Excessive Spring Rains Bring Crabgrass and Nutgrass

Every year a lawn maintenance program needs a little adjustment. Some years are too dry; some years are too wet. This year has been just plain soggy. Spring grass plants are lush and green, and lawn mowers are working overtime. Ducks and crawdads like this sort of weather, but once summer weather heats up there will be a price to pay. Excessive spring rains will bring two very predictable summer problems: crabgrass and nutgrass.

Crabgrass Booster Shot
Annual summertime grass weeds like crabgrass, goosegrass and foxtail will sprout aggressively in water logged soils. The same May rains that made lawns so nice and green in the spring will break down the effectiveness of early spring crabgrass preventers. Areas around driveways, sidewalks and patios are particularly prone to this problem. Concrete surfaces absorb and intensifies summer heat and make a natural incubator for hot weather weeds along its edges.

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Heavy rain dilutes the crabgrass pre-emergence barrier applied in early spring. Then, the first week of hot June weather prompts weeds like crabgrass and foxtail to sprout and begin their annual invasion of green summer lawns. Step #3 PREVENT!, crabgrass preventer, applied in late May to early June provides a booster shot to extend weed control and prevent crabgrass all summer long.

Gardens and flower beds have the same problem. Well tended beds fall victim to an invasion of aggressive summertime weeds. Garden weed preventers applied in early spring are simply overwhelmed by extreme spring rains. For best results, three booster applications spaced six to eight weeks apart will keep gardens and landscape beds clean all summer long.

Related: Uncle's Q-Bomb Post Emergent Crabgrass Control

Nutgrass Control
Nutgrass is a common problem in summer lawns, even after an average spring. Nutgrass is not controlled by crabgrass pre-emergence. Nutgrass plants can regenerate from small nutlets formed on their root system under the soil surface. These nutlets go unharmed by pre-emergent and traditional contact weed controls, making nutsedge difficult to control.

Nutgrass or nutsedge has triangular stems with leaves that branch out in three different directions. Light green to yellow in color, nutsedge grows quickly in spring and summer, outgrowing grass in just a couple of days after mowing.

Uncle's Nut Buster, when used with Spreader Sticker, is the most effective control for nutgrass in the home lawn. Spreader Sticker, a non-ionic surfactant, holds the herbicide to the waxy leaf of the nutgrass. Be patient and allow the herbicide to stay on the nutgrass leaf 48 hours before mowing or watering. Give the plant plenty of time to draw Uncle's Nut Buster deep into the root system and translocate into the nutlet for best control.

Timing is everything, and early control is best. Nutgrass plants allowed to mature will stress when treated, stimulating more nutlets to sprout. However; be persistent and continue to spray the new plants as they emerge, and you will be victorious. Avoid pulling the nutgrass plant by hand. Pulling nutgrass will stress the plant and stimulate even more nutlets to sprout.

See Also: Fungus Fighter Turf Disease Control