What about crabgrasss issues this year in #lawncare?
This summer with the hot weather has been a difficult one with respect to crabgrass. Crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures are warm. In normal summers, the grass cover on a lawn that is mowed high (3" mowing height) is usually sufficient shade to keep crabgrass from germinating and growing.
We are finding that the extremely warm daytime temperatures this year has made it harder for lawns to retain the degree of cover and therefore shading from the grass blades. Plus when under water stress, grass blades tend to curl up in order to conserve moisture. This helps relieve moisture stress, but this also reduces the amount of shade provided by the grass blades.
All these factors have made crabgrass more abundant this year in many lawns even those with our organic crabgrass preventer applications.
The good part- crabgrass is an annual and will die with a good frost
The bad part- crabgrass plants are prolific seed producers.
Removing crabgrass plants before they can drop their seed can help reduce crabgrass in the future. But this can be a tedious and time consuming task.
Seeding the lawn this September may be helpful in encouraging a good thick stand of grass- to help keep soil temperatures down- especially if we get another hot dry summer next year.