • Even during fall, an emergent herbicide can come handy as re-application effectively kills the seedlings which have the propensity to germinate later.
  • Never aerate the lawn after application, as this will destroy the barrier and encourage weeds to germinate.
  • If you plan to go for sustainable practices, discard chemical pre-emergents and use gluten or corn. These natural products serve dual purposes: they suppress germination and act as fertilizers for lawns.

2020 has just begun. We recommend that you start with your lawn care schedule early. A good lawn care maintenance program ensures that your lawn is taken care of. Trust our experts who have been handling all kinds of lawn problems in Iowa.