Spring Brings Crabgrass and Dandelions
Does it bother you to see crabgrass or dandelions in your lawn? While it is easy to control dandelions anytime during the summer, now is the time to control crabgrass. Crabgrass is very difficult to control when it is growing in your lawn. The key is to get a pre-emergence herbicide on your lawn to prevent the crabgrass seeds from germinating. Crabgrass is an annual grass. That means it is killed by a frost in the fall. But it produces seeds that overwinter in the soil and then germinate in the spring.
Getting the pre-emergence herbicide on your lawn to prevent crabgrass is very time sensitive. Put it on too early and the herbicide may lose some effectiveness. Put it on too late and the crabgrass may have already germinated. That means the herbicide will have no effect. How do you know when to apply your crabgrass-preventing herbicide?
There are a number of ways to determine when you should apply your crabgrass herbicide. Crabgrass needs a soil temperature of 52 degrees for a number of days to germinate. This spring we had soil temperatures of 60 degrees and then after all the cold rain it dropped to 40 degrees. With the variability we often see in the spring here in Minnesota, it is hard to know when to apply using soil temperatures.
There is a much easier way to know when to apply crabgrass preventer that considers the spring weather. I was given this tip a number of years ago and it works really well. I watch the lilac bushes. When the lilac bushes are blooming it is time to put on your crabgrass preventer. We have had enough warm weather for the lilac bushes to bloom but not yet enough to germinate the crabgrass seed. However, very soon the crabgrass will germinate.
The lilac bush by the KDHL studio is starting to bloom, so now is the time! For the herbicide to work you need a rain, so if it does not rain soon put about a half-inch of water on your lawn. There are a number of reputable lawn services in Faribault that can apply your fertilizer and crabgrass preventer or you can do it yourself. I buy the fertilizer and crabgrass preventer from the local hardware store and they let me use their spinner spreader.