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Crabgrass Question: “Are We There Yet?”

April 4, 2013

Is it spring yet?  How much longer?  Are we there yet?  When cold weather lingers, you feel like a kid on a long car ride.  Will it ever get warm?  You know what:  thousands of tiny crabgrass seeds lurking in your lawn are thinking the same thing.  At the first sign of spring, they’re gonna sprout and spread their ugliness everywhere.

Make sure you stop crabgrass before it starts.  Pick up Scotts Turf Builder with Halts this weekend and be ready to apply it as soon as your weather breaks.  Turf Builder with Halts lays down a barrier to prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating.  It will also deep feed your lawn to thicken it so your grass crowds out future weed invasions.  If you have already put your crabgrass preventer down this spring, even if you had some more snow afterwards, you are good to go.  If not, put some down to stop crabgrass in its tracks and give your good grass a bright green wake-up call.

Crabgrass Seedlings about a week after germination

Crabgrass Seedlings about a week after germination

You should apply your crabgrass Preventer by the time forsythia bushes in your neighborhood have stopped blooming and lost their flowers, or if you do not have forsythia, by the time you see lilacs in bloom, or before you start seeing dandelion puffballs.

You should apply your crabgrass Preventer by the time forsythia bushes in your neighborhood have stopped blooming and lost their flowers, or if you do not have forsythia, by the time you see lilacs in bloom, or before you start seeing dandelion puffballs.


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  1. Joe F permalink

    I live on Long Island and put down Scott’s with halts about two weeks ago. I have some bear spots, when is it safe to reseed?

    • Hi Joe A spring application of Halts usually means you will need to wait till fall to seed. You may be able to get away with seeding a few bare spots by breaking up the soil real good (this helps to break up the crabgrass prevention barrier) and by mixing in some Scotts Lawn Soil to also help dilute the prevention ingredient. You can then seed with Scotts EZ Seed or one of our other seed blends. Germination will depend on how heavy the preemergent was applied in that spot and if you were able to dilute with your actions. Good Luck.

    • what products should be used if you want to spot reseed and elimanate dandelions?

      • Hi Ben
        Spot seed with Scotts EZ Seed. Then rather than putting down weed control on your entire lawn, spray only the dandelions and avoid the newly seeded areas. Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer will take care of the weeds. You can feed the rest of your lawn with Turf Builder.

  2. denny permalink

    In my area the forsythia are just starting to flower. Is this the time to put Halts down? Or should I wait until there down flowering as caption to the above photo suggests?

    • Hi Denny
      Perfect timing. You want to get your Turf Builder with Halts down prior to forsythia stopping blooming and dropping all the blossoms. Better early than late.

  3. karen permalink

    is it ok to have a heavy rainfall after applying halts?

    • Hi Karen
      Heavy rain is ok. If there is flooding or soil erosion because of no plant coverage, especially on a slope, you could see some uneven weed prevention.

  4. maggie olivas permalink

    how soon applying crabgrass preventer can i let my dog out on the lawn

    • Hi Maggie
      As a pet owner I appreciate your question. Water after you apply (or apply just before a rain). You can let your dog (or cat) go on your lawn after the grass has dried.

  5. Richard Sorensen permalink

    At our home, which we just bought in Chicago suburbs, about 40% of my front lawn is destroyed from a car parking on it but the other 60% is ok but weak as it hasn’t been fertilized or received crabgrass preventer for several years. I do not want to wait until fall to reseed but want to start improving the good area. Could I put turf builder with halts now on the ok area, avoiding the area that I want to seed so I may seed the destroyed area in a few weeks when it gets warmer?

    • Hi Richard
      Yes, you have the right plan. You will be surprised as how the existing lawn will perk up with the Turf Builder with Halts. When you seed, consider putting down the special Starter with Weed Preventer (the one that is ok to use with grass seed).

  6. I ‘m ready to apply crabgrass preventer today zip code 21061. Grass is high in some areas and it will ran tonight and tomorrow. Should I cut the grass before I apply or leave as is?

    • Hi Aaron
      If you can cut before you apply, that would be great. The only downside to cutting just before applying is now you have mower wheel tracks to confuse you when you are trying to see where your spreader wheel tracks are. This is not as big a deal with a broadcast spreader, however with a drop spreader it can be confusing. If the grass is not touching the bottom of your spreader, you could cut later.

  7. Elliot permalink

    Today is apr.15. Im about to put down Scotts #1 Fert.Live in east hart,ct.
    Can I lime first(last limed last Oct.)?Should I cut before Iapply?

    • Hi Elliot
      I like to allow at least a week between feeding and lime. I would put down Step 1 first since you want to beat the crabgrass germination. Regarding your mowing question, mow first before you spread or after you spread and water… your choice. (If you are using a drop spreader that is lower to the ground, you do not want the grass touching the bottom of the spreader.) I like to mow after I have spread, so that I do not get my spreader wheel tracks mixed up with my mower wheel tracks.

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