Crabgrass is an herbaceous annual plant. Annuals are plants that begin as seed and die in the same given year. In the spring crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures (not air temperatures) reach 56 degrees for a consecutive three days in a row. This plant will mature to a full plant, which will reproduce seeds for the following year. The plant browns and dies off in the fall when cool weather approaches. Each plant is known to produce over 150,000 seeds.
For future reference, it is very common to get crabgrass along walkways, driveways, and hot spots such as sandy soils or bare exposed soil where soil temperatures increase quickly. Also, slow growing turf from poor cultural practices such as inadequate watering and low mowing will allow crabgrass and many other weeds to germinate.
Usually by the first week of May, crabgrass has begun to germinate. Each passing day beyond germination pushes it a little further beyond our control. Late applications will give you limited control. In this situation, you must expect crabgrass during this season. In the coming year we will control around 85% of the crabgrass and each year after it will increasingly get better. If service is performed before May 1, we will continue our efforts and spot spray with a post emergent herbicide to reduce the number of plants. Post emergent can take over 14 days before seeing results.
Vice President, Lawn Care Division
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Geoffrey Ford, Vice President
Ford’s Hometown Services