Thursday, May 7, 2009

Crabgrass Gotcha Down? Try These Eco-Friendly Solutions...

Crabgrass is the bane of nearly everyone who has a yard to care for. I get a lot of requests for this information, so here goes. I have found two helpful Eco-friendly solutions, if you have small patches of crabgrass you need to kill, before replanting with sod or plugs.

These methods are also safe for your children and pets, so no worries about where they play. You really don't have to use RoundUp or any of those chemical weedkillers that leach into the groundwater, leaving who knows what to be passed along to future generations playing in your soil.

There are 2 proven crabgrass killers already in your kitchen: baking soda and vinegar each work their wonders to kill this nasty stuff. Experienced gardeners say that full-strength vinegar, available at hardware stores, works better than the household stuff you buy at the grocers, so perhaps you might start with baking soda, to save the trip. Either way, use the same process I describe below.

I've used baking soda on a few spots with success. Whichever product you decide to use as an herbicide, if you leave any crabgrass in the surrounding area, it will grow back into the spot you replant with grass. Be sure to pull all remnants out and recheck it regularly, until the new grass is well established and thick. Your best bet is to use sod, rather than plugs, as its thickness will help to control incoming weeds.

The application process is quite simple. Just sprinkle generously on the crabgrass, taking care not to get it on any area where there is no weed growth. The baking soda will kill grass also, if applied to it. Reapply each time it rains or your sprinklers run, and within about 2 weeks you'll find your crabgrass is pretty well toast. Dig or pull it all out. This is the most important part. Removing some of the soil to place sod in at the same level will also help to remove left-behind crabgrass seeds that could germinate later.

Each day when you water the area, check for any new growth of crabgrass, and pull it up promptly. Keep it up until the sod incorporates itself into the surrounding grass. After this, try to check it weekly and stay on top of it. This is key to your success.

Today my post on the Central Florida Green Guide explores further the topic of Green Family Fun: Let's Visit the Dog Park, Part I and Part II. If you have a furry friend who might enjoy some off-leash play time, you can check the link for part 2 of my series. Inside the post, you will also find a link to Part I. Comments are encouraged. See you at the park.

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