At DoMyOwn.com, we frequently get questions about how to treat crabgrass without damaging the surrounding turf. I'm Trisha and today I'm going to explain the different products you can use depending upon your turf type.
You will typically start to see crabgrass beginning in mid-spring, but by the summer when it starts to warm up it will really start to thrive.
Quinclorac is a great option to use if you have a cool season turf grass such as tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or perennial ryegrass. Also, if you have bermuda grass or zoysiagrass, which are warm season turfs.
Quinclorac comes in a couple of different forms. You can either get it in a liquid version or a water-soluble granule form. You'll also wanna make sure when you're using something like Quinclorac, you use a surfactant such as a Methylated Seed Oil (MSO) or other high quality surfactant, as it greatly increases your effectiveness.
You can apply any of your herbicide products as either a broadcast application if you have a large area that you need to treat or you can do spot treatment if there are just a few small areas to treat.
Quinclorac also comes in a combination product such as with sulfentrazone, so you get control of a larger variety of weeds. You do wanna make sure that if you are using a product like that, that you refer to the product label to see if you don't need to use a surfactant or if you do.
If your turf type is St. Augustine grass or Centipedegrass, you cannot use quinclorac.
In centipedegrass, products that contain Metsulfuron-Methyl, or MSM, or Sethoxdim provide crabgrass control without damaging centipede turf.
In St. Augustine, you want to look for products that contain MSM or a combination of active ingredients labeled to control crabgrass such as an MSM or sulfentrazone product or a Sulfentrazone and Carfentrazone combination. If you have St. Augustine, most products that are labeled for crabgrass are labeled to suppress it, this just means that it will kill off the leaves and the foliage, but will not completely kill off the root system. It may be required to use two or more applications to completely control it until cooler weather rolls around and kills off the crabgrass.
If you don't know your turf type and don't know if your turf will be tolerant to an application, we would recommend first doing a small test area.
You wanna make sure you time your applications so when the air temperature is below 85 degrees and your lawn is not heat or drought stressed.
Of course, the best way to deal with crabgrass is to prevent it. And this is done using pre-emergent applications. With Pre-Emergents, you want to make sure you do two applications in the Spring and two applications in the Fall whether you have cool season or warm season grass.
Though if you have a cool season turf and if you plan to reseed in the Fall, you do want to make sure you skip the Fall application as you will not be able to reseed with most of the pre-emergents you can use.
When selecting a Pre-Emergent herbicide, you want to look for products containing dithiopyr, pendimethalin, or prodiamine. You'll also want to rotate your pre-emergent applications from your spring to fall applications to make sure that you get the most effective control.
In the Spring, you wanna use something that contains Dithiopyr and in the Fall, switch to pendimethalin. Applying Dithiopyr in the Spring also gives you the advantage that if you didn't get your Pre-Emergent down in time, as it does have early post-emergent control of crabgrass.
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