Getting Rid of Crabgrass In Your Lawn
Looking across your landscaped yard can be relaxing and enjoyable, or deeply frustrating if you see you need to get rid of crabgrass. Crabgrass is an annual weed that acts like a perennial in that it returns and grows in the same spot in your yard year after year starting the same spot and overtaking your lawn. It lives just long enough to go to seed then it dies. The new seed sprouts up seeming like it never died off at all.
Crabgrass can be identified by its thick, course growth that seems to radiate out in a circle pressing down surrounding grass to hog the sunlight and grow an ever larger patch. Getting rid of crabgrass requires some diligence and is equal parts prevention and treatment to be successful.
The first thing you need to do is to kill the crabgrass that you currently have. Depending on the time of year there are several different ways to do this. You can reach for the herbicide but lawn experts all suggest this as only a last resort. You can start by dumping boiling water on the crabgrass patch or digging out the patch with a shovel or hoe. Either way put a nice healthy scoop of compost on top of it. This will both smooth out any holes as well as burn off any crabgrass seeds that may be around.
Next is to treat your lawn in the prevention of future crabgrass. Just mow your lawn down to the lowest setting on your mower. If your grass is currently very long you may want to do this in a couple of stages over a couple of weeks so as to not damage your good, healthy grass. Next spread some pre-emergent fertilizer. This will nourish your current grass will preventing the growth of future crabgrass. Do this again every spring and fall. When the Forsythia bush is in bloom is the time to put your pre-emergent down. You can do this with or without fertilizer, but as long as you are going to do the work, why not feed the rest of your lawn?
If you see new tufts of crabgrass start to emerge either pull them out by hand or use the steps above followed by the compost to burn out new seeds. Also make sure you seed your lawn for new grass as suggested after the pre-emergent time limit has expired. Putting new grass seed down will be futile as the pre-emergent doesn’t know the difference between crab grass and good grass seed. It will prevent all grass seed from sprouting. It is important to seed your lawn with new grass seed to encourage the growth of the healthy grass variety that you want in your yard.
After your have spread out both the pre-emergent fertilizer and waited the recommended time, you can then followed by the grass seed, water it deeply.. Allow your grass to grow up tall and thick so that it can now choke out any crabgrass that may sprout up.
Following these steps will work to remove the crab grass from your lawn. In a matter of just a season or two your lawn will be smooth and crabgrass free. Getting rid of crabgrass is not easy and requires diligence over time to thoroughly remove.
If you have nothing but crabgrass you may want to consider putting on a herbicide and starting all over again. Or there is always the option to sod your lawn for an instant lawn.