Can I Seed My Lawn and Use Crabgrass Preventer this Spring?
The Answer Is, “Yes…But it Needs to be Done Right”
Many lawns take a beating over the winter and a nice aeration and over-seeding treatment can work wonders to give you a beautiful lawn all summer long. However, crabgrass is also a concern on lawns.
Crabgrass is the most common lawn weed in Pennsylvania and it is primarily controlled with a crabgrass preventer – which prevents the crabgrass seeds from sprouting.
|So, will crabgrass preventer keep my new
grass seed from sprouting?
The crabgrass preventer absolutely can wipe out your newly sown grass seed – for this reason, it is very important that the work is done correctly.
Options to Treat Crabgrass Without Harming new Grass Seed
Note: the information below only relates to the crabgrass preventer that we use on our customer’s lawns at Green Giant. Other materials may or may not give the same results.
The options are listed in the order we consider the most preferred to the least desirable.
- The fertilizer & crabgrass preventer get applied first
- Allow the materials time to settle into the soil for at least a few days (preferably with some rain)
- Then perform the aeration and over-seeding
This process has been studied extensively and the results consistently show that the crabgrass preventer has very little, if any, adverse affect on the good grass seed.
- First, aerate and over-seed the lawn early in the spring, as early as possible (which is usually when the soil is dry enough)
- Wait until the majority of the grass sprouts are at least 1-2 inches tall
- Apply the crabgrass preventer
This process should eliminate any risk of the crabgrass preventer harming the grass seed (since the grass has completely emerged from the seed). The down side can be that the process starts later in the season if the aeration & seeding is delayed. This is ok but it might mean more watering as we get into the summer.
- Skip the crabgrass preventer
- Aerate & Over-Seed the lawn
- Treat crabgrass preventer with a post-emergent spray (after the plant is visible in the lawn)
Although crabgrass can be controlled with a “post emergent” material after the plant is growing, it is less effective (especially in hot, dry weather), more expensive and can damage surrounding good grass. Crabgrass preventer is considered to be the most critical component for effective crabgrass control. If possible, we recommend going with option 1 or 2.
What NOT to do
- Do not spread seed on the ground, then apply crabgrass preventer. This will be a disappointment because most of the seed will not survive.
- DO NOT aerate and over-seed then apply crabgrass preventer before the new seed has grown completely out of the seed. This will also lead to a failed seeding effort.
We are always here to help, contact the experts at Green Giant Home & Commercial today for your free quote!
Green Giant Home & Commercial’s Lawn Care services control weeds, build the thickness and density of your lawn and protect it from being damaged by insects and disease, providing you with a great-looking, healthy lawn. We offer fertilization, weed control, liming, insect control, and aeration and overseeding. Visit our Lawn Care page for more information.
Green Giant performs: Proper Diagnosis and Treatment of Tree & Shrub Problems, Insect & Disease Control (including Spotted Lanternfly), and Nutrient Management via Deep Root Fertilization to keep your plants healthy and thriving. Visit our Tree Care page for more information.
Green Giant’s Non-Lawn Weed Control services eliminate unwanted vegetation in a wide variety of locations for both residential and large commercial/municipal properties. Areas include fence lines, around obstacles to reduce weed eating, stone/gravel driveways & parking lots, swales, roadside/curbside vegetation management and more. Find more information, visit our Vegetation Management page.
Our full service pest control division provides both Year-Round Service Programs that cover the vast majority of pests that you will encounter and also One-Time Corrective Services for pests such as bees, ants, termites or mice. For more information, visit our Pest Control page.