What is Crabgrass and How Do You Control It?

Crabgrass is an invasive, troublesome weed that quickly spreads itself throughout most of a lawn. This annual grassy pest spreads thousands of seeds during its lifespan. These seeds then lie in wait, ready to emerge again the following spring.

Thankfully, early treatment can prevent extensive crabgrass damage.  Armed with some simple tips, you should be able to keep this pesky weed at bay, and enjoy your lawn once again.

How Do You Spot Crabgrass?

Crabgrass can take on many forms. It derives its name from how it looks: it’s got a low-growing center clump with protruding stems that look like legs. It is an easy to spot weed and is found mostly anywhere grass is found.

Crabgrass seedlings can resemble small corn plants when they first appear. Leaf blades are ¼” wide or more and angle out from the stem, which continues to grow as new blades appear. Side shoots quickly start to develop and grow out as separate branches.

As the stem grows, leaf blades fall further apart and can fall to the ground creating a star pattern. This star formation is a common indicator to look for when identifying crabgrass.

You’ll find that new shoots keep appearing from the center of the crabgrass creating an abundant growth pattern. This leads to a thick mat of weed, and a large clump, if not taken care of properly.

How Do You Control Crabgrass?

There are some simple things you can do to prevent the spread of crabgrass. First, keep your grass healthy and ensure there are little to no bare spots. Support your grass with regular feedings and lots of watering to wade off an influx of crabgrass.

Secondly, mow your lawn at the right height by setting your blade for a 3-inch cut. Higher grass can shade and cool the soil, making crabgrass less likely to appear, as it does not thrive in cool conditions.

Finally, it’s important to tackle crabgrass seedlings before they turn into tough, mature plants. To do this, apply a weed control treatment for lawns, following directions carefully. Most treatments are designed to zap the weed down to the root.

Crabgrass will try and take over your landscape if you let it. Apply a weed killer specifically designed for crabgrass in the spring to create a barrier that will protect against crabgrass and other weeds. If crabgrass is already present, use a targeted weed killer that can destroy what weeds you already have.

Weed-A-Way Can Help

Sometimes your crabgrass problem might be too tricky for you to manage on your own. If so, contact Weed-A-Way today. We offer a weed control service as part of our lawn care program. Certified to provide you with turf treatments that are effective and environmentally friendly, our products are applied only when needed by licensed, trained technicians.  Follow our recommendations and your lawn will be back to its peak condition in no time.

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