This post is the first installment in our “Real Life Lawn Care” series of posts, which will discuss various and insidious weeds that grow in the Washington DC metro area, as well as other lawn care tips.
What is Crabgrass?
Let’s start with the facts: Crabgrass is a warm-season annual grassy weed. Being an annual, it completes its life-cycle in one growing season. Crabgrass germinates in full sun when soil temperatures reach 55° for 5 days in a row and where there is little competition, such as thin or stressed lawns, near curbs, patios, streets and driveways. Thin, lightly watered, poorly drained, and under-fertilized lawns are prime hosts for crabgrass. Unfortunately, once it germinates, it grows aggressively until frost in the fall. And while some believe that frequent lawn mowing is the solution, that is not the case and in fact, improper mowing can actually make matters worse.
First, it is important to understand that until crabgrass is killed or cold weather arrives, it will continue to grow and produce seeds. Each plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds and the longer you wait to eliminate it, the worse the problem will be the following year.
With that being said, your overall goals should be long term. Crack the code and keep crabgrass from rearing its ugly (seed) head next year. So, what can be done to stop it?
- Stopping it before it germinates is the best strategy and pre-emergent plays a big role in stopping crabgrass from germinating, usually around 70% to 80% or higher reduction
- If it has already germinated, it is critical to stop it before it goes to seed
- Remember, mowing does NOT get rid of it, it only conditions the weeds to grow flatter, rather than upright.
- Proper mowing, watering and fertilization are major factors is preventing it
- Proper seeding and aeration are keys to thickening your lawn and keeping crabgrass from getting a start in your lawn
- Hire Complete Lawn Care and let the experts handle it so your lawn can remain healthy year round.
A thick healthy lawn is the best way to prevent crabgrass. Clients come to Complete Lawn Care to maintain and restore their lawn and see an incredible difference in their lawn’s health.
Through proper preventative measures, Complete Lawn Care rids your lawn of crabgrass infestation (and other weed infestation), ensuring your lawn is healthy. And, even weather fluctuations we face in Maryland and the DC metro area are no match for Complete Lawn Care!