It could easily be a bad science fiction movie. Long tentacles spring forth crawling slowly across the ground seeking to conquer the landscape. The town’s residents forced to defend themselves with spades and hoes.

This monster has a name. Otherwise known as crabgrass. Throw in barbed, curse-inducing grass burs and your beautiful lawn becomes the thing of nightmares. Can it be stopped before taking over the world, or at least your yard?

There are steps you can take to defeat these warm-season enemies and proper application of a pre-emergent herbicide is the best way to start. These nasties will begin to germinate when the soil temperature (not air temperature) reaches around 50ºF and remains at that temperature for several days. The goal is to prevent them from emerging into the light, so if you see above-ground growth, you’re too late. For that reason, applying pre-emergent a bit early is better than waiting too long and setting yourself up for a battle.

Asking when to apply it in the North and Central areas of Texas will get you a wide-range of answers. The severity of our winters varies as well as the appearance of warm weather, but the general rule of thumb is mid to late February and possibly early March.

There’s another benefit to pre-emergents, if you can keep the weeds from gaining a footing, you’ll end up with a thicker lawn. A thicker lawn will crowd out additional weeds. Since weeds grow, well like weeds, and grass grows slower, even if you manage to dig out every last weed, you are still left with bare areas that easily invite new weeds to take their place until the grass fills in.

Maybe you’re thinking that a few years of pre-emergent applications should be enough. Your yard seems to be weed free, so why keep it up? Consider that your neighbors may not be as attentive to their lawn’s needs as you and seeds can be transported by wind or wild animals for large distances. Also, if your yard was heavily stressed by summer drought and water restrictions, you may also be at a higher risk for weeds to regain control. There’s al-ways that lingering doubt at the end of the movie. Is the monster really dead? Remain wary.

The best defense for all weed growth, though, is a healthy lawn. Deep-watering less fre-quently is better for your lawn than frequent shallow watering which benefits the weeds. A higher grass cut will block the light and discourage weed seeds from germinating. These insidious monsters can be overcome with a little work and the right timing.

Final Note: If you’re already seeing a blanket of those little purple flowers called henbit as well as dandelions, applying pre-emergent now isn’t going to help you combat them. Those, along with clover and chickweed, are cool season weeds that germinated in the Fall and have been silently waiting to launch a full scale attack. To combat these, apply a pre-emer-gent in early September.
Tri-Tex Grass serves residents of Dallas, Ft. Worth, Granbury and surrounding cities in North and Central Texas. With multiple sod farm locations, grass varieties for every appli-cation and a professional and experienced staff, Tri-Tex Grass is the best choice for all of your grass needs. We are happy to answer your questions. Call us at 866-573-6676.