Crab Grass Prevention

We don’t try to achieve organic status with our lawn.  We do, however, try to limit the amount of chemicals we use and purchase environmentally friendly options when available.  Thanks to a really helpful timing model from Michigan State University, I’m guessing we almost always waste our time, money and chemical footprint when we apply our crab grass preventer because we usually wait too long.  Note:  MSU has only verified the tracker for the Great Lakes region.

To use the model, enter your zip code at the top.  It shows a map with color zones indicating optimal times for applying the pre-emergent.  Since the effectiveness of pre-emergents is related to temperature, these recommendations are based on current weather conditions (GDD – growing degree days) and are more reliable than using a fixed date every year.  For example, I live in a little pocket that says it’s already too late for this year.  Great.


Also very useful is an article from Purdue University that helps explain the results and what to do about it.  For example, if you’re late like we are, you can try a preventer with a different active ingredient that may still be a viable alternative.

Along the right of the map there are links to other timers such as Japanese Beetle emergence, weed flowering, etc.  The tracker is focused primarily on lawn care professionals, so it’s a little heavy on the use of chemicals, but it can be helpful for all types of prevention and control.


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