As a homeowner, you have probably had the misfortune of dealing with crabgrass. This is a weed that is able to fill your entire lawn in a very short time. It’s a common problem in thousands of households!
How can you deal with it in an effective way? In our article, we explain what a crabgrass killer is and how to apply it.
What Is Crabgrass?
Crabgrass is a weed that grows actively on your site every year as soon as the heat sets in. To boost the crabgrass germination, the soil temperature should rise up to 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit and stay at this level for 3 days, day or night, without falling below this limit.
The most annoying thing in crabgrass is that its seeds stay active up to 30 years, waiting for the right moment to germinate. Given that each plant can produce more than 100,000 seeds per season, there’s no wonder controlling crabgrass becomes quite challenging.
However, it’s not impossible to remove crabgrass from your site. Let’s see how you can control the weed growth or, preferably, eliminate it from your yard completely.
What Type of Herbicide is Crabgrass Preventer?
To understand how to apply the crabgrass killer, we need to learn what it essentially is. It’s a preventative, or pre-emergence herbicide most often used to fight an uncontrolled growth of weed.
❗️ USEFUL TIP: It is called “pre-emergency” because it is not used to fight grown crabgrass; instead, it kills seeds in the soil.
When the preventer gets into the ground, it kills young sprouts of crabgrass that have recently made their way from the seeds but did not rise to the surface yet.
How Does Crabgrass Preventer Work
Now, we’ll help you understand the magic behind it. Early in spring, the herbicide is distributed evenly all over the lawn. Having dissolved in the ground, it forms a protective barrier that holds back the seeds of crabgrass. As soon as the seeds begin to germinate, young sprouts come in contact with the barrier and die immediately.
Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that this barrier is not a full solution. Since the crabgrass killer is a preventative, you may need to re-treat the yard with herbicides. Moreover: if you break the barrier when digging the ground, mowing, etc., it will immediately affect the growth of crabgrass. As soon as the weather gets hot, it will germinate again despite the lawn treatment.
How to Apply Crabgrass Preventer
Here’s the guideline on how you can use the crabgrass killer. Let’s go through all the steps one by one.
1. When to Apply Crabgrass Preventer
First of all, of course, you should understand when it’s time to use herbicides. Since the preventive crabgrass killer should be applied before the germination of weed sprouts, you need to catch on your yard treatment early.
❗️ ATTENTION: Usually, applying crabgrass preventer begins on April, 1. But depending on the climate this date may vary: in the north, yard treatment begins a little earlier, in the south — later.
You can focus on the following signs: as soon as forsythia begins to bloom, start distributing the crabgrass killer over your lawn. However, it is important to get it done before lilacs blooming.
Another option is to use a soil thermometer. Put it in the ground a few inches deep and check the results after a while. If the temperature keeps at 50 degrees Fahrenheit for several days in a row, you should start processing the area.
2. Crabgrass Preventer: Before or After Rain?
Here’s one more piece of advice: it’s important to apply the crabgrass killer before it rains. Water will dissolve the granules of herbicide and help it create the barrier. We recommend that you monitor the weather conditions: as soon as forecasters predict rain, begin to distribute the substance on the site. Of course, the soil still needs to be 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
❗️ CAREFUL: You might think that using the crabgrass killer after the rain is an equal alternative, but this is actually not true. This way, you won’t achieve the expected results.
3. How Soon Should I Water after Applying Crabgrass Killer?
If you treated your yard, but it doesn’t rain, fix it by watering your lawn yourself. This should be done within 2-3 days after using the herbicide. This will dissolve the granules of the substance and help it sink into the ground.
Try very carefully to process every inch of the area: if you miss some places, the growth of the crabgrass won’t stop in there.
4. How Soon Can I Seed after Crabgrass Preventer?
Of course, after an exhausting struggle with the weed, it’s understandable if you want to seed new grass. Crabgrass quickly pushes out other plants and eats away the turf, so your lawn must look absolutely hideous right now.
Please note that many herbicides designed to eliminate crabgrass last up to 4 months. If you try to seed the yard with grass seeds, it will either kill the new seeds or break the barrier, activating the germination of the weeds. That is why we suggest waiting for at least 12 weeks before re-seeding.
How Long Does It Take for Crabgrass Killer to Work?
If you’ve got to this point, then most likely you have decided to process your yard with a crabgrass killer. We have good news for you: in order for the herbicide to work, you need to wait for only 2 weeks.
During this period, granules of substance are dissolved into the ground, forming a barrier. Then, it’s just a matter of time, warmth, and weather until the seeds of the crabgrass begin to germinate. As soon as they intercept with the barrier, they will stop growing, leaving your turf untouched.
We, at lawnguider.com, hope that with our help you can eliminate the crabgrass off your site completely. By the way, if you are interested in finding the best crabgrass killer, we have already done the research for you. Just relax, read our article and choose what you like. Good luck to you and your lawn!