A typical July and August brings ideal summer heat for optimum crabgrass growth. Hot summer days slow normal grass growth but crabgrass takes off like a rocket; growing up and then outward to claim weak, thin, or bare lawn areas. If you failed to apply a pre-emergent spring crabgrass suppressant, chances are your lawn may look like the lawn to the left in the picture below compared to one treated to the right. The lawn on the left is actually 90% crabgrass and come fall, it will all die leaving behind a brown dusty mess. A picture is worth a thousand words and in this case, a thousand crabgrass plants! If left untreated, millions of crabgrass seeds will take hold as a new school year begins. If you forgot or do not think a crabgrass suppressant works, just keep looking at the picture below – with only one treatment in May, simply amazing. Even the bare/plow damaged edges are crabgrass free as of July 9th!
Fear not, there are still treatments which can slow, thin out, or completely eliminate existing crabgrass in small, medium, and even larger areas. Chippers’ turf division offers several post emergent sprays which can be used to target just the crabgrass, not the good grass you want to save. One well-timed spray can provide superior results when done properly with our licensed lawn technicians. If you have lime green crabgrass and it is starting to resemble the photo above, give me call or your local lawn care company so you don’t allow your lawn to be lost in a jungle of crabgrass this summer.
What else can you do to prevent crabgrass from taking over? In most cases, a healthy lawn which is cut properly and treated fairly in terms of care will have the best defense against germinating crabgrass; density. Fair care refers to fertilizing, lime, aeration, and compost tea for example but does not mean any or all need necessary be done to insure a healthy lawn. A proper cut and a thick healthy lawn are your best natural defenses against crabgrass. This just makes good sense. Think for a moment, a thin lawn has hotter, exposed soil and hot soil lets crabgrass seeds germinate and grow fast – real fast. A few too short mowing cuts can cause an explosion of crabgrass in weeks where proper 3” mowing would have prevented some, if not most, under the same conditions.
If your lawn is in trouble, have a qualified company inspect the problem and provide solutions. Something might be appropriate now, next month, or this fall depending upon the infestation given the overall lawn location and condition. Don’t let a good lawn go bad, stop crabgrass before it engulfs your mailbox and pets!