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  • Writer's pictureTodd Humes

Everything North Dakota Lawn Owners Need To Know About Crabgrass

It's lush, green, and super hardy. Unfortunately, we're not talking about your dream lawn. Crabgrass is the most common weed in North Dakota lawns, posing a challenge for nearly every homeowner. Aside from its tolerance to most environments, crabgrass spreads like wildfire by dispersing thousands of seeds. As the spring weather approaches, it's time to prepare for crabgrass's annual arrival. But don't worry – we have many solutions to stop crabgrass this growing season. Here's everything you need to know about identifying, preventing, and eliminating crabgrass in your lawn.

What Is Crabgrass?

Crabgrass, also known as Digitaria sanguinalis, is a common annual weed that grows throughout the United States. While it might blend into your lush lawn at first glance, crabgrass is an aggressive weed that requires little water or sunlight and can thrive in nearly every lawn and landscape. While it dies in cool weather, it resurfaces in the spring when the average soil temperature reaches 55°F, making it a frustrating problem for homeowners and lawn care professionals alike. Crabgrass is a troublesome plant, but understanding its growing patterns can help you avoid it in the future.

What Does Crabgrass Look Like?

Crabgrass is a leafy plant that often grows in lawns, along sidewalks, and through concrete cracks. Due to its density and vibrant green color, it might not be immediately apparent among a grassy lawn. However, a closer look can make identifying crabgrass a breeze. The weed has thick blades that shoot out from its center, resembling long spider or crab legs. When fully matured, crabgrass also has long, finger-like seedheads that stick out from the plant's center.

How Does Crabgrass Spread In ND?

The most difficult part about managing crabgrass is its ability to reproduce rapidly. A single crabgrass plant can drop 150,000 seeds in one year! Additionally, if crabgrass goes to seed in your lawn and you mow it over, those dropped seeds repeat the cycle and will grow new plants next year. Aside from being a quick seed-spreader, crabgrass also has a prostrate branching habit, which spreads its stems out low to the ground. These two factors make crabgrass hard to manage, but containing it is still possible.

How Do We Eliminate Crabgrass?

The weather is warming, and crabgrass will soon spring up around North Dakota lawns. Chances are, you don't want to spend your spring and summer looking at a crabgrass-filled yard! Here are three ways to stop a crabgrass invasion this spring.

  • Pull the crabgrass by hand There's no need to worry if you have a crabgrass plant here or there. Minor crabgrass situations only require some time and patience to remove the weed. If you have just a few crabgrass plants, use a spade to dig up the crabgrass's entire root system to prevent it from growing back. Then, place the weeds in a plastic bag and put it in the dumpster to prevent any loose seeds from falling. Any empty lawn spaces left by the crabgrass can be reseeded to prevent weeds from filling the area.

  • Broadleaf weed control Already have bunches of crabgrass dotting your lawn? A broadleaf weed control application is the best method to eliminate existing crabgrass. Broadleaf weed control is designed to target and eliminate leafy weeds like crabgrass, as well as dandelion, plantain, and chickweed. Our Lawn Fertilization Program customers receive a broadleaf weed control application every spring to tackle leafy plants. The herbicide is sprayed on the foliage and absorbed through the leaves, where the formula will stop the weed.

  • Pre-emergent crabgrass control Pre-emergent crabgrass control is another application that controls crabgrass. Instead of attacking existing foliage, pre-emergent herbicides prevent undeveloped weed seeds from germinating. This crabgrass management method is critical because if you have a crabgrass problem, you're facing millions of microscopic seeds on the soil surface. The crabgrass control is applied strategically in the spring to prevent crabgrass germination. As soon as the seed sprouts, the herbicide jumps into action to halt the growing process.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent Crabgrass?

As Benjamin Franklin said, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This belief is also relevant in the world of lawn care! Crabgrass is a nuisance, but weed prevention can make your growing season easier on you and your lawn. Here's what we recommend following for effective lawn care prevention.

  • Regular lawn care The best way to prevent crabgrass is to maintain a healthy, dense lawn. Crabgrass is highly aggressive, but a competitive lawn can block crabgrass from appearing. Weeds search for empty soil spaces to invade with their roots and foliage. By nurturing your lawn, you can ensure your grass roots are thick and withstand competition.

  • Maintain a taller mowing height Mowing your lawn in a higher setting can also ward off crabgrass. Crabgrass will steal nutrients in the soil from your turf to survive, but durable grass roots can withstand the competition. Taller grass promotes deep and strong root growth, which prevents weeds from taking over and surviving. In addition to being a natural shield against weeds, tall grass also keeps the soil moist and grass hydrated by preventing evaporation.

Professional Crabgrass Control In ND

Unfortunately, crabgrass doesn't have a one-time solution. Depending on its severity, completely eliminating crabgrass from your lawn can take months or years. Weed management can be time-consuming and laborious, but a team of lawn care experts can make the process smooth and efficient. Hiring a team of trained lawn care specialists guarantees that your lawn will be given precise and effective treatments specific to your problem. Before juggling chemicals and tools at your local garden store, we recommend seeking a professional second opinion about your crabgrass troubles.

Clear Away Crabgrass With Our Lawn Care Program This Spring!

Southview Outdoor Services has developed a comprehensive, year-round lawn care program that begins and ends the year with defensive crabgrass control. Contact us at (701) 952-7300 today to learn more about our partnership opportunities for residential and commercial clients in the Jamestown, North Dakota area and surrounding neighborhood.

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