April 17, 2013
The weather is ever so slowly warming up. Sunday I was outside at the store, filling a propane tank for a customer. It began to rain just a bit and then a small amount of sleet began to fall. I suppose this is normal for April. What is that old saying,” April showers bring May flowers. “ I guess that saying is fitting for this year!
The forsythia bushes are beginning to bloom in many areas. As the forsythia finish up on flowering, you want to be sure to have applied your crabgrass control to your lawn. The forsythia and the crabgrass have something in common. The soil temperature that makes the forsythia go by flower is close to the soil temperature that makes the crabgrass seed begin to sprout. All of the crabgrass controls that you put down now kill the crabgrass seed as the seed sprouts. This control method is referred to as pre-emergent control. There are basically 3 types of pre-emergent crabgrass control. The most commonly found crabgrass control lasts about 14 weeks in the soil. It is very effective at killing the crabgrass seed. Unfortunately, it is also very effective at killing grass seed. If you seeded your lawn last fall, this product will also harm the grass that was planted last fall. There is another product that uses a different chemical. This product will kill the crabgrass seed but won’t prevent the grass seed from growing. It is also the product you should use on your lawn if you seeded your lawn last fall. There is also an organic control called corn gluten. This product kills the crabgrass seed and will kill the grass seed. However, it only lasts about 4 weeks in the soil. This would allow you to control the crabgrass organically and yet still have time to apply seed to your lawn before the hot weather arrives.
All of the pre-emergent control products should be put down after you have done all the raking on your lawn. The reason is that these products form a barrier on the surface of the soil. It is the barrier that kills the crabgrass seed. If you apply the product and then do your raking, the barrier gets broken and the crabgrass seed will sprout and then get established in your lawn.
Some of you may have purchased new homes since the fall and may not be sure if you have crabgrass in your lawn. You can apply a lawn fertilizer to your lawn and if crabgrass does show up in your lawn later in the season, you can apply crabgrass control after the plants have grown. This product is a liquid that you spray onto the young crabgrass plants. This product should be applied before the crabgrass plants get too big. That time is usually some time in mid to late July. If you wait to apply the product in late summer, the crabgrass is so big that the spray is ineffective.
Well, that may be more than you ever thought you would want to know about crabgrass. As always, you can stop by the store if you have any questions and we will be glad to help you with your questions.
Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.