If you’re thinking past the snow and cold to a lush, green and healthy lawn this spring, you’re already on the right track — experts say the time to prevent crabgrass is in the early spring. Timing is critical, so here’s what you need to do.

Start by curtailing your use of salt-based ice melt products as much as possible — it can cause problems with lawn health if overused, or used incorrectly. Read more about that here.

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Next, be prepared for the first signs of spring. The best way to stop crabgrass is to prevent it from ever taking hold — and the best way to do that is to act quickly, after spring’s first thaw. There’s no magic date — it depends on your region and on local weather. Crabgrass only needs about 24–48 hours of 55-degree soil temperatures to get started, so anticipate and take action before those conditions exist. To determine soil temperature, a soil temperature probe is needed. These are readily available at your local garden stores.

If you want to play it safe, consider GreenView Crabgrass Preventer plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart — with the active ingredient Dimension®. Because it is also effective with “post emergent” crabgrass — meaning crabgrass that has already started to germinate — you’ll have a wider window of opportunity. Unlike most other crabgrass preventers, it works up to 4 weeks after crabgrass seedlings emerge to help eradicate this bothersome weed.

Keep in mind:

  1. Light, sandy soil heats up faster than clay-based soil
  2. Sunny spots will warm faster than shaded areas
  3. Healthier lawns will withstand crabgrass germination better than bare, unhealthy lawns
  4. You may reapply for maximum effectiveness, but follow instructions on the back of the package carefully to determine waiting time period before for a second application.

See other crabgrass myths exposed here. Meanwhile, stock up on a good crabgrass preventer and fertilizer like GreenView Crabgrass Control Plus Lawn Food with GreenSmart or GreenView Seed Starter Fertlizer plus Crabgrass Preventer if you’re establishing a new lawn and look forward to a beautiful weed-free lawn this spring!