Crabgrass Prevention – Timing is Everything
Most weed prevention failures relate to making the application too late to prevent those pesky crabgrass seeds from germinating (more about this later). I should also point out that sometimes folks think their weed preventer failed because they do not understand that weed preventers are designed to stop “annual” weeds (like crabgrass, foxtail, barnyardgrass, spurge, etc.) from germinating, but not “perennial” weeds that grow back from their roots (like coarse fescue, orchardgrass, quackgrass, nimblewill, etc.) Back to timing… be sure to apply your preemergent weed control before crabgrass and other annual weeds germinate.
So how do you figure out when is the best timing to apply your pre-emergent weed control? Crabgrass needs soil temperatures in the 60’s for about a week to begin germination. Since most of you probably do not have a soil thermometer, the next best indicator that conditions are right for crabgrass germination are the plants in your neighborhood. Apply before the yellow blossoms fall off the forsythia bush (see photo), or by the time you see lilacs in bloom, or before you start seeing dandelion puffballs.
The next question you may have is what product do I apply to prevent my crabgrass and other summer annual weeds?
If you have St. Augustinegrass, you need to apply Scotts Bonus S which not only provides weed prevention, it also controls actively growing weeds in your lawn. You should plan on making two applications this spring about 6 to 8 weeks apart. If you want to also kill and prevent Fire Ants in your lawn, you should go with Scotts Bonus S MAX instead.For other lawn types you should apply Scotts Turf Builder plus HALTS. (If you have dormant Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass you should use Scotts HALTS without the Turf Builder.)
If you plan on seeding this spring, you need to use a special crabgrass preventer that is compatible with grass seed: Scotts Starter Fertilizer plus Crabgrass Preventer.
If you have lawn questions here is a link to contact the Scotts Help Center.