A well-maintained lawn, thick and lush is the pride of every home. It is the first thing that welcomes your visitors and surrounds your home with a feeling of hospitality. However, weeds like crabgrass can ruin the set, and if not removed in time, and efficiently, it can replace the grass.
Crabgrass is a quick grower, especially during the summer months. It can invade your lawn, flowerbed and vegetable garden reducing them into a weedy mess that you can never want any of your high-profile friends to see.
Natural control for the lawn weed is more straightforward than you can imagine. But there are also chemical methods you can utilize and remove crabgrass once and for all.
Why is Having Crabgrass on the Lawn a Bad Thing?
Crabgrass is a type of weed, and no one wants weed on their lawn or garden. But why is it so? Well, crabgrass and its ilk tend to steal valuable nutrients, and water typically meant for the grass and other important plants. The result is an unhealthy lawn that cannot withstand the dry spells.
We all take pride in a uniform and lush lawn. Weeds like crabgrass ruin the whole picture and make the lawn look shaggy, unkempt – another important reason to remove it.
Getting Rid of Crabgrass Naturally
- Choosing the Right Strain
Choosing a native grass type saves you from so much trouble that would go into the struggle of trying to keep it alive. Ideally, pick the variety best suited for your climate, and it will take to it like fish in water. A native will set down within the shortest time and will be easy to maintain the right thickness across the different seasons, and crabgrass and will never find an opportunity to develop.
- Pulling them Out
It’s spring, and the grass is growing at the right pace. However, you notice some light green blades at the middle of the lawn, and your first thought is that your grass is having the best season. However, think again and have a closer look.Crabgrass can grow together with other grass and spotting it is not that difficult. The best time to pull out the weed is during the early stages of growth. Scrutinize the weed, and if you see a closed seed head, then it’s safe to pull it out. However, if notice spread out head tines, leave the crabgrass alone. Otherwise, you may end up scattering seeds all over the place.
- Aerating the Soil
Crabgrass and its kind thrive in compacted soils, where the soils have insufficient air spaces for efficient nutrient and water movement. If you move into an area with compacted soils, rent an aerator on an annual basis to improve it.
Chemical Control of Crabgrass
Pulling the weed in its early development stages can be useful. However, it can sometimes prove challenging when dealing with deeply embedded roots. In such as case, you can spray a post-emergence herbicide on chunks of the weed. Make sure that the crabgrass is not in the seeding stage or your efforts would mean nothing.
Crabgrass takes approximately six weeks to complete the seeding process, which is the same time it takes the herbicide to act. That means the herbicide applied too late will not do anything to prevent new sprouts. Therefore, if it is already seeding, let the crabgrass be and wait the following spring.
The post-emergence herbicide works best when there’s low wind, and the temperatures are high. Ideally, you should water two days following application to aid with absorption process. And should you notice some dry brown patches on the grass, the herbicide has been excessive Water the area to dilute the chemical and revive the lawn.
Alternatively, you can take the highway and kill everything off, especially when dealing with a yard taken over by weed. In other words, if your lawn has the majority weed, and only about 40% grass remains, then it is feasible to kill off everything and start over.
Choose a non-selective herbicide and following instructions, apply it on the grass together with the invading hordes of weed. Depending on the type and effectiveness of the chemical product, everything in the yard should dry within two weeks, and you can start over.
Prevention is always simpler, and less costly than removal, especially when it comes to weed, and in this case, crabgrass. You don’t have to wait until the weed reaches unmanageable levels before you can start running to and fro searching for ways to save your lawn. The following are some simple crabgrass prevention methods. Have a read.
Adequately Feeding the Lawn
Crabgrass is an opportunistic weed that looks for spaces between the grass, especially during the off-season to sprout, spread and thrive. However, you can prevent this from happening by maintaining a healthy and thick lawn, with no spaces in between.
Ideally, feed the lawn regularly, something like between six and eight weeks. A healthy and thick lawn is not only appealing but also quite unwelcoming for the crabgrass.
Deep Watering your Lawn
Most homeowners water their lawn frequently, and shallowly. However, this practice makes the lawn roots closer to the surface and vulnerable to heat and dry spells. During dry weather, the lawn grows weak and bare patches develop all over where drought-resistant weed like crabgrass develop.
Ideally, water the lawn deeply and infrequently. The watering should be around 8 inches deep aimed at making the lawn develop deeper roots. It then becomes drought resistant, remaining thick, and crowding out the weed; come rain, come sunshine.
Mowing at the Right Height
The mowing height you maintain matters a lot, and it determines whether crabgrass takes over your lawn or not. Use a higher setting, ideally the top two, to allow the development of taller grass that shadows the surface preventing the germination of weed.
Repair the Lawn
The cold months kills crabgrass leaving bare patches all over the place. It is at such a time that you should fill this space with a commercial patching product, and water it until some new grass takes over.