Crabgrass is a warm-season annual that germinates, lives and dies all in the same year. But crabgrass problems don’t end with the growing season. While they live, each crabgrass plant produces up to 150,000 seeds. 1 Those seeds stay behind, ready to germinate the following spring and start the cycle all over again. Seeds that don’t germinate right away can remain viable and stick around to germinate in future years.
Always read product labels carefully, and make sure the label lists your lawn grass type as approved. Some lawn grasses, such as centipede grass and St. Augustine grass, are susceptible to herbicides that don’t harm other lawn grasses. Whenever treating lawn weeds with herbicides or weed & feed fertilizers, follow label instructions thoroughly, including safety precautions to protect pets, kids and adults.
Understanding the Crabgrass Cycle
Because crabgrass is a grass, most combination herbicide and lawn fertilizer products, known as weed & feed fertilizers, generally won’t kill it. These products typically include selective herbicides that kill broadleaf weeds, such as dandelions and other common lawn weeds, and keep grasses unharmed. Actively growing crabgrass in your lawn calls for selective, post-emergent herbicides, such as Image All-In-One Lawn Weed Killer or Image Herbicide Kills Crabgrass, that kill crabgrass and leave your lawn grass untouched.
While crabgrass preventers target weed seeds, they can inhibit germination and establishment of lawn grass seed, too. Always follow label instructions regarding seeding and your specific preventer product. As a general rule, wait at least 60 days and at least two mowings before overseeding lawn areas where crabgrass preventer was used.
Once crabgrass seeds germinate and plants emerge, mowing your lawn short won’t stop the seeds. With its low-growing, crab-like growth, crabgrass can set seed when cut as low as 1/2 inch tall 1 — that’s much lower than recommended healthy mowing heights for any common lawn grass. Effective control requires preventing crabgrass seeds from ever becoming seed-producing plants.
Read on to learn what to look for in a weed killer and why the below are our top-favorite picks among the best weed killer options available:
The type of weed killer you choose will dictate where you apply it, at which growth stage to apply it, which types of weeds it will kill, how it will impact plants nearby, and how long it will control weeds. This means that even a well-reviewed weed killer that’s not designed to solve your specific weed problem can result in product failures, and, hence, lingering weeds. To maximize product performance and minimize the risk of herbicide failure, factor in the following properties when choosing the right commercial weed killer for the job.
Translocation describes the movement of the product within a weed once it is taken up through the leaves, stems, or roots of the plant.
Emergence refers to the stage of weed growth at which you must apply the weed killer.
Whether they crop up on your lawn, in a flower bed, or along the perimeter of a fence, weeds are the gardener’s age-old enemy. They make your yard unsightly, your walkway unkempt, and they compete with neighboring plants for sunlight, water, and nutrients, causing your cherished plants to weaken and be susceptible to pests and disease. Weed species can even spread and disrupt natural habitats. Worst of all, weeds just seem to keep coming back no matter what you do.