Brooklawn Services realizes the struggle with crabgrass is not just a regional issue but even the experts at Purdue are sharing the same challenges. Andrew Westfall at Purdue Extension has this to say about the conditions of crabgrass:
“Conditions have been ripe this year for an outbreak of crabgrass, and unfortunately this bane in the eye of prideful lawn keepers may have won the battle this time around. Crabgrass is a summer annual weed that begins germinating when soil temperatures are approximately 60° F for 3-5 days, which occurred in early May this past spring. The other requirement for crabgrass germination is moisture, which there was plenty of early in the year. This had lawns looking great early on, however within that dense grass were young crabgrass plants waiting for their chance. As the rains slowed down and temperatures increased, some lawns begin to conserve energy and go dormant. Without the competition from grass, crabgrass had its chance to shine.
Crabgrass flowers and sets seed in July and August, then dies with the first frost of fall. Therefore, most crabgrass has been dropping seeds for a few weeks now and is too healthy to effectively control with herbicides. Several products will advertise post emergence control of crabgrass, but research has shown the results to be poor. So what can be done now?
Unfortunately, it is best to simply tolerate the crabgrass until it dies at first frost and in the meantime, keep up your regular lawn program to try and encourage a healthy grass stand in the future. This would include: making sure it is properly fertilized, mowing at the proper height (no lower than 2.5” to 3.5”), and irrigating during dry spells. The best time to fertilize a lawn is in September, when 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 ft² should be applied. Then, next spring, usually around the first week of April, apply a pre-emergent herbicide for crabgrass to help terminate all of the seed that was set this year. If a few plants still emerge, hit them early with a post emerge herbicide while they are still young.”
Read the rest of the article here. For additional information on treating your crabgrass and precautionary measures for next spring, please contact Brooklawn Services today at 888.794.9555.