Weeds 101: Crabgrass 

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Crabgrass in turf

While many weeds are regional, crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) can be found just about anywhere in the United States. This summer annual can be identified by its smooth, pointed leaf blades. It often forms patches in turf and is easily mistaken for bermudagrass, tall fescue or goosegrass. Knowing when crabgrass will be present in a specific region aids in proper identification and control. 

Large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) 

What to look for: Light green, bunch-type grass with smooth, pointed leaf blades 

Life cycle: Summer annual that germinates when soil temperatures reach a consistent 55 F 

Leaves: Flat and rolled in the bud with a prominent midvein 

Flowers: Similar in appearance to the flower head of bermudagrass; the spikelike flower branches of large crabgrass grow separately from the stem; flowering occurs June through October 

Roots: Grows from the nodes and forms mats in moist soil 

Look-alikes: Goosegrass, bermudagrass, tall fescue 

Commonly found: Around the country; spring to late summer in turf exposed to sunlight 

Treatment recommendations for large crabgrass

Crabgrass is most effectively controlled by using a preemergence herbicide, which works by inhibiting the growth of young seedlings. However, these herbicides must be in place before germination occurs. Dimension® specialty herbicide will control crabgrass preemergence and early postemergence. In other words, it will control what is germinating and will put down a barrier to prevent future growth. The longer application window will allow you more time to make crabgrass applications. 

State restrictions on the sale and use of Dimension specialty herbicide products apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. 


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