Preventing the Arrival of Crabgrass

Weeds can be very troublesome in any yard, and when weed growth can blend in with the grass itself, you may feel unsure about what action you can really take. One weed that behaves in this way are known as annual grasses.

One of the most popular types here in North Georgia is a common weed, known as crabgrass. Crabgrass is a warm-season grass that will grown just about anywhere, from your lawn to the neighborhood park, to pastures and hayfields, you can't miss it! 

Identifying Crabgrass

Annual grasses are a type of plant that arrive during growing season and will return at the same time next year. This plant utilizes its short and recurring lifespan by spreading thousands of tiny seeds to ensure it will return next year. Left untreated, crab grass will leave your lawn thinned, or perhaps completely free of any healthy turf at all. 

One of the best ways combat crabgrass and many other unwanted weed growths is by the use of pre-emergent treatments. A preemptive approach is best when thinking about where you want your lawn to be come spring and summer, and since a single crabgrass plant can drop 4,000 seeds in a year, there's likely already some waiting to sprout that you just haven't noticed yet.

How Should I Treat Crabgrass?

The most effective way to treat crabgrass is by using pre-emergent herbicides. Pre-emergent herbicides work to prevent crabgrass from sprouting and becoming mature in the first place, allowing your grass the full time it needs to grow during the season.

Early spring is the ideal time to take preventative measures. By applying pre-emergent herbicides, we can help to eliminate the chances of annual grasses establishing a foothold in your lawn this growing season.

Another great way to discourage crabgrass and other weeds from advancing growth is by regular turf care. Mowing high in the summertime and scheduled watering can prevent weeds that prosper in hot and dry environments, such as crabgrass. Sometimes, watering a little extra near the edges of pavement can be beneficial as well.

How Do Pre-Emergent Herbicides Work?

Pre-emergent herbicides create a barrier in the upper levels of your soils that block annual grass seeds from sprouting. Since these seeds only need to grow root systems around 1-2 inches deep, the applications are generally quick and easy.

Young seedlings that may have sprouted before the pre-emergent was applied are eliminated as well. It's important to note that the treatment works by eliminating growth in sprouted seeds, and not the seeds themselves, which is why regular re-application to continue growth prevention is necessary.

How Often Should I Be Treating?

Crabgrass seeds come in such an abundance they are often distributed all over by wind, mowing, and animals, making them incredibly tough to manage. Crabgrass seeds can even remain in soil for up to 30 years before ever sprouting.

Since they sprout annually, an annual application will do for your lawn. Controlling them before they even grow will help prevent new plants from spreading any new seeds 

How Safe Are Pre-Emergent Herbicides?

Pre-emergent herbicides, when used properly, are safe to use on your lawn to discourage the growth of annual grasses. Once applying, its usually advised to stay off the lawn until the treatment has fully dried.

Another important thing to note, aside from any directions given by your pre-emergent manufacturer or lawn care professional, is waiting around 6-8 weeks to plant any new grass seed in your lawn. 

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