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Post-Emergent Crabgrass Control

What it is & Why it’s Needed

Under the right conditions, many plants can thrive in summer’s dry heat. While there are some desirable drought-tolerant plants, there are also many weeds that take over this time of year. One of the most prolific summer weeds is crabgrass. Even if you’ve tried preventative methods, you could still see signs of this pesky weed pop up in lawns and gardens. If you do, it’s time for post-emergent crabgrass control. Find out what options you have and how to use them effectively.

What is Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is an annual weed that thrives in warm weather. It typically germinates in the spring and spreads throughout the summer. This is why pre-emergent weed control options are often applied early in the spring before the weed seeds have time to take hold. However, many factors—such as weather and timing—can alter the effectiveness of these applications, leading to crabgrass outbreaks.

Crabgrass is known for its ability to adapt to various soil conditions, allowing it to grow rapidly in the harshest conditions. Once established, crabgrass competes with other plants for nutrients, water, and sunlight, often resulting in an uneven, unhealthy lawn. With the lawn already weakened, crabgrass can quickly take over, choking out desirable grasses and spreading even further. Fortunately, there’s a way to stop it.

Post-Emergent Crabgrass Controls

Like the name implies, post-emergent crabgrass controls are products applied after you see signs of the weed. Unlike pre-emergent herbicides—which prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating—post-emergent products target the weed at various stages of growth. These herbicides are absorbed through the weed leaves and stems, disrupting its growth and eventually killing it. Like any type of herbicide, post-emergent crabgrass control requires proper application to be the most effective.

  1. Make sure you have the right weed. Post-emergent herbicides are formulated for specific weeds, so make sure you have the right product and the right weed.
  2. Not all herbicides are the same. Even if the product you choose says it kills crabgrass, it may also kill all the surrounding plants and grasses. Selective herbicides target crabgrass while sparing other grasses, while non-selective herbicides will kill any plant it touches.
  3. Apply properly for safe and effective results. Since herbicides are chemicals, you want to be sure to follow the recommended mixing ratios, application rates, and safety precautions. Over-application can harm desirable plants and the environment.
  4. Timing is crucial. Since herbicides are absorbed by the weed while it’s actively growing, the ideal time for application is when the crabgrass is young—typically in the early to mid-summer. Mature crabgrass can be more resistant to herbicides.
  5. Check the weather first. The best time to apply herbicides on is on a calm, dry day to prevent drift and ensure the product adheres to the weed. Hot days can also help accelerate results. Avoid applying anything if there is rain in the forecast and don’t water the lawn immediately after treatment, since this can wash away the product before it has time to work.
  6. Reapplications may be necessary. Check the treated areas regularly. If you don’t see results as stated in the directions, give it some time before a second round of treatment.

One of the best ways to ensure results is to enlist a lawn care professional to back you and your lawn with the right crabgrass control.

Green Image Lawn Care Crabgrass Control

The agronomists at Green Image Lawn Care have extensive weed control experience. Our experts understand the timing and treatment options to battle crabgrass throughout the year. We employ effective solutions best suited for your yard, family, and the environment, so you don’t have to worry about weeds or the negative effects of herbicides. We can also evaluate your lawn’s needs and design a preventative plan for your yard to keep crabgrass from coming back. Contact 717-900-8144 to learn more about our comprehensive approach to crabgrass control and how you can ensure your lawn thrives this summer and beyond.