Crabgrass has earned a reputation for its indomitable spirit. Many homeowners are faced with an annual battle against the course grass that takes over their yard and kills off some of the softer grass species. Fortunately, with just a few simple tools you can take action now to get rid of this pesky intruder.
Mower with Grass Catcher
The problem with crabgrass is that the seeds are hidden in the tough stalks that lie at the center of the growth. To get rid of the crabgrass, you first have to stop the seeds from spreading. Some people recommend taking a rake to the patches of crabgrass and pulling up the stalks so that they are up and away from the ground. Then mow over them immediately with a grass catcher to keep the seeds from being redeposited on the soil. Avoid mulching because this will only make the problem worse.
Spray with Crab Grass Repellent
Today there are numerous plant killers on the market that are specifically made to fight off wild grasses. These are different than normal weed killers and are specifically formulated to killing one type of grass. Once the patch of grass has died, make sure you get out your shovel and remove it before it can come back to life.
Once you have cleared the area of dead crabgrass, the only way to keep the soil healthy is to immediately replant it with the type of grass seed that you want to grow. If necessary, aerate the area and use a seed spreader to thoroughly cover the patch.
After you have successfully removed the offending grass and treated the area, the goal is to maintain a healthy lawn that will not invite in new wild grasses. By mowing your lawn at a height of 2-3 inches you will help ward off any new crabgrass growth. Don’t over apply fertilizer or water that keeps the ground soggy, as these things can damage your healthy grass and leave space for crabgrass to come back. In addition, cutting your lawn too low leaves your lawn at risk of getting too dry and create open patches.
Ultimately the battle against crabgrass is a tough one, but once you understand the unique properties that make it so successful in some lawns, you can fight against it more effectively. Just remember that when it’s time to mow your lawn you need to take an extra step to remove crabgrass seeds and prevent them from getting into your soil. Once your problem is under control, continue mowing and treating the lawn with preventative measures so you will never have to see it again.
Shank’s Lawn Equipment is South Central Pennsylvania’s home for all kinds of outdoor lawn equipment. Their team of highly trained lawn care experts will help you find the right parts and equipment for your home from their huge selection of in stock items. If you are located in or around South Central Pennsylvania and need to bring your equipment in for repairs or servicing, stop by their shop at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, just off Route 11. To get there from I-81 take Exit 10 to Marion.
Even if you live outside of Pennsylvania, Shank’s Lawn is happy to ship parts anywhere in the US and Canada to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. Visit them online at www.shankslawn.com to see what they have in store for you.