Q:

When do you apply crab-grass treatment?

A:

Quick Answer

The best time to apply crabgrass treatment is in the spring, before the seeds sprout and when the soil is close to 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Crabgrass preventer creates a chemical barrier on top of the soil. When seeds start to germinate, they come in contact with the herbicide, which kills them.

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Full Answer

The window for applying crabgrass preventer lasts about a week. Using a soil thermometer, which is available at most garden centers, helps to track the temperature of the soil. It is better to apply the treatment slightly too soon rather than slightly too late. While premature application runs the risk of having the soil's natural processes and microorganisms break the chemicals down before they have a chance to work, applying it too late means that the crabgrass seeds have already germinated. At that point, the herbicide no longer works because the chemicals do not kill seedlings after they have sprouted, and there is no way to attack the crabgrass until the next spring.

The most financially reasonable way to put down crabgrass preventer is to spread a fertilizer that has the preventer inside it. Garden centers and home improvement stores sell these combination products in the spring, and spreading the fertilizer just before rain or turning on the sprinklers after application helps to get both the preventer and fertilizer into the yard.

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