A winter lawn can often look like something out of the apocalypse – large patches of what resembles scorched earth. The cause is not a rider on a pale horse, but something his horse might graze upon – crabgrass. Once considered a potential forage crop, it is now a notorious annual weed that thrives in warm weather and withers in the cold. It grows low to the ground and its stems resemble those of a crab, hence the name. It quickly spreads by seed, and once established, there are few herbicides that can eradicate it once it is established without damaging the turf. Hand pulling will work for small areas, just be sure to dispose of removed plants properly.  Pre-emergent herbicides are the best chemical way to control crabgrass and a healthy lawn is the best way to prevent weeds. So it’s no revelation that proper fertilization, irrigation and mowing will keep crabgrass at bay.


by Robert Annis

Source: UF/IFAS Pest Alert

Note: All images and contents are the property of UF/IFAS.

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