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How to control of your crabgrass in Bloomington Indiana

The common weed known as Crabgrass, is known to infest home lawns in Bloomington Indiana. Crabgrass is an annual weed that germinates when the temperatures of the soil reach approximately 60F for 3-5 days. It then begins to flower and set seed in July and dyes with the frost of the fall. Crabgrass is known for its tremendous survival and reproductive capabilities, so it is unrealistic to have a crabgrass-free lawn.

Cultural Crabgrass Control:

The most effective way to control crabgrass in Bloomington, Indiana, is to create a dense, healthy turf. Your home turf when healthy will compete well against crabgrass and prevent it from establishing.

  1. Mowing: Try to keep your lawn at a 2.5 to 3-inch length, mowing below this range increases the crabgrass populations!
  2. Irrigation: Try to irrigate frequently, when lightly irrigated daily you promote shallow rooting which makes it harder for the crabgrass.
  3. Chemical Control: Cultural control will not do the job by itself, crabgrass herbicides might be needed.

Close up of crabgrass in the lawn

So now that we’ve learned a few tricks about how to prevent the growth of crabgrass, let’s talk a bit deeper about Chemical Control. 

  1. Preemergence Herbicides: These herbicides prevent the emergence of the crabgrass plant, but must be applied prior to the crabgrass emergence. Best to use as early as April in Bloomington, Indiana. Depending on weather forecasts could be applied as early as March and be just as effective all season.
  2. Herbicide + Fertilizer: When combined with fertilizers as a weed and feed product, the fertilization should be minimized in the spring. Look for products that have nitrogen and are in a slow-release form such as methylene ureas or sulfur or polymer-coated ureas. and avoid the quick release nitrogen such as urea or ammonical nitrogen.
  3. Common Preemergence Herbicides: Benefin, Oxadiazon, Pendimethalin, Dithiopyr, Prodiamine, Corn Gluten.
  4. Postemergence Herbicides: When used to control crabgrass in Bloomington, Indiana the postemergence herbicide are most effective on small crabgrass plants. It is more difficult to use a preemergence herbicide because it is vital that you follow the label instructions of these products. Quinclorac is the safest for your turf seedlings, so keep that in mind when trying to fertilize your current lawn.


Sources used:

Purdue Extension Education Store: www.ces.purdue.edu/new

Authors: – Purdue University Department of Agronomy
Zac Reicher, Professor and Turfgrass Extension Specialist
Cale Bigelow, Assistant Professor, and Turfgrass Extension Specialist
Aaron Patton, Graduate Research Assistant
Tom Voigt, Associate Professor and Turfgrass Extension Specialist – University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences