Many homeowners may not be fully aware of the facts surrounding crabgrass germination. Confusion about annual grassy weed control often causes customers to pull the plug early. Giving up in the Spring can set your lawn care back the entire season and mean big problems with weeds later on.

Here are 6 myths about crabgrass control. Debunking these may help you in your efforts to prevent and control crabgrass in your lawn.

Myth #1

“There is no easy way to get rid of crabgrass.”

The best way to get rid of crabgrass is through prevention. Knowing when to apply a crabgrass preventer is critical to having a crabgrass-free lawn. Crabgrass starts to germinate once the soil temperature reaches about 55°F for 24-48 hours. The best time to apply crabgrass weed preventer is just before your soil reaches 55°F. You want to look for crabgrass preventers that also feed your lawn to help promote strong root growth of your turf which helps further prevent weed growth. 

Greenview Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer does just that. It is a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer that feeds your lawn well into the summer, without excessive growth.

Myth #2

“Once crabgrass has germinated, it’s a waste of time and money to continue to treat it.”

This myth about the crabgrass plant is not true. Although crabgrass is difficult to get rid of once it starts to germinate, there are products available that will both kill crabgrass in its early stages (3-4 leaf stage) and prevent crabgrass in the future. 

GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed and Crabgrass Preventer is specifically formulated to prevent crabgrass germination, kill crabgrass seedlings, provide excellent weed control, and provide long-lasting nourishment for your lawn. These types of products contain both pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent herbicides, making them effective treatment options at the first sign of germination.

Myth #3

“If I haven’t applied my weed control product by April it’s too late.”

There is no “magical date” of when to apply crabgrass preventer. To control crabgrass you want to make sure you apply a crabgrass preventer BEFORE the crabgrass seeds germinate. 

Keep in mind that crabgrass doesn’t germinate by date but germinates when soil temperatures reach 55°F for 24-48 hours. The weather and climate of where you live will determine when you should apply a crabgrass preventer. Just remember, to apply a crabgrass preventer that also feeds your lawn like Greenview Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer to promote strong turf growth.

Myth #4

“The Forsythia blooms have dropped so crabgrass prevention season is over.”

Forsythia is a good indicator. Under normal circumstances, it can approximate the time of crabgrass germination. However, other factors influence Forsythia; length of daylight, air temperatures, exposure, and so on.

Remember soil temperature is the key to crabgrass prevention timing. An inexpensive soil thermometer is worth more than an acre of Forsythia when it comes to predicting crabgrass germination and preventing it from starting.

Myth #5

“Crabgrass germinates everywhere all at once.”

Even though most of us know this isn’t true, we sometimes act like it is. Crabgrass can germinate at different times in different areas of your lawn. Light sandy soils warm up before clay soils. Sunny areas of your lawn will warm up before shady areas will. Turf that borders paved areas or concrete will also warm up before other areas of your lawn. Each of these areas is likely to be spots where crabgrass will germinate first in your lawn.  

Alternatively, thatch layers help insulate your soil and can be warming. Established turf outperforms new or weak turf in preventing crabgrass seeds from germinating, while shady areas keep the soil cooler for longer periods of time, delaying crabgrass germination. 

Because of these variations in your lawn and soil temperature, you shouldn’t give up at the first sign of crabgrass germination. Prioritize your treatment areas to help give you the best crabgrass control possible.

Myth #6

“I need to overseed so there’s no way I can plant seed and apply pre-emergent control in those areas.”

New turf strands are the most vulnerable to weed infestation so giving up on them is asking for trouble.

For newly established lawns, use an initial application of GreenView Crabgrass Control Plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart only after turfgrasses have adequately developed a vigorous root system, uniform stand, and received at least two (2) mowings. This will help ensure the success of your new lawn and crabgrass control following seeding, sodding, or sprigging. The exception is newly established lawns of Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and/or tall fescue. GreenView Crabgrass Control plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart may be applied two (2) weeks after the first sign of germination of these cool-season grasses.

You’ll control a large portion of the crabgrass and other annual grassy weeds that germinate later in the season. If you’re seeding with a mix that contains Bluegrass and Ryegrass don’t assume that all the bluegrass has germinated after you have cut 2-3 times. Remember it takes an average of 21 days for bluegrass to germinate versus only 7 days for Ryegrass.