Crabgrass : Tips and Advice
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by Terry Koch on 03/11/15

How to Control Crabgrass
Nature gives us a short window to stop crabgrass before it starts.  In early Spring, before the new seeds germinate, a preemergent herbicide can be applied to the soil.  Preemergent herbicides prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating into the full plants.  The result:  less crabgrass grows during the season.  And, since less crabgrass grows, there are fewer plants dropping seeds for the next cycle.  With consistent application of preemergents, along with other grass care, crabgrass can be virtually eliminated from a lawn.  This gives way for the healthy, rich turf we all dream of.
When to Apply Crabgrass Preventer
Crabgrass seeds germinate in the early spring when the temperature of the surface soil rises into the 50s and 60s.  Once the seeds germinate, the opportunity for prevention is passed.  Applying the preemergent early is key.  Once the days are regularly in the 60s and 70s, the seeds will be germinating and sprouting small plants and application of preemergents now will be too late.  Instead, apply preemergents very early in the season, while the temperatures are still in the 50s.
Instructions/Considerations for Crabgrass Preventer
-Before application, mow your lawn very short and remove as much thatch as possible to allow herbicide to contact the soil.
-Always follow the instructions on the crabgrass preventer you choose.
-Watering your lawn after applying crabgrass preventer will help form a protective barrier.
-Don't aerate or heavily rake the lawn after applying preemergent.  This willv degrade the barrier.  Instead, wait for the Fall to aerate your lawn and to spread seed.
-Wait 2 months before applying other chemicals like weed and feed unless you are following instructions or consulting with a professional.
-Avoid garden areas.  Because preemergents prevent seed germination, they should be carefully applied so as to avoid garden and other new growth areas.  You should also avoid planting any type of grass seed within 3-6 months after applying preemergent.  In other words, plan to plant new turf only in the Autumn.

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