They say a smile goes a long way, so why are so many people crabby? I don’t mean crabby mean or crabby paddies like on SpongeBob SquarePants, I mean why are so many homeowners obsessed and concerned about crabgrass?
If the warm weather continues like it started in mid-February, you may see crabgrass show its ugly face before summer arrives. Homeowners from Virginia to New England started calling in February asking, “Should I put down Green Up with Crabgrass Preventer, is it too late, it’s up to 70 degrees?”
Crabgrass starts to germinate when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees. Even if it has been 70 degrees outside a number of days, the soil temperature is not necessarily reaching 55 degrees. Even if the soil temperature does reach 55 degrees that means crabgrass “could” start to germinate. Crabgrass can germinate over 8-10 weeks based on different geographical locations, the amount of sun and soil types and the health of turf grass play a large roll in how well crabgrass establishes. If you have a soil thermometer, monitor the soil temperature at your home to decide on when to apply controls.
If you have a healthy growing lawn, why are you so worried? A thick lawn is the best defense against crabgrass, other weeds, insects and drought. Have you been following my advice over the years on how to create a better lawn? Is it really a gamble to skid applying crabgrass preventer if you have a great looking lawn void of crabgrass for a number of years? I don’t think so, why not give the environment a break or consider using Organic Weed Control.
If crabgrass has been a real big problem over the years you want to apply Green Up with Crabgrass Preventer in mid-April and then again at the end of May to get better control into summer months of this pesky weed. Usually crabgrass appears mid-summer along hot driveways or sidewalk edges or from heavy foot traffic that scuffs up the ground perhaps killing some of the grass allowing crabgrass to establish.
Some of the older technologies that are available that control crabgrass do not control crabgrass if applied after crabgrass germinates. This family of products is referred to as “dinitroanilines” or “yellow” products including Team, Barricade and Pendimethalin. But, have no fear…Dithiopyr is here (that rhymes). The trade name for Dithiopry is “Dimension” and our crabgrass controls contain it. There are many features of Dimension, it controls crabgrass before and after it germinates, up to the 3-leaf stage of crabgrass growth. Dimension is clear and odorless so no staining of sidewalks, shoes, fences or the dog will occur. Dimension uses a teaspoon of active ingredient to treat a 5,000 square foot lawn area so it is very environmentally friendly too. If you are planning on applying grass seed, do not use these products listed above.
If you are seeding, be careful what product you choose to apply to control crabgrass. Our Crabgrass Preventer plus New Seeding Fertilizer allows you to apply grass seed on the same day. The active ingredient is Siduron, the trade name is Tupersan. Yes, you can apply this product and grass seed on the same day safely and the grass seed will still germinate. If you have bare spots, please do seed them this spring. If you do not, they will fill in with ugly weeds. If you only have a few bare spots the size of a towel or trash can lid or blanket, you can put these down over the spots you wish to seed, apply Dimension and then gently peel back the towel-blanket so no product drops on the area you are applying seed.
Good luck this year on your lawn adventures!