Every summer grassy weeds like crabgrass or foxtail become a collective pain in the rear at one time or another for treasure valley homeowners. These annual grasses are unsightly and could possibly choke out your lawn. To get rid of these weeds, we need to understand their life cycle:
These types of weeds are annuals, meaning they begin and end their life cycle in one growing season. These annual grasses germinate from seed every year in the spring when soil temperatures reach between 55-60 degrees (usually late March or early April). They grow slowly through the early spring, then more rapidly during the early summer months, when they become more noticed by Boise area grass connoisseurs. Next, seed are created until the first hard frost, at which point the plant dies, but not without leaving plenty of offspring for the next growing season.
A pre-emergent herbicide applied to your lawn before grassy weed seeds germinate is critical to successfully ridding your lawn of grassy weeds. An application in March or early April of an appropriate pre-emergent is just the ticket!
A few other notes regarding preventing grassy weeds:
Seeds germinate in areas that there is less competition, or where your turf grass is not thriving; near curbing, edges, dog or cat….ahem….spots, or otherwise bare or empty places in your lawn. Make sure your turf grass is as healthy as possible so as to not allow crabgrass or other grassy weeds to get a chance to get started. Make sure you are:
Watering properly (see our youtube video on proper watering here)
Fertilizing often (every 6-8 weeks from March to November)
Killing broadleaf weeds regularly (whenever they pop up, or every time you fertilize)
Cutting your lawn appropriately
Making sure your lawn receives enough sunlight (prune and trim trees and shrubs, etc.)
Finally, a warning:
If you are planning on re-seeding bare areas of your lawn, keep in mind that a pre-emergent treatment will also prevent the germination of good grass seed as well. So if re-seeding is the plan this spring, make sure to avoid those areas with your pre-emergent or simply wait for the fall!