Few things disrupt your green lawn more than the unsightly weed, like crabgrass. Crabgrass looks a lot like standard grass, but it still sticks out like a sore thumb. In the fall crabgrass dies with the first hard frost, setting down thousands of seeds per plant for the following spring if left unchecked. Crabgrass flourishes in tough growing conditions, making it a sinister foe in a typical home lawn. When the name crabgrass comes to mind, you certainly think about one of the most invasive weeds. Crabgrass is so hardy that it can sprout and grow well not only in gardens but also in beds and concrete. Typically, there are quite as many types of crabgrass as you can find. On a general scale, there are at least 35 different species of crabgrass. The most common crabgrass species in Kentucky is large crabgrass, but may also find smooth crabgrass. However, the thing most homeowners want to know is how do your get rid of it? The following are some tips on how to prevent crabgrass…
Water Your Lawn
For your grass to grow thick and healthy (and naturally defend itself against weeds) it needs water. But it’s possible your lawn may not be receiving enough. Your lawn should be getting approximately one to two inches of water each week. If it’s not raining enough to cover that, be sure to irrigate your lawn to keep it thick enough to discourage weeds from growing. We recommend giving your lawn a good soaking once or twice a week rather than a little bit every day.
Have a Thick Lawn
Having a thinned-out lawn not only looks unappealing, but it’s also a weed magnet. That’s because weeds thrive in thin and bare spots on your lawn where they don’t have to compete with healthy turf for the sunlight they need to grow. When your grassroots are healthy, there is not much empty space left in the soil for weeds to take root.
You might be surprised to know that your mowing habits can also have an impact on your struggle to get rid of weeds in the lawn. When you mow your grass too short or you scalp the edges along your walkways and driveway, you are creating conditions that may be favorable for weed growth. Let grass grow long enough to create shade at ground level and keep moisture in the soil. We recommend you only cut 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow to prevent stress.
Aerate Your Soil
Crabgrass thrives in compacted soil. Weeds tend to grow close to the surface unlike the deep roots needed for grass. So compacted soil only allows for these invasive plants to thrive. If you can’t seem to get rid of weeds in the lawn, solving your compaction problem may actually help your lawn to become thicker, resulting in fewer weeds. Fortunately, this is something that aeration can remedy by loosening up the soil and allowing more oxygen, water, and nutrients to penetrate below the surface where grassroots truly need them.
Have the Right pH Level
Ideal pH should be between 6.5-7.0, slightly acidic. Generally, lime is added to raise the pH, and sulfur is added to lower the pH, and adding compost can naturally correct your pH. Fertilizer and lime do not kill the crabgrass but instead creates an environment that is more favorable to desirable grass.
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Green & Grow is a full service lawn care company specializing in lawn mowing, fertilization & weed control, aeration & seeding, insect control, and more!
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