Crabgrass Vs. St Augustine Grass
We are currently putting down a pre-emergent on our client’s lawns to prevent the spread of crabgrass. Crabgrass is very difficult to get rid of and the recent cold temperatures may have killed it if it’s already in your lawn. Unfortunately, once you have crabgrass there are only two options to get rid of the crab grass. You can do is kill the crabgrass and fertilize your St. Augustine grass so that the healthier grass takes over, OR you can re-sod your lawn. Here’s what the dead patches of crab grass MAY look like in your lawn now:
So what can you do to prevent crabgrass in your Florida Lawn?
First, learn to recognize crab grass so you can treat it. Most lawn care services say that they can’t treat it commercially. Tell your lawn service to show you the crab grass. If they treat for it, keep monitoring it between treatments. Call them back if necessary. It’s your money.
Let’s talk about St. Augustine Grass, (straight blades grass that grows in runners). You’ll see it because hopefully it takes up the majority of your lawn (goggle it or go to Lowe’s and look at it). St Augustine is good! Crab grass is very bad! It will take over your entire lawn if you let it.
Crab grass has very short, oval blades of grass, and if you have it, it likely has died and left a matted dead patch in your lawn.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Small patches of dead crab grass will probably fill in with healthy St Augustine grass. Large areas will not recover and need to be RE_SODDED with heathy St Augustine. Fix those areas now before the weather gets too hot. Re-sodded areas need water twice a day for at least two weeks.
Another option is to sprinkle Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (not baking powder) on the blades of crab grass in the morning when the blades are wet from dew.. A light dusting will kill crab grass (and not St Augustine) in about a week. It’s OK if you get some on the St Augustine. You’ll see the crab grass deteriorating. A second application may be necessary. Buy a big bag of Baking Soda and walk your lawn at least once a week. Sprinkle all areas of crab grass and you will keep ahead of it. Note, Baking Soda will not kill weeds. Dollar weeds (look like round weeds the size of a quarter) will also take over your lawn and requires special dollar weed killer. Weed-N-Feed will not work on Dollar weeds or crab grass.
Lastly, fertilize the St Augustine to ensure it stays heathy and takes over the crab grass. Don’t let THIS be your lawn in April or May – get ahead of it now by fertilizing with a good pre-emergent and protecting your investment! Resodding is very expensive so it’s worth it to take some time now and get ahead of this.
If you are not sure about any of the above, contact your lawn service. Don’t have a lawn service? Give us a call at 941-776-5111 and we’d love to talk with you!