How to deal with crab grass during the summer.

What do you do when mid-summer, a client calls you and asks you to take care of their crab grass filled yard? Do you rip out the current lawn and re-sod? To you pull the crab grass and reseed? Do you wait until fall to do anything? In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear some options and reasons behind why you should take certain steps now and not put it off.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am looking for a few suggestions on how best to eliminate a large area of crabgrass throughout an approximate 6,000 sq ft lawn and re-establish the turf. I am in Virginia and as this is summer I know it is not an ideal time to seed new grass and replacing it with sod is difficult as well. Anyway, my client wants the crabgrass gone and new turf grass (tall fescue) in it’s place.

Are there any recommendations on how to accomplish this now with daily temperatures in the 90’s and established turf starting to go dormant for the summer?

The customer would like new grass now but I agree that waiting until fall and taking out the crabgrass and reseeding is best. I believe that taking it out know and seeding will only allow more crabgrass seed already in the soil to germinate.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “I’d suggest that you tear out the crab grass and wait to seed. I can’t think of any other solution, waiting until fall to seed the newly bare soil. We’re landscapers not magicians, customers should be aware of that! But if they are impatient, no grass may very well be better then crab grass.”

A third shared “If you do anything with crab grass in the fall you need to remember that the seeds will fall in early fall, late summer and remain dormant until spring when they will germinate and pop up again. You need to RIGHT NOW, during mid summer and no later, kill off the crabgrass, re-sod, and then next spring put down a weed inhibitor. You might get by with no crabgrass next year.

Remember if your customer gets crabgrass next year YOU will be the guy who didn’t know what he was doing and he will tell everyone. However if you get rid of the crabgrass, and it never comes back YOU WILL BE A GENIUS, and he will tell a few people.”

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