Crabgrass In The Fall: What You Need To Know
Let’s face it, crabgrass is one tough challenge! It arrives in Spring and stares at us all summer long. Making matters worse, in the early Fall, you may notice the blades turning an unsightly purple.
What to do? In the Fall, the simple answer is NOTHING!
Crabgrass is an annual plant. That means, by definition, it lives for only one season. So, the crabgrass in your lawn will be killed by the first significant frost. Unfortunately, this does not solve the problem. Before dying, crabgrass plants produce and spread up to 100,000 seeds; seeds that will remain in the soil until next season. When soil temperatures reach and exceed approximately 55 degrees for several days, the seeds sprout, send down their roots and we are off and running to another frustrating crabgrass season.
The best way to rid your lawn of crabgrass is to prevent it in the Spring with a pre-emergent barrier application. The idea is simple; as the crabgrass germinates, the new plants pick up the preventive control material and are killed off. If the treatment is effective, it will control in-excess of 80% of the emerging plants. Any remaining crabgrass plants can be controlled with post-emergent spray applications as they begin to mature.
It is important to note that, over time, especially when we experience heavy spring and early summer rain storms or when lawn maintenance disturbs the soil, the preventive barrier may be broken, allowing crabgrass to invade. Again, when this occurs, the emerging plants can be controlled post-emergently.
The key to effective crabgrass control is to carefully and accurately apply a pre-emergent barrier before germination. Then, as a follow up, be prepared to manage and control any “breakthrough” as it occurs. Since most homeowners don’t spend their time monitoring crabgrass progress, hiring an experienced lawn care service makes good sense!
To learn more about applying crabgrass control, click here.
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