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Can You Seed and Prevent Crabgrass?

April 28, 2016

I hear this question quite a few times this time of year asked in two ways:  “I put down my crabgrass preventer earlier this spring, how long do I need to wait before I can seed?”  OR, “Can I prevent crabgrass and seed at the same time?”

If you have already put down Turf Builder plus Halts Crabgrass Preventer the directions state that you should not plant grass seed for 4 months after application.  This would mean you will need to wait until the end of August to seed.  You may be able to get around this if you only have a few small areas you want to seed.  I have seen folks break the crabgrass germination barrier in those spots by cultivating the soil to a 4 inch depth (to disrupt the crabgrass barrier), then mixing in an inch of compost like Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Soil, and then seeding with Scotts EZ Seed.  This is not practical if you want to seed a large area, so you will need to wait until early fall to put down your grass seed.

If you have NOT put down your crabgrass preventer yet and you want to seed this spring you should use Scotts Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer instead of Halts.  (Note:  this is a different active ingredient that does not last as long as Turf Builder plus Halts, however it is your best choice if you want to seed in spring.)

Crabgrass seedlings about a week after germination. Crabgrass gets its name because it sprawls from a central root low across the ground. It can become a problem quickly because it is able to grow vigorously in hot, dry conditions choking out your good grass. Before dying in the fall, a single weed can distribute thousands of seeds which will be ready to germinate in spring.

Crabgrass seedlings about a week after germination. These seedlings quickly choke out new grass seed that is trying to germinate at the same time.

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