Spring is the time to prevent crabgrass

Crabgrass is a nuisance plaguing many lawns and frustrating many homeowners. This is one area where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure later in the summer as getting rid of active crabgrass is difficult and requires harmful chemicals.

There are several methods we recommend:


Corn Gluten Meal: This is a natural crabgrass prevention method which also serves as a fertilizer for the soil. Used in either powdered or pellet form, it should be spread at a rate of 20 # for every 1000 square feet of lawn. Corn Gluten is readily available in garden stores. Be sure to water after applying.

Top Soil or Mulch: Another, non-chemical method of preventing crabgrass is to prevent the seeds from being germinated by the bright sunlight of early spring and summer. This method requires a bit more work than corn gluten as the lawn needs covered with a layer of top soil or mulch and then over seeded.


When should I make my first crabgrass prevention application? A general rule of thumb is in late March or April. However timing depends upon local climate with southern zones requiring application much earlier than northern zones. (I’ve applied treatment as early as late February in some areas of the south.) A general rule of thumb I recommend is to watch the forsythias. Applying crabgrass prevention yields best results when applied just as the forsythias start to get buds on them and before they bloom into all of their springtime yellow flowers. Once in full bloom, effectiveness of any crabgrass prevention scheme quickly diminishes.

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