Crabgrass does have some very wicked tendencies. It is an opportunistic weed that will try to take a foothold in any lawn, and once established, requires deliberate and consistent counter measures to reduce or remove from your turf.
The only upside to crabgrass is that it is an annual grassy weed, only lasting a single season, but if allowed to go to seed can create up to 150,00 thousand seeds per plant each year. Crabgrass typically germinates in the spring once the soil warms up into the mid 50’s, usually sometime in May depending upon your location in Ohio. In the fall crabgrass dies with the first frost, setting down thousands of seeds per plant for the following year if left unchecked.
Crabgrass will do well in tough growing conditions, making it a difficult combatant in a typical residential lawn. While our turf grasses do well in cool to warm weather conditions, crabgrass loves the heat and even will do well in drought conditions. We have all seen crabgrass grow out of cracks in a driveway, compacted dirt, gravel or just about anywhere there is empty space. This is why it is important to have a thick dense lawn. Thin areas or bare spots crabgrass will attack. Crabgrass does best in thin lawns or patches that may have been damaged by insect or disease. Any open or susceptible space is quickly covered by new crabgrass plants, growing at an exponential rate as summer goes on. Untreated crabgrass ends up being a sprawling summer plant, often growing up and over any nearby desirable grass.
Most healthy lawns in Brecksville OH can resist severe crabgrass infestations simply because the turf canopy is thick, healthy, and at a proper mowing height of above 3.5”. While some crabgrass may germinate still on the edges of walkways or driveways, these plants can be effectively treated when small to eliminate a full-blown crabgrass invasion.
To control crabgrass in the current growing season, the best defense is always a great offense. Applying pre emergents for crabgrass suppression in the spring is a simple and cost effective way to drastically reduce crabgrass, especially in lawns that are weak, thin, damaged, or otherwise very prone to weed issues. A secondary treatment in June or July can specifically target any plants that got an early foothold. since a preventative treatment is generally not 100% effective in any lawn let alone a lawn prone to crabgrass due to a host of site and environmental issues.
When we see a crabgrass-infested lawn, we never see crabgrass as the real problem, I see the underlying issues as the real problem. Crabgrass is a clear sign of a sick lawn. or a lawn with poor cultural practices that needs to be addressed so crabgrass can’t remain or return. On the turf’s surface, these issues could also be past insect or disease damage causing thin areas, and or improper mowing practices that add stress to desirable grass. In the lawn's soil, the problem could be compaction, improper pH levels, and or low organic activity. Fertile soil is the foundation for a think and healthy lawn that simply does not give crabgrass the space to have room to grow.
While crabgrass treatments can be part of the plan to rid your lawn of crabgrass, it is only one small step toward a long and lasting solution to banish this weed from your lawn! If you need help with lawn treatments in Brecksville Ohio feel free to contact 4 Seasons Services today! (330) 620-6200