Pre emergent crabgrass weed control applications are an important step in effective crabgrass management.
However, choosing the right timing for the application can be tricky. And bad timing will only result in a waste of time and money.
Warmer spring temperatures bring your lawn to life. Unfortunately, this also means that unwanted crabgrass also comes to life. With some preventative action, you can keep crabgrass from taking over your lawn.
If crabgrass has already established itself, you can treat your lawn with a post-emergent herbicide. However, it is much more difficult to get rid of crabgrass after it is already growing.
What is Pre Emergent Weed Control for Crabgrass?
As its name suggests, pre emergent weed control is targeted towards weeds that have not yet emerged from the soil.
Read our blog post, Why You May Have Crabgrass & How to Fix It, for more information about crabgrass.
When to Apply Pre Emergent Herbicide Applications for Crabgrass
For the best results – and to avoid wasting time and labor cost down the road – the weeds should not be visible above ground when the application is put down. If you wait until after the weeds emerge, the herbicide will not be effective.
As a general rule of thumb, pre emergent crabrass control should be applied when you notice shrubs blooming and trees budding. Warm nights and periods of rainfall encourage crabgrass germination. So this will indicated that it’s a good time to apply the treatment.
Do not use a pre emergent herbicide if crabgrass is already in the lawn or if you have just installed sod.
How to Help Prevent Crabgrass Growth
If you have not treated the lawn with a pre emergent and crabgrass is present, it will spread quickly during the warm summer months. Between midsummer and early fall, each plant will produce thousands of seeds. While the first frost will kill the weeds, the seeds will remain dormant through the winter. When the ground temperature warms up in the spring, the seeds will begin to grow.
New crabgrass will begin to appear in mid-spring to mid-summer. The key to crabgrass control is making sure the seeds cannot germinate. Outside of applying a pre emergent herbicide, you can prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating in a number of ways.
The best defense against crabgrass is a healthy lawn. Unwanted grasses and weeds simply cannot thrive in robust grass.
Follow these basic lawn care guidelines to keep crabgrass from becoming a problem in your yard:
- Mow at frequent intervals to keep the grass a fairly consistent length. Crabgrass requires plenty of light to germinate, so keeping the grass thick and long will create shade near the soil surface. Cutting your lawn too short produces patches where crabgrass and other weeds can germinate. Check out our blog post, How to Effectively Maintain a Beautiful Lawn, to learn the best lawn mowing practices.
- In an established lawn, water in long, heavy intervals rather than shallow, frequent ones. Watering on an irregular schedule and only when needed promotes deeper root growth that’s essential to healthy turf grass. If your lawn is newly-seeded, water in shallow, more frequent intervals until the grass gets established. Read our blog post, Best Practices for Watering Your Lawn, to learn when and how to water your lawn effectively
- Maintain a regular fertilization program throughout the year that will give your lawn the extra nutrients it needs to thrive. Read more about our effective lawn fertilization plan here, Personalized Lawn Fertilization.
If you’re concerned about crabgrass ruining your lawn, contact us today to set up your pre emergent crabgrass treatment. We also include a spring pre emergent crabgrass application in our lawn fertilization and weed control plans!