Fight Crabgrass With a Healthy Lawn
The best way to stop crabgrass is to
shade it out with a thick, healthy
lawn. A thick lawn provides a dark
canopy of grass blades over the seeds,
so they won't sprout. Follow these good
Watering: A thorough watering once
a week will encourage the grass's root
system to go deeper, making the whole
lawn more hardy and heat tolerant.
Avoid short, frequent waterings. These
“sips” will promote a shallow, weaker
root system in your lawn.
Mow: As a rule, grass should be
mowed to a height of 2 to 3 in. Mowing it shorter than 2 in. will reduce the
grass's vitality and give weeds a
chance to move in. Be sure to keep
your lawn mower blades sharp so
they won't tear the grass. Leave grass
clippings on the lawn as a natural
Reduce compaction: Weeds thrive
in areas where compacted soil
deprives the grass roots of the air and
water circulation they need. If your
yard is prone to compaction, rent and
run an aerator over it every other
year, especially if your soil contains a
lot of clay.
Fertilize right: Avoid lawn fertilizers
that say “quick green-up” on the
label. These have excessive nitrogen
ingredients that will actually weaken
your lawn over time, making it more
susceptible to weeds. Instead, select
a fertilizer product with half of its
nitrogen in a slow-release form. For a
1,000-sq.-ft. lawn, use less than 3 lbs.
of nitrogen annually.
Reseed: Weed-damaged or thin
areas should be seeded (sometimes
called “overseeded”) in the fall, when
the days are warm, the nights are cool
and you have dew in the mornings.