It is hot. Really hot. Good grasses don’t grow well when it is this hot. Bad grasses do. What is that light green grass in my lawn? If you are seeing a strange light green grass in the lawn, you are probably seeing foxtail or crabgrass. These are considered grassy weeds (different than broadleaf weeds like clover and dandelions). These grassy weeds (called Summer Annual Grasses) germinate in the soil in Late Spring and pop up in usually July/August in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns. These types of grasses are easier to see this time of year because:
Good grasses like blue, rye, and fescue are entering a semi-dormant state because of the high temperatures. This dormancy stage makes them often times tan-colored. The light green colored crabgrass stands out like Donald Trump’s hair at a bald man conference. Crabgrass and Foxtail actually thrive during high temperatures. Unlike Donald Trump’s hair though – We can get rid of crabgrass and other summer annual grassy weeds. Here are a few summer tips to help get rid of those bad grasses:
1) Apply a Pre-Emergent barrier each year in Early Spring – Putting down corn gluten meal or a chemical pre-emergent in the Early Spring is the best method of controlling grassy weeds like foxtail and crabgrass. I know it is July so this is more for next year, but the best tool in controlling these summer annual grasses is to prevent them from popping up in the Summer.
2) Mow High – Another preventative method of reducing/eliminating crabgrass is to mow the lawn higher. Mow it at 3-4 inches after being cut. Crabgrass and other summer annual grasses do not like lawns that are mowed high. Good grasses do like lawns mowed high. Promoting good grasses to grow better will naturally help them crowd out bad grasses. Pretty simple logic, but it is baffling to me how many people scalp their lawns down to nothing. Quit it.
3) Seed the lawn in September – This preventative method helps to create a thick lawn that the bad grasses do not like. During the Summer, crabgrass is notorious for filling in bare/thin spots in Cincinnati and Dayton lawns. Having these areas filled with good grass helps to fight off foxtail and crabgrass. We suggest using turf type tall fescue grass seed and slicing it into bare/thin spots in Sept-Early October in Cincinnati and Dayton.
4) Spraying a Post-Emergent herbicide on the areas – This is effective at killing what is present. Without using the preventative methods though, you will be fighting these summer annual grassy weeds each season. Spot spraying crabgrass each year can get expensive and is unnecessary if you just prevent the grassy weeds from popping up in the first place.
Crabgrass and Foxtail will die off naturally with the first frost in the Fall. We suggest to our clients to make sure to get seed down in September in bad areas, mow high, and put down a pre-emergent in the Early Spring. Do this and you will see less light green grasses popping up in your lawn in the Summer. Sorry we have no preventative methods for seeing less politicians on TV.