It’s not uncommon to see brown patches on our lawn after the autumn. Those spots can be really unsightly, but what causes them? Well, those are likely to be caused by crabgrass. Those are unattractive weeds that can spread throughout your lawn or garden bed and cause havoc. No, we are obviously not talking about Suzie Crabgrass of Ned’s Declassified school survival guide. We are talking about a persistent weed which is like a universal problem of people from the US. One of the major problems with these weeds is the fact that they can spread pretty quickly.
So, in this article, we will discuss this annoying plant and how to take measures against them.
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What Does It Look Like?
So, what does crabgrass look like? Well, they can be smaller than 6 inches and the tall variety can even grow up to 48 inches with a lot of blades. Since it spreads out its long branches like a crab leg, people call it crabgrass.
Crabgrass: An Overview
Crabgrass is an unsightly weed that can spread pretty quickly if you don’t do anything about it. After dying due to cold temperatures, it can leave bad brown patches. This is an annual grass, which pops up in the spring season and thereafter spreads exponentially. However, it dies after the first touch of autumn frost.
Moreover, if you don’t do anything about those bare patches, chances are there that these weeds will spawn next year. Therefore, you need to understand the cycle of crabgrass and break it, to stop it from spawning.
How does It Spread?
Are you interested to know how Crabgrass spreads? Then let’s talk about that. Since it’s a warm-season annual weed, it germinates, lives, and then dies in the same year till cold weather touches it. However, what sets it apart from other seasonal weeds is the fact that it doesn’t end with the growing season.
While they live, each weed can produce up to 150,000 seeds. Therefore, after their death, those seeds can germinate for the next season, keeping the cycle alive. It’s also worth mentioning the fact that those seeds can stay invisible from our eyes. Therefore, they don’t germinate right from the word go.
So, once they start to germinate and the plant emerges, mowing your lawn won’t stop the seeds from sprouting. In that case? To prevent the Crabgrass, you can take some preventive measures first.
How to get rid of crabgrass?
So, with a lot of potential seeds waiting for the next season, you need to make sure to stop their successful germination. So, you can use crabgrass preventer products, or what we can also call herbicides. Those can target the germinating seeds before the next lot emerges from the ground.
Pre-emergent herbicides are really good which invades the seed germination procedure and prevents root development. This procedure can ensure that seeds won’t produce new plants. There are some highly effective pre-emergent available in the market that you can use to control the weeds.
There are downsides to using crabgrass preventers as well. While they can successfully stop the germination of the seeds, they can also affect lawn grass seed. Therefore, you should be cautious while using it.
Furthermore, you should be aware of the perfect time to use them. Since a preventer can only work before the seedlings sprout through the soil, you should apply them on the right occasion to achieve success. So, make sure to apply them before the seedlings germinate. As a general rule, they can germinate from early spring until late summer.
Killing the Existing Weeds
Preventive measures are only useful if you apply them before the germination takes place. So, what about killing the existing weeds? In other words, how to kill crabgrass? So, you can apply some post-emergent herbicides to kill them completely before they produce new seeds.
However, before you purchase any crabgrass killer or herbicide, make sure to check whether it’s selective or non-selective. Generally, selective herbicides only target the ones who want to get rid of them. While nonselective is as the name suggests, it can kill other plans as well if you aren’t careful about using it. So, there’s a chance that you might even kill lawn grasses. Therefore, you should check the label instructions thoroughly before applying them to your lawn.
So that’s it, folks. This is how you can get rid of crabgrass from your lawn. It’s true that these weeds love the dry and hot weather. Therefore, make sure to break the cycle before it can spread the seeds all over your lawn. You don’t want to see the rough, dry, and brown patches on your perfect velvety lawn bed.