How to Get Rid of Crabgrass – Best Way to Kill Crabgrass
Crabgrass is actually the common name of Digitaria, which is a genus of almost 300 species of grass. Digitaria or crabgrass belongs to the family Poaceae and is commonly found in tropical and temperate regions.
The Latin word, Digitaria, which means finger and crabgrass is also characterized by long finger-like clusters of flowers arranged on branches. They are often termed lawn pests and are quite difficult to get rid of, once they start invading your lawn. Before discussing the best way to kill crabgrass, it is important to throw some light on the life cycle of this annual grass, as this will help you take appropriate measures at the proper time.
The seeds of crabgrass usually germinate in the early spring or late winter, as the soil temperature reaches about 55 degrees Fahrenheit. They produce seeds from mid-summer to fall and then the plants are killed by the autumn frosts. Now, let’s have a look at some of the effective ways to kill crabgrass.
Getting Rid of Crabgrass
The best way to kill crabgrass is to apply a pre-emergent herbicide. As the name suggests, this type of herbicide prevents the emergence of weeds, i.e. they prevent the seedlings from sprouting. So it is important to apply pre-emergent herbicides before germination. The timing of crabgrass germination usually coincides with the blooming of lilac shrubs.
Pre-emergent herbicides are available in both granular and liquid forms and they form a protective layer on the surface of your lawn. This protective layer prevents crabgrass seeds from sprouting. Do not aerate the soil after applying pre-emergent herbicides. However, you can water your lawn, as watering will help in activating these herbicides. Sometimes reapplication of these pre-emergent herbicides may be required, as all the crabgrass seedlings do not germinate at the same time.
In addition to pre-emergent herbicides, post-emergent herbicides are also available that can kill this unwanted weed after germination. But it has been observed that they are mainly effective in destroying only the young seedlings of crabgrass, which are quite difficult to distinguish from lawn grass. As the excessive use of chemicals is not very safe for both humans and pets, you can also consider the option of killing crabgrass organically. An effective organic pre-emergent herbicide is corn gluten, which not only inhibits the germination of crabgrass but also increases the fertility of the soil.
To keep your lawn free from crabgrass, remember not to leave any bare spots in your lawn. A full and thick lawn will help you get rid of crabgrass by leaving no space for their growth. Besides this, maintain your lawn grass at a fixed height, ideal for that specific species by mowing regularly. Mowing your lawn at regular intervals will help you prevent the flowering and seeding of crabgrass. As far as irrigation is concerned, irrigate the lawn deeply but not frequently.
Crabgrass is a shallow weed, and therefore, allowing the ground to dry by watering irregularly would inhibit the germination of crabgrass. On the other hand, deep watering would benefit your lawn grass by stimulating the roots to grow deeper into the soil. Instead of applying fertilizers in the spring, you should do it in fall, as the crabgrass plant is killed by the hard frost of fall.
If your lawn is not overcrowded by crabgrass, then you can also practice weeding occasionally, as sometimes, the hand pulling of crabgrass can be effective in eliminating this weed before it gets the chance to produce seeds. While applying different types of herbicides, it is important to read and follow the instructions mentioned on the label.
These instructions will give you a proper idea about the time of application and also the precautions to be taken for getting rid of crabgrass without producing any adverse effects. Thus, by following some simple lawn care tips along with the judicious use of herbicides, you can make your lawn more attractive and free from weeds.