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Is Crabgrass Really That Bad?

March 27, 2018

My answer to that question is YES. I have two reasons why:

First, crabgrass is a temporary grass that germinates each spring and dies each fall leaving behind bare, muddy lawn areas during winter and early spring. Mud tracked into the house by kids and pets is not good.

My second reason is the way crabgrass grows. It is wily and sneaky and greedy for space. Growing flat to the ground where your lawnmower can’t reach, it spreads throughout the summer choking out the good grass around it. Even worse, each crabgrass plant produces up to 80,000 seeds before it dies off in fall with the first killing frost. In late winter/early spring those seeds are laying in your soil getting ready to sprout with the warm weather which means a little bit of crabgrass last year can turn out to be a lot of crabgrass this year.

Crabgrass Seedlings

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.

I have good news! You can stop crabgrass and several other kinds of annual weeds before they begin to grow this spring. Put down some Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer around the time of your first mowing. This product does just what its name says: halts crabgrass in its tracks by creating a barrier on your soil that stops it from germinating. Plus it gives your good grass the deep Turf Builder feeding it needs to green up and create new roots in spring. Unlike the bargain brands, the particles are tiny, which means you get a good weed barrier on every inch of your lawn.

If you plan on putting down some grass seed this spring, you need to use a different crabgrass preventer that will not keep your new grass seed from growing. Instead, use Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass plus Weed Preventer as it is compatible with grass seed and has the special food to help you get new grass faster.

You now have another product option for preventing crabgrass. If you are already seeing dandelions in your lawn and you want to kill them with the same product that also prevents crabgrass and gives your lawn a good feeding, you can spread Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action. Apply to moist foliage when your temps are between 60 and 80 on a day when rain is not expected. After 24 hours water your lawn to maximize control.

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