Crabgrass Killer: What It Is And Best Time To Apply

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Crabgrass Killer

Crabgrass Killer is a great way to eliminate stubborn crabgrass without causing too much damage to your lawn. Applying it during the morning dew or on a wet area will ensure the weed is killed and the rest of your lawn remains healthy and beautiful.

Crabgrass is a common and persistent lawn weed that can be challenging to control. This grassy weed germinates from seeds in the spring when soil temperatures reach around 55 degrees Fahrenheit and proliferates throughout the summer.

Crabgrass is an annual weed, meaning it only lives for one growing season, but it can produce thousands of seeds that will sprout the following year.

Controlling Crabgrass

Preventing crabgrass seeds from germinating is the best way to control this weed. Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied to lawns before crabgrass seeds begin to germinate.

These herbicides create a barrier in the soil that prevents the seeds from sprouting. The timing of the application is crucial, and it should be done in early spring before soil temperatures reach 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides: The Key to a Weed-Free Lawn

Pre-emergent herbicides, also known as weed preventers, can be a homeowner’s best friend when maintaining a weed-free lawn.

These herbicides stop weed seeds from germinating, making them an effective tool for controlling annual weeds that grow from seed each year and then die at the end of the growing season.

While pre-emergents won’t kill existing weeds, they can help prevent new ones from sprouting up.

Timing is Everything

The timing of pre-emergent application is critical. Homeowners must apply the herbicide when the weed seed is ready to germinate. If the herbicide goes on too early, before the soil temperature warms enough, the pre-emergent will dissipate before it can do its job.

On the other hand, applying pre-emergents after the seeds have germinated will fail to control the target weed.

It’s important to note that pre-emergents have a defined effectiveness period, so in areas with long growing seasons, like the southern United States, crabgrass can also germinate for a long season.

As a result, it may be necessary to apply pre-emergent herbicides several times per season to keep the area weed-free.

The Benefits of Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Aside from their effectiveness, pre-emergent herbicides have several other benefits. For one, they are generally safe for most grasses and can be applied to established lawns and newly seeded areas.

Furthermore, many pre-emergent herbicides are available in granular form, making them easy to use with a spreader.

Another advantage of pre-emergent herbicides is that they can reduce the need for other weed control methods, such as hand weeding or spot spraying with post-emergent herbicides. This saves time and can be more cost-effective in the long run.

Choosing the Right Pre-Emergent Herbicide

Not all pre-emergent herbicides are created equal, so choosing the right one for your lawn’s specific needs is essential. Look for herbicides that target the types of weeds you’re trying to control.

For example, if crabgrass is a persistent problem, choose a pre-emergent herbicide that specifically targets this type of weed.

Post-Emergent Herbicides: The Answer to Tough-to-Kill Weeds

If you have stubborn weeds like crabgrass that won’t go away, post-emergent herbicides might be your solution. Unlike pre-emergent herbicides, which prevent weed seeds from germinating, post-emergent herbicides are designed to kill weeds that have already emerged from the seed.

Importance Of the Right Moment

When using post-emergent herbicides, timing is crucial. These herbicides work best when applied to young, tender weeds, so applying them as soon as you notice the weeds starting to grow is essential. Mature weeds may require multiple applications, which can also stress the lawn or other plants in the area.

Combining Strategies for Maximum Impact

For the best results, a combination of pre-and post-emergent herbicides is often recommended for weedy lawns.

Pre-emergent herbicides stop germination before it occurs, while post-emergent herbicides kill the existing weeds. This two-pronged approach can help ensure that your lawn stays weed-free.

Remember that multiple post-emergent herbicide applications may be necessary to kill tough-to-kill weeds like crabgrass.

The number of applications required will depend on factors like the time of year, weather conditions, weed maturity, and other site-specific conditions.

Choosing the Right Application Method for Herbicides

Depending on your specific needs, herbicides can be applied using either liquid sprays or dry granules. Here’s what you need to know about each method:

Dry Granules

Granules are easy to apply evenly with an adequately calibrated lawn spreader, making them a popular choice for many homeowners. Any leftover product can be stored in a cool, dry location until its subsequent use.

Pre-emergent or post-emergent weed-and-feed applications for lawns often come as granules.

Liquid Sprays

Liquid sprays are another popular option for applying herbicides. They can be broadcast over large areas with a hose-end sprayer or spot-treated in small areas with a tank sprayer or trigger bottle.

Liquid sprays are available in both concentrated forms and ready-to-spray liquids. The latter is the most convenient as it eliminates the mixing requirement and minimizes the homeowner’s exposure to the chemical.

However, when using liquid sprays, it’s essential to be cautious about wind speed and direction to avoid spray drift that can damage plants, not in the target area.

Planning a “route” is essential to avoid walking through recently treated areas and tracking the chemical elsewhere.

It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s directions when applying any herbicide and to wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid skin contact. Many products also come with a blue dye to help you see where you’ve already sprayed and to prevent overlapping and wasting products.

Getting The Best Results With Crabgrass Killers

For best results, crabgrass control products should be applied early in the growing season, and multiple applications may be necessary to achieve the desired level of control.

Most products will control crabgrass for up to three to four months, depending on weather conditions and soil type.

In addition to using herbicides, maintaining a healthy lawn can help prevent crabgrass from taking over. Watering and fertilizing your lawn regularly, and mowing it to the appropriate height, will help keep it thick and healthy, making it more difficult for crabgrass to grow.

Other grassy weeds like foxtail and yellow nutsedge can also be problematic, and choosing a product that targets a variety of broadleaf and grassy weeds is essential.

Tips On Selecting Proper Crabgrass Control Product

When selecting a crabgrass control product, consider the size of your lawn and the coverage area of the product. Some products are designed for smaller lawns, while others are more suitable for larger areas.

If you prefer an organic solution for controlling crabgrass, several options are available, including vinegar and mulch. However, these methods may not be as effective as chemical herbicides and may require multiple applications.

It’s also important to remember that controlling crabgrass is not a one-time job. Crabgrass seeds can remain in the soil for several years, and new sources can be brought in by wind or animals. Regular lawn care, including mowing and watering, can help prevent crabgrass from becoming a problem.

Natural Methods Of Controlling Crabgrass

Turf management is essential to controlling crabgrass and other weeds in a lawn. Dandelion and other broadleaf weeds can also be problematic, but many products can also help prevent these weeds.

When choosing a crabgrass control product, it’s essential to look at the active ingredient to ensure it targets the specific weeds you want to control. Some products, like Quinclorac, are effective against a wide range of grassy and broadleaf weeds, making them a good choice for lawns with multiple weeds.

Seeding a lawn is another effective way to prevent crabgrass and other weeds from taking over. When planting a lawn, choosing the right grass seed for your area is important as ensuring the soil is adequately prepared to promote germination.

Warm-season grasses, like Bermuda grass and Zoysia grass, are more susceptible to crabgrass than cool-season grasses like fescue and bluegrass. It’s essential to choose a crabgrass control product that is suitable for your grass type.

Clover and chickweed are common lawn weeds that can be difficult to control. Scotts Halts Crabgrass and Grassy Weed Preventer is a popular product targeting crabgrass and other common lawn weeds like clover and chickweed.

Size Of The Property Consideration

When selecting a crabgrass control product, consider the size of your lawn in square feet and the coverage area of the product. Some products are designed for smaller lawns, while others are more suitable for larger areas.

In early spring, detach and aerate your lawn. Give your lawn a vigorous raking to remove winter debris, and use a coring or spiking machine. These machines allow air, water, and fertilizer to penetrate the roots.

The lawn should be fertilized twice a year – once in the spring and once in the fall. Top dress (add soil, compost) to the lawn where necessary and overseed with a grass mixture of Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial Rye, and Creeping Red Fescue.

When watering, water deeply once a week in the morning for at least an hour. The grass will have a chance to dry before evening. This helps to prevent fungus and disease.

Use a sharp lawn mower and cut the lawn at least two to 21/2 inches in the summer. The extended height keeps the grass roots cool, conserves moisture, and helps shade weed seedlings.

When To Apply Crabgrass Killer

As the soil warms, crabgrass seeds begin to germinate. Seeds germinate between 60°F and 70°F when the ground reaches 55°F. Soil temperatures are primarily influenced by sunlight, wind, moisture, and shade.

During the springtime in the Midwest, soil reaches these temperatures with the onset of warmer temperatures. As a result, 55°F is the optimal soil temperature for applying your weed treatment.

You must apply crabgrass preventer to your lawn at the right time for maximum efficiency. When used too early, it can break down before the seeds germinate. Using this method too late could result in a full-blown infestation.

If possible, apply a crabgrass preventer before rain is forecast, keeping an eye on the soil temperature.

In the rain, the crabgrass seeds and the treatment will be washed into the soil.

How to Apply Crabgrass Preventer

If you’re wondering how to prevent crabgrass, the best thing you can do is to put down a preventer before the crabgrass seeds sprout.

Crabgrass preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide instead of a post-emergent herbicide, so you’re already a few steps ahead if you apply early in the spring.

Effective weed control is essential for maintaining a healthy lawn. Homeowners can use various methods to control weeds, including selective herbicides, proper irrigation, and spot treatments.

When laying sod, it’s important to ensure the soil is adequately prepared to prevent weed growth. A pre-emergent herbicide like Tenacity can help prevent crabgrass and other weeds from germinating in the soil.

Spectracide Weed Stop is another popular product that targets many weeds, including thistle and other common lawn weeds. This product can be applied as granules and is effective even in dry conditions.

Granules may be more efficient for larger areas than liquid herbicides, as they can be easily spread with a lawn spreader. However, spot treatments may be necessary for areas with heavy weed growth or where irrigation is impossible.

To achieve the best results, it’s important to apply herbicides at the right time. Forsythia is a good indicator of when to use crabgrass preventers, as it typically blooms around the same time that crabgrass begins to grow.

In addition to herbicides, proper irrigation can help prevent weed growth. Watering deeply and infrequently can help promote profound root growth in lawn grass, making it more resistant to drought and weed growth.

Shrubs and other plants can also be a source of weed growth in a lawn. Regular pruning and removing dead or diseased plants can help prevent weed growth and promote a healthy lawn.

Our Top Picks for the Best Crabgrass Killer

If you’re looking for a crabgrass killer, we’ve narrowed the options to our top-rated products. Here are our recommendations:

1. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide designed to prevent the growth and germination of crabgrass and other grassy weeds in lawns. The active ingredient in this product is pendimethalin, which creates a barrier in the soil that prevents the weed seeds from germinating.

This product is designed to be applied in early spring before the soil temperature reaches 55-60°F and before the crabgrass and other weeds have had a chance to germinate. It can also be applied in the fall to prevent annual winter weeds from germinating.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer comes in granular form and is applied using a spreader. The application rate will depend on the size of the treated area, and the product label provides detailed instructions on determining the appropriate amount to use.

One of the benefits of using Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer is that it provides season-long control with a single application. This means you can enjoy a weed-free lawn without needing multiple applications throughout the growing season.

It is important to note that this product is designed to prevent the growth of weed seeds and will not kill existing weeds. For post-emergent control of crabgrass and other grassy weeds, a separate herbicide will be needed.

Overall, Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer is a reliable and effective option for preventing the growth of crabgrass and other grassy weeds in lawns. By following the product label instructions carefully, you can achieve a beautiful, healthy lawn free from weeds.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer, Pre-Emergent Weed Killer for Lawns, 10,000 sq. ft., 20.12 lbs.
  • Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer prevents the germination of listed lawn weeds so you can enjoy your lawn
  • Prevents the germination of crabgrass, foxtail, spurge, barnyardgrass, and more as listed in the early spring all season long, and moss (except in California), Poa annua, henbit, corn speedwell, and chickweed in the fall
  • Apply this pre-emergent weed killer in the early spring to a dry lawn or in the fall; rain, snow, or freezing weather after application will not affect the performance of this product
  • This lawn care product is for use on all grass types (with the exception of Dichondra or Bentgrass)
  • One 20.12 lb. bag of Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer covers 10,000 sq. ft.

2. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer is another top-rated product that provides pre-emergent control of crabgrass and other grassy weeds. It can be used on most types of grass, including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and fescue.

This product is easy to apply using a spreader, and one bag can cover up to 5,000 square feet. It should be applied in the spring before crabgrass seeds germinate to ensure maximum effectiveness.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer, Pre-Emergent Weed Killer for Lawns, 10,000 sq. ft., 20.12 lbs.
  • Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer prevents the germination of listed lawn weeds so you can enjoy your lawn
  • Prevents the germination of crabgrass, foxtail, spurge, barnyardgrass, and more as listed in the early spring all season long, and moss (except in California), Poa annua, henbit, corn speedwell, and chickweed in the fall
  • Apply this pre-emergent weed killer in the early spring to a dry lawn or in the fall; rain, snow, or freezing weather after application will not affect the performance of this product
  • This lawn care product is for use on all grass types (with the exception of Dichondra or Bentgrass)
  • One 20.12 lb. bag of Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer covers 10,000 sq. ft.

3. Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns + Crabgrass Killer

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns + Crabgrass Killer is a post-emergent herbicide that kills crabgrass and other weeds in as little as eight hours. It can be used on most types of grass, including Bermuda grass, Kentucky bluegrass, and zoysia grass.

One unique feature of this product is that it comes with an extended wand applicator, making it easy to target specific weeds without damaging nearby plants. It’s important to note that this product should not be used on St. Augustinegrass or dichondra.

Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer Concentrate 40 Ounces, 6 Pack
  • KILLS WEEDS, NOT THE LAWN: Controls listed weeds – including crabgrass – not the lawn (when used as directed).
  • KILLS CRABGRASS: Apply the first time you see crabgrass in your lawn.
  • KILLS 470+ TYPES OF WEEDS: Controls all types of listed broadleaf and grassy weeds, including crabgrass, dandelion, chickweed, clover and yellow nutsedge (see product label for complete list).
  • RAINPROOF: Rainfall or watering 3 hours after application will not wash away effectiveness.
  • COVERAGE: 40 ounce bottle treats up to 6,250 square feet.

FAQ

What is crabgrass?

Crabgrass is an annual grassy weed commonly found in lawns, gardens, and farm fields. It has a flat growth habit can quickly spread to form dense patches. Crabgrass can be challenging to control because it produces many seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for several years.

What are crabgrass killers?

Crabgrass killers are herbicides that are designed to kill or control crabgrass. These herbicides contain specific active ingredients that target crabgrass and other grassy weeds, leaving desirable lawn grasses unharmed.

When should I apply crabgrass killer?

The best time to apply crabgrass killer is in the early spring when the soil temperature reaches 55-60°F and before the crabgrass seeds have germinated.

Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied before the crabgrass has had a chance to grow, while post-emergent herbicides can be applied to young crabgrass plants.

How do I apply crabgrass killer?

Crabgrass killers can be applied as a liquid or granular formulation. Follow the instructions on the product label carefully, as application rates and methods may vary depending on the specific product. Generally, crabgrass killers are applied evenly over the lawn using a sprayer or spreader.

What are the active ingredients in crabgrass killers?

Several active ingredients are commonly used in crabgrass killers, including dithiopyr, pendimethalin, prodiamine, quinclorac, and mesotrione. These ingredients target specific processes in the plant’s growth and development, leading to the death of the crabgrass plant.

Can crabgrass killers harm my lawn?

Crabgrass killers are generally safe for use on most lawn grasses when used according to the instructions on the product label. However, some products may be more damaging to certain grasses or under certain conditions.

Be sure to read and follow all label directions carefully before applying any herbicides to your lawn.

How long does it take for crabgrass killer to work?

The time it takes for crabgrass killers to work can vary depending on the product and the crabgrass plant’s growth stage. Generally, pre-emergent herbicides can take several weeks to take effect, while post-emergent herbicides may work more quickly. Be patient and follow the product label instructions for the best results.

Can I prevent crabgrass without using herbicides?

Several cultural practices can help prevent crabgrass from growing on your lawn, such as maintaining proper mowing height, fertilizing appropriately, and watering deeply but infrequently.

You can also use physical methods, such as hand-pulling or a hoe, to remove crabgrass plants before they can produce seeds.

Can I use crabgrass killer on other types of weeds?

Some crabgrass killers may also be effective against other grassy weeds, but it is essential to read the product label carefully to determine which weeds are targeted. Using a crabgrass killer on non-targeted weeds could harm desirable plants or cause ineffective control.

Can I apply crabgrass killer in the rain?

Applying crabgrass killer when it is raining or when rain is expected soon after application is generally not recommended. Rain can wash away the herbicide before it can be absorbed by the plant, reducing its effectiveness. Wait for a dry day to apply the herbicide for best results.

Is crabgrass harmful to humans or pets?

Crabgrass is not harmful to humans or pets but can be an eyesore in lawns and gardens. However, some crabgrass killers may be toxic if ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Be sure to read and follow all label directions carefully, and keep children and pets away from treated areas until the herbicide has dried.

Can I reseed my lawn after using crabgrass killer?

The answer to this question depends on the specific product used and the application timing. Some crabgrass killers may have residual effects that can prevent new grass seed from germinating for several weeks or months.

Check the product label for specific instructions on when it is safe to reseed your lawn after using a crabgrass killer.

How often do I need to apply crabgrass killer?

The frequency of application will depend on several factors, including the specific product used, the severity of the crabgrass infestation, and the condition of the lawn.

Some products may provide season-long control with a single application, while others may require multiple applications throughout the growing season. Follow the product label instructions for the best results.

Last update on 2024-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API