Controlling and preventing crabgrass in your lawn
Crabgrass….the very mention of the word can send shivers down the spines of many homeowners. This is because crabgrass can turn what was once a vivacious lawn into a crisp, discolored, patchy nightmare. What’s more concerning is that Florida is known to have five different varieties of crabgrass! (As if one type isn’t enough.) And to make matters worse, one crabgrass plant can produce approximately 150,000 seedlings, which can stay dormant in soil for years! So, what this inevitably means for most homeowners is that, sooner or later, they will have to take on the challenging, crabgrass battle.
But that’s ok! There’s no need to fret. Heron is here to help and has come up with the following solutions that can help every homeowner prevent the spread of crabgrass in their lawn.
The number one way to help keep crabgrass and other weeds at bay is to maintain a thick and healthy lawn. There are three key ingredients to achieving a healthy lawn: adequate irrigation, proper mowing and fertilization.
You always want to make sure that your lawn is mowed according to its required length. Most turf grasses have an optimal mowing height of 2 ½ “ to 3”. Keeping lawns at the required height will allow the turf to shade the soil and prevent certain temperatures that could help crabgrass germinate.
Run the sprinkler system twice a week and ensure that at least ¾” to 1” of water is being applied per application. Watering more frequently or at less amounts of time can cause the lawn’s root system to become shallow and the grass to become weak. Shallow root systems and weak lawns invite crabgrass to sprout throughout the landscape, causing crabgrass and other weeds to become the more dominate plant. If you have any questions about irrigation or if you are unsure whether or not your landscape is receiving adequate water, we are happy to provide you with a free same day 7 Point Irrigation Analysis.
- Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Having the lawn treated with a seasonal, pre-emergent herbicide is an important part of crabgrass control. Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to create a barrier in the soil to help prevent seeds from germinating and young plants from developing strong root systems. Most crabgrass species are identified as summer, annual weeds and grow well in soil temperatures of 50 degrees or higher. For this reason, pre-emergent herbicides need to be applied in the very early spring when ground temperatures are still cool and haven’t yet started to increase.
- Post-Emergent Herbicides: If you notice that crabgrass has already taken root in your soil and is now growing in spots throughout your lawn, it may be time for a post-emergent herbicide. Post-emergent herbicides kill the crabgrass after it is has sprouted. Using the correct post-emergent herbicide will depend on the type of lawn you have. Your lawn care specialist will be able to determine the correct type and amount of herbicides to use. More importantly, maintaining a continuous lawn care regimen is key to preventing crab grass from invading your lawn throughout the year.
If your lawn is completely covered with crabgrass and/or has major bare spots throughout, resodding may be your next option. Fall is a great time to re-sod as the grass will have plenty of time before winter to root properly. Once your new sod is rooted properly, you’ll want to have your lawn treated on a regular basis to prevent crabgrass from growing throughout. Following the previous steps will ensure that your lawn stay green and healthy.
As always, if you have any further question, we are always here to help. If you would like a free same day inspection, please call 1-800-81-HERON.
To read more about proper irrigation, click here.
To read more about proper mowing, click here.
To read more about seasonal lawn care, click here.
Controlling and preventing crabgrass in your lawn in Orlando and surrounding counties
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