Crabgrass is a common name a layperson uses for any grass that they don’t like growing in their lawn. However, here in the Northwest, it has been relatively non-existent until recently. Crabgrass is a common annual grass weed in many of the parts of the US where summers are hotter but due our cool climate it has not been an issue. Recently, mostly due to our warming climate, we are now seeing it where we had rarely or never have seen it before.


NOW THE PROBLEM: Control is not easy and requires additional herbicide applications.


We have seen crabgrass on some properties over the past few years and have discussed and recommended control measures with those customers accordingly. However, due to our long hot summer this past year, which Crabgrass loves, we saw it explode on most properties. The problem with Crabgrass is multi-faceted.  First, it grows more rapidly and taller that other grass and is very light green which makes it stand out. Second, it quickly goes to seed and the seed heads are quite unsightly and tall. Third, it is a profuse seeder and quickly produces seed that will germinate in future years making the problem worse the following year if untreated. Finally, as an annual, it grows aggressively choking out the desirable grasses during the heat of summer then dies out in the fall looking ugly and leaving bare spots going into winter. 


CRABGRASS CONTROL NOW PROPOSED AS ANNUAL STANDARD ENHANCEMENT: We are sad to say but the explosion of Crabgrass this past year caught us off guard and it became apparent that we need to propose control in the future. Thus, we are now proposing annual Crabgrass control as a new standard enhanced service each May and was included in most 2022 budgets. 


Pre-Emergence treatment in May: As we do for weed control in our shrub beds, the best control for Crabgrass is to apply a Pre-Emergent product to prevent it from germinating in the spring. The timing is based on soil temperature and occurs late April to Early May.


Consequently, aeration timing moved to September: with the recommending applying a pre-emergent product in may to prevent crabgrass from getting established, we have moved our recommended timing of aeration to September. the premerger creates a barrier at the soil surface that would prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating. If we aerate in may as we have in the past, it would plug holes in this barrier reducing the effectiveness of our preemergence. thus, we have moved our recommended timing of aeration to September from May.

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