The trouble with maintaining a healthy lawn is weeds that can totally smother your prized lawn camouflage themselves inside that lush, green goodness.
Fast-growing crabgrass is the enemy of gardeners worldwide for its ability to sneak into bare or weak spots in a garden and virtually take over.
We’ll walk you through how to spot, prevent and treat a crabgrass invasion so that your lawn is the envy of the neighborhood.
What is Crabgrass?
Crabgrass is a common name for digitaria, a genus of over 300 plants and the most common lawn pest is called digitaria sanguinalis which is also known as Smooth Crabgrass or Hairy Crabgrass.
The ability of one plant (which can grow up to a foot in diameter) to sprout up to 150,000 seeds every year makes this an incredibly invasive plant.
Despite its name, crabgrass is not an actual grass but rather a very tough weed to eliminate.
Interesting Crabgrass Facts
Some crabgrass seeds (primarily those native to Africa and India called fonio) can be harvested and toasted to make flour which is then fermented into beer. Yes, crabgrass beer.
Nutritious as it is hearty, crabgrass is one of the world’s fastest growing cereals and used as a staple crop in Africa.
And, as you might imagine, golf courses fear it because it is very easily spread via foot traffic.
Birds also love to eat it while making a habit of dropping seeds everywhere as they fly above.
Here’s an argument for mowing your own lawn: Crabgrass also spreads by getting caught in mower blades so make sure to keep them clean.
How to Identify Crabgrass?
By just taking a closer-than-normal look at your lawn, you’ll be able to identify crabgrass if you know what to look for.
Wider leave blades than the average grass and low-growing appearance is what differentiates this weed from a regular lawn, and it starts in a little clump and grows outward.
Also, inflorescence, or the finger-like branches, on crabgrass are where those pesky seeds hang out.