Crabgrass (digitaria) is in the grass family and is an annual grassy weed that can spread rapidly and will suppress the growth of other plants. With the capacity to spread thousands of seeds (150,000 seeds per plant) during its lifespan, it will thrive in stressed areas of lawns.
Crabgrass has stems that grow low to the ground then radiate out from the center of the clump that resemble crab legs. One of the characteristics of crabgrass is its star-shaped center hub. When crabgrass matures, it forms a clump that grows faster than the lawn.
Crabgrass does not flower however, as it matures, seed stalks (racemes) will be produced from each branch and at the center hub.
Through its root toxins, crabgrass weakens the lawn around it and covers the grass with an unsightly circular clump.
Prevention/Treatment for Crabgrass:
The best way to prevent crabgrass is to maintain a healthy lawn. True crabgrass does not appear during early spring. Therefore, watering ahead of the crabgrass season is recommended. It will be difficult for crabgrass to take hold if your lawn has plenty of moisture and is actively growing. A thick lawn prevents crabgrass as thin or bare areas attract crabgrass, therefore, seed early and late in the season.
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