How To Remove Crabgrass in Lawns

Lawn Care

What is Crabgrass? 

Crabgrass is a summer annual weed occurring in lawns during spring through summer months in many areas. Crabgrass is a very easy summer annual to control in many Virginia areas. With preparation and pre-emergence, you can easily handle crabgrass. 

How do I prevent crabgrass in my lawn? 

The best way to control crabgrass is to use a split application of pre-emergence in the first two months of the calendar year and then again in mid to late spring. Pre-emergence is a type of herbicide barrier which will stop the crabgrass plant from germinating (growing into a plant). There are several types of pre-emergence chemicals on the market. The most common ones are prodiamine, dithiopyr, and pendimethalin. These pre-emergence herbicides can be applied in a liquid solution or spread on a fertilizer granule if easier. 

When do I apply pre-emergence to my lawn? 

The first application of pre-emergence should be down before the soil temperature hits 55 degrees Fahrenheit at a one-inch depth. The best time for this application would be the middle of February or sooner. You can use a thermometer to stick in the sunny parts of the lawn to determine the soil temperature. The second application (half rate each time) of the pre-emergence occurs six to eight weeks later. Even if pre-emergence is down, this does not guarantee crabgrass will not breakthrough. If the ground has exposure to sun, pre-emergence will be subject to photo degradation (sunlight breaking down the pre-emergence). The importance of having strong, thick turf blocking the sunlight from hitting the soil, is key to reducing crabgrass breakthrough. 

Remember by preparing in the winter, you are planning for this summer annual. For treatment options, consider one of our lawn care programs, or call us at 804.285.6200 for more information. 


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