If you have ever planted a flower, a vegetable, or any grass seed in your yard, you have most likely had an unfavorable encounter with crabgrass. This vociferous weed, though seemingly harmless at first, can rapidly take over your garden or yard, creating an untended, unruly looking space.
The problems associated with crabgrass are not just aesthetic, however. This weed sucks massive amounts of nutrients and water from the soil, stealing life-giving necessities from your more delicate plants to continue its unprecedented take-over. It appears in late spring, sprouting up in any area of bare soil. Since it is an annual, it will leave ugly bare spots in your lawn when it dies in the winter. Crabgrass also roots incredibly deep into the ground, making it one of the most challenging weeds to remove just by pulling.
Crabgrass spreads like wildfire, with one plant able to produce 150,000 seeds. These seeds stick around in the soil for up to 3 years, germinating when the ground warms, and moisture reaches them. If this problem is left unattended, you will soon be facing an outbreak, or a yard made up entirely of this stubborn grass. Rather than treating this as a standard weed issue, particular attention must be given to eradicate it once and for all.
How To Identify Crabgrass
Generally, an infestation of crabgrass is relatively apparent. It tends to look different from the rest of your grass, or it begins appearing after the rest of the lawn has already sprouted for the season. If this sounds familiar, but you are unsure if it is crabgrass that is plaguing your yard, it’s best to get a closer look. Don’t be afraid up close and personal with the weed for more clear identification.
Crabgrass often looks like a small cornstalk when it is first growing, with leaves about the same width as a pencil. This makes it easy to spot as it is often much wider than typical grass varieties. This original upshoot quickly sends off many side shoots and begins to spread, with leaves coming off in a “Y” from the original blade. As crabgrass reaches later stages, the blades start growing sideways, and more roots begin digging into the ground. This often makes the weed appear to have a star shape at the primary source.
Once you are confident that crabgrass is your irritating foe, you can begin the process of weed obliteration and lawn restoration.
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