When To Apply Crabgrass Preventer
The biggest problem with crabgrass prevention is not getting around to it. Early is best, but do you know when to apply crabgrass preventer?
Nighttime soil temperatures above 50 degrees for three days is the best time to wake up crabgrass seed - and start your worst nightmare! (Some farmers use monitoring system for soil temperatures to know when danger could strike)
Early application of pre-emergent weed killer will lose its effectiveness sooner. The effect normally wears off in three months. The time at which you apply determines if you need to apply it again later.
Studies show that crabgrass even gets germinated when the soil temperature is 60 to 70 degrees. It's pretty versatile - so an early kill approach is the best.
Watch out for the weeds growing near the edges of concrete. Look next to driveways, brick edging, patios and sidewalks. These are the materials that absorb the heat and transfer it to the adjacent soil. This is where the crabgrass will grow first giving you an indication that there is worst time to come if you do not act fast.
The Battle Plan
Remove the crabgrass from the edges as soon as it appears, and apply a pre-emergent killer swiftly. Spread the pre-emergent over the lawn and then water the lawn thoroughly. You will hopefully find that you have conquered the attack in the first go.
If you are late then still spread the pre-emergent and water the lawn. You will notice that there is a reduction in the crabgrass to up to 60 percent. Battle half won - and then take the time to remove the leftover grass manually. Call it an 80 percent victory! It's better to apply late than not applying at all.
There are many pre-emergent's available in the market, but there are a lot less post-emergent products. Amongst the best available is MSMA Crabgrass Killer, which is very effective on young crabgrass. Use this product under 95 degrees soil temperature.
So if it's early Spring and you forgot to apply the pre-emergent, not to worry, post-emergent is best at this time of the year. The effect remains for 2-3 months. Apply it as soon as you notice the crabgrass.
Out Compete The Crabgrass
To prevent crabgrass getting a toehold in your lawn you could try growing a Bermuda grass lawn. Mow it to a height of around 1 to 1.5 inches. Apply fertilizer at the right time and you have a perfect lawn. And as bermuda grass is a vigorous grower crabgrass shouldn't get a chance to compete.
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