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This is crabgrass on asphault

Lawn Tips “Crabgrass”

What is Crabgrass?

  • Crabgrass (digitaria sanguinalis) is an annual weed that can be identified by the coarse broad blades, its light green appearance and swollen, zig-zag nodes. It is a highly invasive weed that thrives in lawns suffering from drought stress and/or poor soil.

Crabgrass is commonly misidentified to the untrained eye as Tall Fescue and Annual Bluegrass (see image below)

This is a diagram of Crabgrass, tall fescue and Annual bluegrass

Where does Crabgrass typically appear?

  • In grass along pavement such as driveways, sidewalks and parking lots.
    • Pavement heats up much faster than soil causing the soil to dry out quickly. The loss of vital nutrients in the soil is hard on desirable grasses.  Crabgrass loves these areas.
    • It will also show up in the cracks of pavement.
    • Lawns cut too short cause the grass to dry out, thus resulting in less nutrients in the soil. Some lawns only have it along borders where the string trimming was done too short.

When does Crabgrass appear?

  • Here in Michigan, our cool-season turf-grasses have an optimum growing temperature of 65-75 F. In contrast is a warm-season annual that thrives in high temperatures of 80-100 F. So as cool-season turf growth slows, crabgrass growth explodes 
  • While the dates can range from year to year, in Michigan, Crabgrass can typically begin to be seen in early to mid June and last until early October.

How does Crabgrass Spread?

  • Crabgrass spreads when the Crabgrass begins seeding.
    • It leaves plenty of seeds before it dies in the fall.
    • Using a contaminated lawn mower.
    • Blowing mowing clippings from an affected lawn to an unaffected lawn.

How to get rid of Crabgrass?

    • The best mode of action is prevention
      • A pre-emergent crabgrass application, such as Dimension, can be applied in the spring when the soil temperature is around 50 degrees F.
    • Manual removal
      • Pulling Crabgrass will remove the weed. The entire root needs to be removed to ensure the weed will not come back.  Depending on the amount of crabgrass on a lawn, this may or may not be the best method of removal.
    • Pesticide Treatments
      • A liquid herbicide, that is specifically designed to kill such as Quinclorac, can be applied to affected areas.  Treated areas will begin to wilt and turn purple within 7-14 days.
    • Annual Aeration and Overseeding
      • It allows vital nutrients, oxygen and water to enter the soil.
      • Annual overseeding helps promote thicker lawns resulting in less crabgrass. 






  • Call My Fertilizing Company Today To Learn More About Crabgrass






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