Top five reasons it’s an epic crabgrass year

There are several reasons for crabgrass being especially troublesome this summer in Michigan.

I was recently asked by a lawn care operator to reply via email with 1,000 words or less of why it’s an epic crabgrass year – well, maybe he didn’t say epic, but you get the idea. I accepted this challenge heartily, but decided in the spirit of today’s world of texting and twittering to do it in less than 100 words.

  1. Record heat and stress in 2012 resulted in bumper crabgrass crop, plenty of seed, and thinned turf for more opportunities for crabgrass to invade this year.
  2. Cold, long, spring-delayed crabgrass germination, may have escaped early spring preemergence applications.
  3. Soil moisture increases soil biological activity, in turn, increasing herbicide degradation. 
  4. Plentiful precipitation in June when young crabgrass was geminating helped with root development.
  5. High temperatures in July were perfectly timed for crabgrass to really start competing.

Crabgrass-infested boulevard.
Crabgrass-infested boulevard. Photo credit: Kevin Frank, MSU

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