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H

omeowners who enjoy
tending to their lawns know
that grass is vulnerable to
a host of problems, many of which
appear at a time of year when lawn
enthusiasts want to showcase the
fruits of their lawn-and-garden
labors.
Crabgrass is a common problem
that appears in summer. According
to Lowes, crabgrass plants produce
thousands of seeds between
midsummer and early fall. While
the first frosts of late-fall or early
winter kill the crabgrass plants, the
seeds produced by the plants remain
dormant throughout winter and
then begin to grow as the ground
temperature warms up with the
spring and summer thaw. As a
result, controlling germination,
which is the development of a
plant from a seed or spore after
a period of dormancy, is the key

How to
control
crabgrass
before it appears

to preventing crabgrass from
becoming an unsightly blemish that
can harm your lawn
in summer.
A proactive approach to crabgrass
can save homeowners the headaches
of dealing with this unwanted
guest taking over their grass. The
following tips, courtesy of Lowes,
can help homeowners reduce the
likelihood of their lawns being
overcome by crabgrass as summer
hits full swing.
Recognize that routine lawn
maintenance may not be enough.
Even lawns that receive sufficient
TLC can fall victim to crabgrass.
A proactive, crabgrass-specific
approach to lawn maintenance is
the most effective way to control the
problem before it pops up.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide.
Pre-emergent herbicides kill

crabgrass
seedlings as they germinate.
While these herbicides are highly
effective, they must be applied at
precisely the right time. The right
time to apply them depends on
weather patterns. For example,
Lowes notes that homeowners
who live in regions that might
have experienced warmer than
usual winters will probably need
to apply the herbicides earlier than
usual. While the manufacturer
instructions should always be
followed when applying herbicides,
it’s essential that homeowners take
weather patterns into consideration
as well.

Wait until the ground temperature
rises above 60 F. Applying
herbicides when the ground
temperature is below 60 F might
render the products ineffective.
Gauging soil temperature can
be tricky, but Lowes advises
monitoring shrubs and trees on
the property. Once shrubs begin to
bloom and trees bud, herbicide can
be applied.
Wait when treating newly seeded
lawns. Pre-emergent herbicides
might kill new grass seedlings, so
homeowners with newly seeded
lawns should wait until they have
mowed their lawns three times
before applying a herbicide.
Emphasize uniform application. If
a herbicide is not applied uniformly
across the lawn, crabgrass can
establish itself and ultimately spread
to the rest of the lawn.
Do not thatch or aerate after
applying a herbicide. Thatching
or aerating a lawn after applying a
herbicide might break the product’s
chemical barrier, thereby rendering
it ineffective.
Crabgrass can quickly spread on
an untreated lawn. A proactive
approach that prevents its growth
can keep lawns looking great
through summer.

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