Tagged with "Crabgrass"
Corn gluten is often recommended as an organic crabgrass pre-emergent, but studies on its effectiveness have been mixed. Precise timing is key to its success. Since corn gluten is an expensive treatment that can be hard to get right, we generally do not recommend it.
What to do instead? The best way to get rid of crabgrass organically is to crowd it out with healthy turf. Crabgrass is an annual that takes advantage of bare spots on your lawn in warm weather. The best time to establish a thick, lush lawn is in fall, but you can also overseed bare spots now so that new crabgrass does not have a sunny spot to sprout in summer.
Before you tackle your crabgrass issue, take a look at where the crabgrass is growing—you might learn something about your soil that will help you prevent it from coming back again.
Photo credit: mphillips007 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Ever noticed that crabgrass pops up in the same spot in your yard every year? It's trying to tell you something about the state of your soil.
Crabgrass thrives in conditions that turf grass cannot tolerate—hot, compacted, or poor soil. It especially loves the warm edges of sidewalks and pavement, and will quickly take advantage of any bare patches in your lawn.
What to do? Feeding, overseeding, and aerating your lawn this fall is key to preventing crabgrass next summer. Crabgrass seeds require plenty of light to germinate and will not be able to compete with your well-established, healthy turf.
For those hot spots near pavement, try using a heat-tolerant ground cover or crushed stone.
What do grass seeds have in common with pumpkin spice lattes, apple pies, and hay rides? They’re all best in fall.
Turf grasses are cool-season plants—they germinate and grow roots best in cool weather. Seeding your lawn in fall allows grass to become established and better able to out-compete warm-season weeds when they emerge in the spring.
This month is a good time to cut down (weed wack!) or pull out warm-season weeds in your lawn to make room for new cool-season grass seed. Don't worry about removing crabgrass roots—crabgrass is an annual, so those roots will die when cold weather hits. And then they're free organic material for your soil!
You have to hand it to crabgrass. The pesky weed certainly knows how to take advantage of an opportunity. Healthy grass guards itself against weeds. But, when grass becomes distressed, take for instance by the summer heat, crabgrass wastes no time moving right in to bare spots.
The PRFCT way to curb its spread is to take away its opportunity.
Start in the summer by getting rid of crabgrass before it goes to seed. Remove small patches with boiling water or by pulling it out at the root. Alternatively, there are toxin-free, vinegar-based products available in stores.
These strategies will hold you over until the fall when it is time to take steps to prevent crabgrass from returning. In an upcoming PEP Tip we’ll tell you when to overseed your lawn to keep it healthy through the year.