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Crabgrass Decoded Get Rid of Them for a Weed-free Lawn

Crabgrass Decoded: Get Rid of Them for a Weed-free Lawn

We all know how a warmer temperature can bring our landscape to life, but it can also lead to some bothersome crabgrass growth to our lawns.

The essential strategy in getting rid of crabgrass is disrupting its life cycle. Some common methods to eradicate it include using post-emergent herbicides, hand-pulling seedlings, and overall maintaining a healthy lawn.

Before any full-on crabgrass invasion happens, let’s dive deeper into its causes and how to prevent it from popping up again.

What is Crabgrass

Noticed some brown patches appearing on your lawn during warmer months? Those annoying spots are caused by crabgrass, which usually pops up and develops into some flat, wide and thick leaf blades.

Crabgrass grows in groups or bunches. They normally keep a very low profile in the garden, avoiding the blade of the mower when trimming the lawn.

Unlike the other tall weeds, crabgrass is considered to be very tough, hence there’s not much that can normally break on it.

This type of weed produces lots of seeds, which can spread quickly through the lawn

Types of Crabgrass

There are two types of crabgrass – smooth and hairy. Both annual grasses peak in summer, while thriving in nutritiously rich, sandy, or clay soils.

Checking these varieties will help us deal with these unwanted weeds properly and effectively.

Smooth crabgrass

This type of crabgrass has no hairs around its leaves. The hairs found on smooth crabgrass are located only at the plant’s auricles, found on the interior side at the base of the leaves.

Hairy crabgrass

As the name suggests, hairy crabgrass can be found with many tiny hairs all over its leaves and stems. This type of crabgrass is more coarse and has broader blades than its counterpart.

Crabgrass and Its Life Cycle

Crabgrass is an annual plant, hence living for one year. Towards the end of spring season, this weed’s primary mission is to produce seeds – and that’s where it can post as a problem.

Seeds normally appear during mid-spring, normally when the soil gets a little warmer. After five consecutive days, crabgrass seeds will germinate.

Though it will take longer in shadier spots, crabgrass will continue to bud faster in areas near concrete and rock.

When summer comes in, crabgrass becomes more erratic since these weeds are expected to thrive in drier weather conditions. Crabgrass is also drought-tolerant, which is why it continues to flourish until autumn hits.

How to Get Rid of Crabgrass

First thing that we should take into account is to break its life cycle. Several methods can be used to get rid of these unwanted weeds. 

Before reaching for the help of pesticides, try these three lines of defense to get rid of crabgrass.

Use a post-emergent herbicide

If crabgrass has already appeared, stop it from spreading seeds by spraying it with post-emergent herbicides. Post-emergent herbicide has two types – selective and non-selective.

Selective herbicides kill particular weeds or plant types, while non-selective herbicides can kill all plants, including those that are meant to be kept. Hence, choosing a selective post-emergent herbicide is the most popular and recommended choice.

Hand-pull huge seedlings

Pulling large seedlings is also an effective way to block unwanted weeds in the future. To pull it effectively, wait until the seedlings are large enough to be easily pulled by hand.

Remove the entire plant during springtime before replacing the soil and reseeding. Make sure to place all clumped crabgrass in a sealed trash bag to prevent the spread of its seeds.

Keep a healthy lawn

A bald spot on your lawn can invite more weed seeds to take root. Make sure to place new grass during the start of autumn to prepare it for colder months. 

Covering non-lawn areas with a thick layer of mulch is also recommended. In doing so, any weed growth can be reduced.

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