As soon as the frost is out of the ground, it is time to begin preparing for the spring lawn season and putting down crabgrass prevention products. Remember, most early season crabgrass products are preventative, meaning they create a “barrier” to prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating and growing rather than killing it.
So what can you do in advance to get your lawn ready?
- Give your lawn a good, heavy raking to help remove any twigs, leaves or grass clippings that did not decompose over winter.
- If you plan on core aerating this spring, do so before applying the crabgrass product. Doing so after application will “break the seal” and allow crabgrass to sneak through the barrier.
Now it’s time to apply the Crabgrass Preventative (the first step in a lawn program).
- Apply the crabgrass preventative before soil temperatures (not air temperatures) reach 56 degrees, during spring, usually between mid-April and May. (We often recommend using “Tax Day” as a target date for application.)
- Water in the preventative within 24 hours of application so the barrier can be released into the soil.
- Crabgrass preventatives available at Flowerland will offer crabgrass protection for 12 to 16 weeks, when applied as directed.
Some important things to note:
- Standard crabgrass preventatives prevent all seed germination. If you are planning on doing some spring seeding, be sure to pick up a specialty crabgrass preventer designed for seeding. Examples include Scotts Step 1 for Seeding as well as Scotts Starter with Weed Prevent
- Areas along driveways and sidewalks are “hot spots” for crabgrass. If you are applying your preventer later in the season (end of April to early May), apply at a ‘heavy rate’ in these areas to make sure crabgrass isn’t a problem.
- If you miss the ideal window, you do have options. Grofine Crabgrass and Fertilizer (available at Flowerland) prevents crabgrass and kills it at the one- and two-leaf stage.
Here’s looking forward to a beautiful lawn all season long!