Crabgrass is one of Indiana’s most ubiquitous weeds, and thankfully we have the tools to tackle it.
How to Identify Crabgrass
Crabgrass (or Digitaria to us lawn nerds) gets its name because it kind of looks like a crab one might find near the ocean. It has many legs (or in this case long branches/stems with pairs of leaf blades) and hugs the ground, making it difficult to mow or remove. Crabgrass loves thin and bare spots, so it will compete with and often beat out patchy areas around the yard where grass is weak or not growing at all. You’ll also find crabgrass growing out of cracks in the curb, driveway, sidewalk, and edges of your house.
Typically bright green while young and becoming darker as it grows, crabgrass gets off to an early start in the season. However, if ignored, it will continue to sprout, spread, and grow thick patches just about anywhere well into the hot summer months. Without rain or proper watering, your lawn will naturally thin out and prove more of an opportunity for crabgrass or other grassy weeds to attack.
Once mature, crabgrass will turn a reddish/purple color near the base, making it easy to distinguish this between other weeds and grasses.
How to Treat & Prevent Crabgrass
Crabgrass is not only invasive, but it is also very tough to fully control once it takes hold in your lawn.
For the average homeowner, a strong 1-2-3 punch for treating crabgrass begins with a quality pre-emergent. The most efficient way to prevent crabgrass is to create healthy, dense turf.
- Mowing: Mow tall and mow often. Don’t forget to follow the ⅓ rule.
- Watering: Water deeply and infrequently. We recommend watering at least twice a week in the early morning or late evening. Your lawn needs at least 1.5 inches of water per week.
- Fertilization: Give us a call to let us do this for you!
- Pre-emergent: Unfortunately, sometimes a healthy lawn isn’t enough. Learn more here.
If you’re unsure how to fully and effectively prevent crabgrass at home, let the lawn pros at Lawn Pride know. We’ve been fighting and winning the war against crabgrass in lawns all over Central Indiana for more than 30 years, and we’re ready and able to fight for yours! Interested in learning about other weeds? Check out our Central Indiana weed guide.