Sometimes it feels as though crabgrass is purposefully out on a mission to ruin your garden. It creeps up in your beautiful lawn and kills perfectly healthy blades of grass. It crowds out your lovely flowers and steals all of their nutrients. The worst part of it all is that it seems to spread like wildfire, springing up season after season.
If you are like me, you want one thing as far as crabgrass is concerned. You want to see it gone. It will take some hard work, planning, and consistency, but you can get beat crabgrass if you put your mind to it. Here are six helpful ways to get rid of this fast sprouting, hard to kill the weed.
Keep Your Soil Healthy
Interestingly enough, the best way to get rid of crabgrass is to keep your soil rich and healthy. To keep your soil healthy and your grass thick, you will need to fertilize your lawn. It is essential to do this right after the first frost, as your crabgrass plants will have died off in the frost, and the underlying seedlings will not yet be germinated.
In effect, your regular grass will be the only greenery benefiting from the fertilizer. If you wait until later, the crabgrass itself may draw nutrients from the fertilizer in its germination stage and grow even faster than it did before.
Use Pre Emergent Herbicides
Crabgrass is promulgated via seeds, which spread quickly in the warmer seasons. It follows then that an excellent way to get rid of crabgrass is to distribute herbicides before the seedlings emerge. The best time to do this is in late spring.
Experts say that it is essential to irrigate after you spread herbicide because water activates the herbicides and begins the process of fighting crabgrass. While it is helpful to aerate before you spread pre-emergent herbicide, it is harmful to your grass to do so soon afterward.
Keep Your Lawn Growth as High as Possible
Crabgrass seedlings thrive on sunlight. It is, therefore, imperative that you keep your lawn’s root system covered with enough shade to make those seedlings inactive. Many different sources agree that keeping your lawn at between 2 and 3 inches is a great way to prevent crabgrass from growing or spreading.
This is a great all-around solution, as your healthy grass will thrive on the sunlight, while you get rid of the crabgrass lurking beneath.
Water Your Lawn Deeply
While some people might try to “dehydrate” their crabgrass, it is essential to remember that crabgrass thrives in unhealthy soil. By depriving your lawn of much-needed water, you only weaken its defenses against crabgrass and heighten the possibility of crabgrass taking over.
Instead of frequent shallow watering, it is better to water your lawns profoundly and with less frequency. You should water your lawn to 4-6 inches deep. This will help your grass root system to go deeper and to get rid of that annoying crabgrass by halting its germination.
If water runs off your lawn easily, split your watering time into shorter periods to allow for better absorption.
— Save Our Water (@saveourwater) January 22, 2020
Overseed Your Lawn
Crabgrass tries to overtake your lawn and push it out by reproducing rapidly. Why not reverse this attack and crowd out the crabgrass, instead? If you have patches of lawn that are going bald, get some turf seed and overseed your lawn to crowd out the crabs.
The best time to overseed your lawn is in the early fall because the crabgrass will still be gone from the frost, but it will be warm enough for your grass to germinate and grow properly.
Pull the Suckers Out by Hand
Pulling up crabgrass every time it rears its ugly head is not a long-term solution to the problem, but it is helpful – not to mention, satisfying – nonetheless. Every single weed you pull out in the present is one you will not have to deal with next season.
Just be sure that you go on the attack before the three-pronged seeds have sprouted. If you go pulling seeds after they have sprouted seeds, you might do more harm than good by re-seeding your garden with crabgrass. Get rid of crabgrass before it becomes a threat, by pulling it out at first sign. Read Lawn care tips in this article.