Every year as the weather begins to warm-up, many homeowners look out across their lawn and wonder where things went wrong. Either there are large dead, brown areas, or maybe there is much more crabgrass (or crab grass) than they had expected. The homeowner may be especially surprised because they believe they had taken sufficient steps to prevent this from occurring.
Controlling crabgrass is a precise science and any missteps in strategy can unravel all your efforts. The first and most important factor is keeping a dense, healthy lawn that does not allow enough sun to penetrate and germinate unwanted crabgrass seeds. This is done by cutting the grass on the highest setting of your mower. The second step is applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring. These herbicides are generally mixed with fertilizer in a “weed and feed” formula sold in most garden centers. Fertilizer also gives density to the lawn which can be an extra barrier preventing sun from germinating crabgrass seeds.
These pre-emergent herbicides, or crabgrass preventers, work by creating a chemical barrier in the soil. Pre-emergent are applied in the spring, and if applied correctly this barrier should last until late summer. In this barrier crabgrass seeds germinate but are quickly eliminated when they take in the herbicide. You want the full potency of the herbicides to be present at the moment the crabgrass seeds begin to germinate.
If you apply too early, the herbicide may not last the entire season, and you will see weeds start to germinate well before the summer is over. If you apply the herbicide too late, you may have missed your window and grab grass has already germinated. If you are going to make a mistake better to put it down early, pre-emergent herbicides do not work on existing crabgrass.
Contact us for more expert information, we service the entire Raleigh, Triangle and Wake County areas throughout Cary, Durham and RTP/Morrisville NC.