Monday, August 6, 2012

Crab Grass is taking over! Part 2

I've read what seems like a hundred articles over the past few days on how to get rid of Crab Grass. Here are the results so you don't have to scour the web, or poll your neighbors and friends, looking for ways to get rid of this pesky weed!

  1. Apply pre-emergence like Halts between when the Forsythia begins to bloom until the Lilac blooms (March 15 - April 15). We missed this window and that's why our yard is covered in Crab Grass!
  2. If Crab Grass sprouts, mow your grass "high" not "low". Mow at a height of  2 1/2 - 3 inches because if your "real" grass is higher, it acts to shade the area and deters Crab Grass from growing. Crab Grass HATES the shade!
  3. If you water your lawn, water DEEPLY, once a week instead of just setting out the sprinkler for a half hour every day. Crab Grass has shallow roots and will flourish with that 30 minute watering cycle.
  4. Bag your grass clippings and dispose of someplace away from your lawn and flower beds. Each Crab Grass plant makes thousands of seeds. Those seeds just lay there and wait until next season when they will take over again!
  5. You can use a post-emergence weed killer like Round-Up but it will kill your good grass too. Once you realize (like I did) that Crab Grass is taking over the lawn, the battle is already lost. The best I can do for the remainder of the year is to pull the individual weeds from our flower and vegetable beds and plan our strategy for next year.
  6. Overseed your lawn in the early fall (that's what we are going to do!) with a cool season grass, like fescue or Kentucky Blue Grass. Mow your lawn short before overseeding: 1-1 1/2 inches. Everything I've read suggests aerating or dethatching (raking up all of the "junk" accumulated at the base of the grass stalks) prior to seeding because the seeds need to make contact with the dirt in order to grow. This seed should need very little care since the temperatures are cool, therefore the Crab Grass and other weeds start to slow down, and there's usually plenty of rain.
  7.  Crab Grass is an annual weed so the plant dies with the first frost - BUT REMEMBER, the seeds do not die - they lie there and wait for Spring. 

But we are going to be ready, because in mid-March or early April when the Forsythia blooms, we will put down some PRE-EMERGENCE, let the March and April showers water it in, and sit back and wait. I am going to pray that when the hot temperatures of July come rolling along, the Crab Grass will not be rolling with them!

I'm counting on it.
This part of our lawn is ALL Crab Grass!

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