Timing Crabgrass Preventer This Year
One of the amazing things about being online today is that there is a community on the Web for just about any niche interest you might have. Take...for instance Lawn Care DIYers. There's a bunch of YouTube "Stars" (I hesitate to call them Stars, but I also am *not* going to call them Influencers because, well, that's just gross.), there are online forums and plenty of bloggers. There are also tools that have historically been used by the Turf industry (think Golf Course Managers) that have now been set free into the world.
One of them is the use of Growing Degree Day Calendars. What are Growing Degree Days? From Wikipedia:
Growing degree days (GDD) are a heuristic tool in phenology. GDD are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturists, gardeners, and farmers to predict plant and animal development rates such as the date that a flower will bloom, an insect will emerge from dormancy, or a crop will reach maturity.And it turns out, there are GDD calendars that are published online. The one that I found is from Michigan State University and it has a series of GDD calendars. The one in particular that I glommed onto was the "Crabgrass PRE" tab. Link here. The screenshot at the top of this post shows that the"Optimum" window to put down Crabgrass preventer in our zip code was all last week.
I had a bunch of crabgrass and other grassy weeds in the far reaches of our yard last year, so I figured that I needed to act. Timing the application of Crabgrass Preventer is key - if you put it down to late, it does nothing. Put it down too early, it might work its way through the soil before it can act.
I normally start with the Menards brand of Crabgrass Preventer that has lawn food in it. But this year, I'm trying something different with Milorganite and after reading up, I settled on trying to find a Crabgrass Preventer WITHOUT lawn food in it. A bit of searching locally at Home Depot and Menards turned up nothing. All the Crabgrass Preventers include lawn food (fertilizer).
But online, I found Scott's Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer that doesn't include lawn food or fertilizer. We have around 20,000 square feet of property and if you subtract the driveway, the house footprint and the various other hard surfaces, you end up with about 15K square feet. Three bags of the Halts Crabgrass Preventer without fertilizer later, I'm hoping I've nailed the "application widow".