Crabgrass is many homeowner’s nightmare. It’s such a pest that everyone seems to have a story to tell about it. There seems to be no sure way to rid your property of this weed once and for all but people keep trying. Crabgrass grows at an incredible rate and spreads like wildfire. It stands out against what would otherwise be a beautiful lawn. It’s one of the first weeds in the lawn to turn brown once the temperatures drop below 40 degrees so, again, it stands out.
Sadly, there are no legal chemicals for homeowners or commercial landscapers to use that will permanently kill or specifically control crabgrass. The chemical Asulox was available for many years, but is no longer labeled for use on residential and commercial lawns. The only people able to legally purchase and use the Asulox herbicide are those purchasing it for agriculture use.
There are lots of things people don’t realize about crabgrass. While some believe there are perennial and annual versions of crabgrass, it’s primarily an annual plant that heartily reseeds itself nearly year round. Its seeds can germinate anytime from mid-spring to late summer in the north and year round in the south. Crabgrass can survive in even the worst soil conditions and if allowed to spread it moves more rapidly when turf is stressed due to drought.
An effective method of control includes killing the area with non-selective herbicides, such as RoundUp, and then laying down new sod. Even this doesn’t future-proof your lawn from crabgrass because the seed lives on in the soil indefinitely.
While crabgrass may be an ongoing battle you will wage as a homeowner, there are some things you can do to help. Keep your lawn thick and rich. Try applying roundup and then re-sodding or try one of the many pre-emergents on the market. Pre-emergents can be quite effective because they prevent the crabgrass seeds in the infested area from sprouting but it may mean three extra applications a year for those in the south.
It’s always best to be proactive. Maintain a lush and healthy lawn and when you see any crabgrass, physically remove it before it goes to seed.