We were in Lincoln Nebraska to attend a graduation. Of course, I am curious to see the lawns in that area. The leafing of the trees is ahead of Southern Ontario. I even found a crabgrass seedling starting to sprout in the middle of the sidewalk. Of course, the sidewalk is warmer than the lawns. Crabgrass likes to grow in warm soil. And sidewalks and driveways warm up and hold the heat sooner and longer than the soil under your lawn. But it was also starting to grow in an open area in a boulevard.
To help reduce crabgrass problems in your lawn, here are 2 suggestions:
1.Keep your lawn thick and healthy. The thicker the lawn, the less likely it will be to allow crabgrass a chance to sprout.
2.Related to the above, is to mow your lawn at 3 inch height. The longer mowing height means there will be more leaf blade to shade the soil. The more shade, the cooler the soil. The cooler the soil, the more the lawn grasses will like it. The cooler the soil, the less likely it will be that crabgrass will grow.
A note on phenology. I didn’t see very many flowering trees or shrubs in bloom while in Lincoln. I was trying to see how the weather related to what we have here in southern Ontario. On the last day, we were walking down a different street and I came across a Mock Orange in bloom. “Aha”, I said. The Mock Orange in our garden usually blooms around the July 1st Canada picnic that we usually have with our family. And crabgrass is usually just starting at that time ofyear here in southern Ontario. So, therefore, the crabgrass sprouting in the sidewalks of Lincoln makes perfect phenological sense.
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