How to Naturally Prevent Crabgrass from Taking Over Your Lawn

How to Prevent Crabgrass OrganicallyAs homeowners, it is our hope that when our lawns and yards are in full bloom, we can admire them for their lovely abundant flowers, shrubs and brightly green-hued turf. However, the ever-so-annoying weed can make an unwelcomed appearance and disrupt the idyllic yard we’ve worked so hard for. Specifically, crabgrass is one of the most common annual weeds in the United States. Don’t let all your hard work and preparation fall flat. There are steps you can take to prevent or kill crabgrass, ensuring you can enjoy a lush, healthy yard soon enough.

How Does Your Crabgrass Grow?

Crabgrass is an annual weed the germinates in the spring and summer. Yards in the spring and summer should be filled with blooming annuals. Turf is usually strong and thick, at its peak of perfection. Crabgrass has a way of stealing the show when we least expect it. Crabgrass favors heavily compacted, thinning lawns. If you have bare patches or a sandy soil, chances are you’ve seen your fair share of crabgrass.

Crabgrass germination occurs when soil temperatures reach 55’-65F at a 3” inch depth for at least 5 days straight. Bare patches and thinning lawns allow sunlight to directly hit the soil, making it an ideal condition for crabgrass to grow. In one growing season, a single crabgrass plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds! It might seem like a never-ending road, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Prevention Is Key

If you have any of the conditions listed above, your yard is at risk for crabgrass. Below are three tips for crabgrass prevention. When you are one step ahead of this nasty weed, you and your yard will reap the benefits.

  • Regular Mowing: When you mow on a regular basis, you reduce the population of crabgrass in your yard because the weed spreads by seeds. The constant mowing prevents the plant from reproducing and spreading.
  • Aeration & Overseeding: Just as this step is important when awakening your lawn from its winter’s slumber, it also can prove beneficial to preventing crabgrass. When you add grass seeds, it hinders the space allowed for crabgrass to take root. Overseeding & aeration bring favorable turf-grass conditions, keeping crabgrass and other weeds at bay.
  • Nutrient Dense Soil: When your lawn is lacking proper nutrients, it can become vulnerable to weeds. Crabgrass likes lawns that are high in phosphorus levels. A soil test will help determine what  your soil is lacking. The right amount of nutrients can help your lawn grow healthy and strong and keeping weeds in check.

Crabgrass Is Here, Now What?

If you find yourself in the midst of a crabgrass bloom, there are ways to help kill the weed organically and naturally. We can safely remove the weed without harming the natural balance of our backyard ecosystems.

  • Corn Gluten Meal Powder: Spreading this over your lawn (especially bare patches) works wonders, as it kills young crabgrass seedlings. Spread in early Spring, then again 4-5 months later. This kills 60% of crabgrass in its 1st year of application, 85% the 2nd application and 90% the 3rd year.
  • Hand-pull Weeds: Crabgrass plants usually sprout out into a web-like formation, making them easy to grab. If they are can be easily extracted, grab at the base and gently tug. If it seems like there is some “give”, moisten the soil first. This will help loosen the dirt around the roots.
  • Herbical Soaps Made With Fatty Acids: If you don’t have time to manually pull the weeds or if there is just too many, spray soaps made with fatty acids. It is best to complete this step on a warm sunny day, with no rain in the forecast. Also, organic herbicides are not as strong as their chemical counterparts therefore they need to be repeated every 10 days, for 2-3 applications.

BONUS: Download our free guide to achieving a naturally healthy lawn.

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Crabgrass is annual weed that wreaks havoc on homeowners every season. Be ahead of the game with the above mentioned crabgrass prevention. A healthy lawn is something most homeowners strive for. Remember these simple tips for the next time you spot crabgrass. Your lawn will thank you for it.

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– Article written by Joy Adamonis –

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