Crabgrass is a well known and ruthless lawn and yard invader that can be tricky to deal with. Crabgrass, also know as finger grass or fonio has long limbs and slender leafy structures and can be either smooth or fuzzy to the touch. It is generally native to tropical, sub-tropical, temperate climates. They have a strong tendency to spread their finger like stems out invading larger and larger portions of your lawn and yard. Crabgrass is considered an annual plant that dies off each season and then germinates in the grow the next season. There are two main routes one can take to handle unwanted crabgrass, natural or artificial. Both can be just as effective so it really just comes down to preference as both have pros and cons.
Experts tend to agree that the most timely method of dealing with these pesky plants involves timing and simple herbicide treatments. The best time to apply preventative herbicides is before the primary spring growing season. Crabgrass herbicides are fairly common and can be bought on a retail level or done through a professional landscaper with more concentrated pre-emergence herbicides that offer a broader scope of prevention. It is always important to understand fully and handle herbicides carefully. Consulting local landscapers is the best way to work with people who have the expertise and experience with this type of invasion. Herbicides, in general, are used all the time for these types grasses and it as such it is generally considered a safe, effective, and most importantly, a quick solution.
The more natural ways to deal with crabgrass are more of a time investment and attention investment. Surprisingly the typical lawn grass that you want growing instead of crabgrass actually does have a biological advantage in the root structure and when healthy and cared for correctly can overpower crabgrass and prevent future growth. It does this by taking up the resources the crabgrass might otherwise be using. So things like keeping your lawn properly fertilized, mowed, and aerated are very important. Proper and vigilant upkeep is the enemy of crabgrass.
Ultimately there are a lot of little tips and tricks you can research depending on which route you want to take in the fight. With herbicides, it’s quick and efficient but needs to be timed right and often done in the summer months as well as to prevent the second round of late-season growth (especially important in a state like Florida). The less chemical based means take longer and more personal resources. Most people prefer to employ the help of experienced professionals who can handle both methods on a routine basis eliminating much of the worry and stress on your end.