Like many of the plants that invade our lawns, crabgrass is tenacious and persistent. And while these are qualities that are great in people, they’re a little less desirable in a plant that leaves your lawn looking unappealing and disorganized. Crabgrass is tough—but you’re tougher, and we’re here to equip you with three ways you can reduce the amount of crabgrass in your yard.
Apply a crabgrass preventative
Here in Northern Michigan, crabgrass behaves as an annual that germinates from new seeds each year. If you’ve had problems with crabgrass in the past, applying a preventative treatment to your lawn can greatly reduce and even eliminate crabgrass from your yard. But you’ll have to act fast—pre-emergent treatments can be applied once soil temperatures are consistently at 55 degrees F, but before the crabgrass has had a chance to grow. This makes for a very small window of time in which preventative measures will work, but they’re significantly more effective than treatments made after crabgrass has begun to grow.
Don’t mow so low
Mowing your lawn to the appropriate height, generally a minimum of 3 inches, is an easy way to help keep your grass green and healthy. Longer grass blades are less susceptible to the hot, dry days of summer because they’ll shade the soil below, keeping it cooler and retaining more water. This is also an important step in reducing the crabgrass throughout your yard, as crabgrass thrives in hot, sunny conditions. This is why you’ll often find crabgrass popping up near a driveway or patio, because these hardscape features conduct more heat into the soil. By letting your grass grow just a little longer, you’ll be giving it a better chance at out-competing any crabgrass that finds its way into your yard.
Maintain proper irrigation levels
While keeping your grass a bit longer helps it stay healthy during hot, dry spells, sometimes irrigation is a necessary addition to give it the best chance and keep crabgrass at bay. As we mentioned previously, crabgrass thrives in hot and sunny conditions, which means it comes into its prime in the heat of summer. If your lawn receives full sun during dry conditions, it may begin to die back, creating a perfect opportunity for crabgrass to begin its takeover of your lawn. Supplemental irrigation will help your grass stay green and healthy, which will keep crabgrass levels down across your yard.
Crabgrass is a formidable challenge within the landscape, and with the proper knowledge and practices, it’s a challenge anyone can face successfully. But if worrying about pre-emergent applications, proper lawn heights, and irrigation practices aren’t on your list of “fun summer activities,” our team can help! At Drost, we have a full Lawn Care Team that can handle your fertilization and pest control, lawn mowing, and irrigation so that you can focus on enjoying all that summer in Northern Michigan has to offer. Contact us today to learn more about what Drost can do for you!