Crabgrass, a grassy weed can pop up stubbornly year after year. To prevent crabgrass from growing in your lawn, you can head off its growth cycle before it germinates and attack it with a pre-emergent crabgrass application. Timing is essential with this type of weed control, as a pre-emergent herbicide that is applied too late in the season will be useless against established weeds.
Solutions and Considerations
Crabgrass needs room to grow so a thick dense lawn mowed at the proper height is the best natural prevention. Annual aeration and over-seeding is a great way to achieve a thick stand of grass which will reduce the light and water needed for the low growing weed to establish. To prevent crabgrass you can also use a traditional synthetic pre-emergent herbicide or what Nuleaf prefers is corn gluten the organic option
Timing is everything
Pre-emergent crabgrass killer must be applied before the crabgrass seeds are allowed to germinate. Germination time will vary from one region to another. Crabgrass germinates in the spring. When trees and shrubs in your area begin to bloom, this is a sign that crabgrass will soon be germinating. The exact time to apply pre-emergent weed killers will vary each year. An unseasonably warm winter is a call to apply your pre-emergent killers earlier than usual.
What is Corn Gluten?
Corn gluten meal (CGM) is a natural substitute for synthetic pre-emergence herbicides. CGM is a by-product of commercial corn milling that contains the protein fraction of the corn. Its use poses no health risk to people or animals. In fact, because it is 60% protein, corn gluten meal is used as feed for cattle, poultry, fish, and dogs. In addition to the 60% protein, corn gluten meal is 10% nitrogen, by weight.
The use of corn gluten meal as an herbicide was discovered during turfgrass disease research conducted at Iowa State University. CGM was observed to prevent grass seeds from sprouting. Further research has shown that it also effectively prevents other seeds from sprouting, including seeds from many weeds such as crabgrass, chickweed, and even dandelions.