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How to ID Dead Crabgrass in Late Fall

November 24, 2015

If you have already had a killing frost, look at your lawn to see if you have any dead crabgrass. These photos will help you figure out what to look for.

One helpful ID tip is to look closely at dead crabgrass where you will see the shriveled up “fingers” of the seed head.

One helpful ID tip is to look closely at dead crabgrass soon after a killing frost where you will see the shriveled up “fingers” of the seed head. (click photo to enlarge)

This is a crabgrass seed head in summer when seeds are being spread over your lawn.  Notice the three fingers.

This is a crabgrass seed head in summer before a killing frost when seeds are being spread over your lawn. Notice the three fingers.  (click photo to enlarge)

If you see patches of dead crabgrass now, you can expect lots more crabgrass next summer from all the crabgrass seeds left behind in your soil. You can stop crabgrass before it starts next spring.  Mark your calendar to remind yourself to apply crabgrass preventer, also known as crabgrass preemergent, around the time of your first mowing.  Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer prevents crabgrass and other grassy weeds before they sprout while giving your lawn a good feeding to help your grass fill-in thin areas.  If you plan on putting down grass seed next spring, use a special crabgrass preventer like Scotts Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer that will not prevent your good grass seed from sprouting the same time it is preventing the crabgrass.

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