Crabgrass is easily one of the most hated weeds we face here in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA. It’s an aggressive spreader that can quickly take over a lawn if not properly addressed.
That’s why the best way to deal with crabgrass is actually to prevent it in the first place.
Of course, what’s important to remember is that not all crabgrass preventer products are created equally. When it comes to getting rid of this pesky and pervasive weed, you want to know that you’re using the best crabgrass preventer. Unfortunately, this is an area where even some “pros” skimp.
Here’s what you ought to know so that you’re set up for success.
What is Crabgrass Preventer?
First and foremost, we wanted to explain what crabgrass preventer is and more importantly, how it works. In the landscaping industry, we refer to crabgrass preventer as “crabgrass pre-emergent.” But for the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to it by its common name.
Crabgrass preventer is a weed prevention product that works by forming a barrier near the surface of the lawn which will intercept germinating crabgrass seeds before they have the chance to grow. This will prevent the majority of crabgrass from growing in the first place assuming it was applied properly.
The window of the application is critical. If the crabgrass preventer is applied after the crabgrass has already germinated, it’s not going to be as effective.
How the Best Crabgrass Preventer Compares to Other Options
In addition to timing, the type of crabgrass preventer that is used is also important in terms of effectiveness. We have found over the years that there is a misconception that all lawn care products are essentially the same. But the truth is, the products available have a wide degree of variability in terms of quality and ultimately effectiveness.
DIY Crabgrass Products
fOne of the reasons why DIY lawn care often doesn’t produce is the best results is that the products you can purchase at a big box store aren’t as high-quality as the professional-grade products a pro should be using. That means that even if you apply crabgrass preventer within the proper window of timing, a box-store product isn’t going to be as powerful or as effective.
Subpar “Pro” Crabgrass Products
While the fact that store-bought products don’t stack up to professional-grade products may not surprise you, you might be shocked to learn that even the products used by professionals can have quite a bit of variability.
Some “pros” are investing in lesser-quality products because they cost less money. But the quality of the product can be the difference between the lawn that’s seeing a whole bunch of crabgrass breakthrough and the one that’s not.
Effectiveness is one of the major differentiators in quality. A big part of this is related to coverage. With a lesser-quality product, you’ll get some coverage but not as good a barrier as what the best crabgrass preventer can provide. Because of that, with a lower quality product, you’re likely to see a lot more of that breakthrough.
Longevity is another differentiator between the best crabgrass preventer products and the subpar ones. With a lower quality product, that barrier is going to start breaking down more quickly. You might have decent coverage in the spring, but come June that product may start breaking down and you’ll see crabgrass breaking through.
The Best Crabgrass Preventer
At Kingstowne Lawn & Landscape, we are investing in the best crabgrass preventer available. Our goal is to prevent as much of the crabgrass from germinating in the first place as possible.
Of course, even with the best crabgrass preventer products, some breakthrough is to be expected. We generally tell clients that even with the highest quality products, there can be about 5 percent breakthrough. But that’s a huge difference from what you’d see with a low-quality product.
Combining the Best Crabgrass Preventer with Other Essential Tasks to Win the War on Crabgrass
While there’s no question that crabgrass preventer is incredibly important, it should also be considered one part of an overall program. The best crabgrass control strategy is one that not only includes the use of these products but also focuses on an overall goal of achieving a thicker, healthier lawn that is going to begin to choke out crabgrass on its own.
The fact is, crabgrass tends to “fill in” thin or bare areas of the lawn where it doesn’t have to compete with thick healthy grass for access to sunlight, water, and nutrients. But the thicker that your lawn is, and the fewer bare spots it has, the less opportunity you provide crabgrass to grow in the first place.
That’s why it’s important that your crabgrass strategy also includes best practices such as healthy mowing habits and a thorough lawn care program that includes essential treatments like fertilization and lawn aeration, to promote a thriving lawn.
Proper watering is also important in crabgrass control. Regular watering will help keep your lawn vigorous even in times of drought, when crabgrass may take the opportunity to invade. Watering also helps to prevent soil from cracking which can impact the barrier created by crabgrass preventer and open up areas for germination.
Choosing Lawn Care in Alexandria, Arlington, and Springfield, VA
At the end of the day, it boils down to making a wise choice in Northern Virginia lawn care companies. Unfortunately, there are going to be some companies that fail to invest in the best products or offer a complete program, and that’s going to impact your ability to fight crabgrass.
As you shop for lawn care, you’ll find that some companies may cost more than others. It’s important to remember that cost of products is one of many factors that can contribute to these differences. You want to feel confident that you’re choosing a company that is investing in top-of-the-line materials, including the best crabgrass preventer products.
When you make a wise choice, you are taking a vital step to getting your lawn back on track. Instead of having to worry about crabgrass, you can get back to enjoying your lawn to the fullest.
If you’d like to stop worrying about crabgrass and are ready to hand your problems over to a company you can count on to fix them, request your quote, choose from 3 lawn care package options, and relax as you get the royal treatment.