In my yard there is a "crabgrass" variety that doesn't...

Asked August 16, 2013, 2:33 PM EDT

In my yard there is a "crabgrass" variety that doesn't germinate/sprout until the first dry weather of the summer, usually July, then begins to die in the fall. It has a wider blade than the "good" grass. It usually crops up in bare spots. It is very unsightly and is lighetr shade of green than the grass. I have tried a corn gluten treatment application prior to warm spring weather to prevent crab germination but this variety seems to survive and thrives when the grass is stressed by dry weather. Any ideas to prevent this variety?

Summit County Ohio

1 Response

The two best things you can do about crabgrass are prevent it from invading your yard and control it if/when it does. Maintaining a high quality lawn will help prevent annual grass weeds by developing a canopy that shades the soil surface and prevents seed germination. In stressed areas of your lawn (like your bare spots), crabgrass will be able to germinate and thrive.

The best control option you have for crabgrass is applying a preemergent herbicide to prevent germination. There are also postemergent herbicides that may be effective in controlling crabgrass after it germinates, however, it's probably too late in the season for those to be effective. Postemergent herbicides should be applied as soon as you see the crabgrass in your lawn.

Here is a link to an OSU Extension factsheet on controlling weeds in your lawn. It includes specific herbicide recommendations that I hope you will find useful.

If you have further questions or need clarification, please feel free to give our office a call and we'll help however we can. Our Master Gardeners are in the office every Tuesday morning from 9-noon for our Horticulture Hotline. They are available to answer your questions by phone or in person. Our office number is 330-928-4769.