Crabgrass Prevention – Timing is Everything
Don’t be one of those lawn owners who “wonder why they have crabgrass in summer even though they put down crabgrass preventer in spring”.
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?
To feed your lawn and prevent crabgrass apply Scotts Turf Builder HALTS Crabgrass Preventer with Lawn Food. (If you have dormant Bermudagrass, Zoysia or Centipede grass that is less than 60% green coming out of winter, 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 Lawn Food for New Grass Plus Weed Preventer.
If you have lawn questions here is a link to contact the Scotts Help Center.