Crabgrass control

maxamus1975August 9, 2006

I have a quick question. Can I put down Scoots Halts with Crabgrass on a lawn now? My lawn is being over run with Crabgrass because I decided to skip that step.

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Won't do any good now. Need to use it in the early spring to keep the stuff from coming up. Ypur best bet now is to pull it up or use a post-emergent spray (Ortho, Bayer, Image, etc) to kill it.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:08PM
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Scotts Halts is a Pre-Emergence, not Post_Emergence. Winter will kill it off, or you can start pulling it up, or apply post-emergence is weather conditions allow.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:25PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you live in the south (which we don't know because you neglected to fill out all the forms in your profile when you signed on), then you could try dusting baking soda on it (put the baking soda in a sock or pantyhose and beat the side of the sock with your hands to release the dust). Wet the crabgrass first and then just let the baking soda dust fall to the ground on the wet leaves. You might have to put a little soap in the water so the water will not bead up on the leaves. This technique was developed in Florida on bermuda and St Augustine lawns. Apparently the results are quick and very satisfying as the crabgrass turns black in a day or two.

No explanation has been offered that I am aware of. Since baking soda is such a good fungicide, my personal theory is that there is a symbiotic fungus growing on the crabgrass blades that normally protects the crabgrass from disease. Once the helper fungus is killed by the baking soda, then the disease fungus can attack the crabgrass. Apparently it looks just like rotten grass as it dies.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 1:31AM
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The baking soda doesnt harm the SA does it?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2006 at 1:46PM
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Has anyone used corn gluten as a crabgrass pre-emergent? I just read that it works, is organic, and doesn't bother St. Augustine. Evidently it is cattle feed and the feed store I contacted in the Tampa area said they get it in for crabgrass in the fall. 20 pounds per 1,000 sq. ft. is the recommendation. Does anyone else know anything about this or has tried it?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 5:07PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Looking at the dates of the recent post(s) I see I missed rlhunterfl's question. No, the baking soda was developed in Florida on St Aug lawns.

CGM is used universally in organic turf programs for preemergent crabgrass control. Not only does it not bother St Augustine, it is one of the more powerful organic fertilizers available. At 20 pounds per 1,000 you would be at about twice the dose needed for fertilizer, so stand back because it will grow right up behind your mower.

If the feed store told you to use it on crabgrass in the fall, they have no idea what they're talking about. Crabgrass seed only sprouts in the spring and summer. You can apply now to control the spring wildflower-type weeds, but not crabgrass.

Preemergents should be only the last ditch attempt to keep weeds away. The first line of defense is your hose. Turn it off. In the heat of summer, unless it rains at least an inch, you should be watering once a week. If you need to water more often than that, then water longer next time. In the summer I water from 1-3 hours in each zone but only once a week. The second line of defense is to mow your St Aug high. There is never a reason to mow St Aug lower than the highest setting on your mower.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 11:15PM
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Thanks and for clarification the feed store only said they didn't stock CGM until fall for late winter or early spring (however you define that in the Tampa area)and it would be in stock in time for the pre-emergent season. I ended up with crabgrass after a devastating chinch bug attack and bare spots which quickly filled with crabgrass. However, I have a back pack pump sprayer and am having success with 1 pound of baking soda per gallon mixed with hot water and sprayed.

I never had crabgrass, always mow at 3 1/2 inches, am spartan with water so we agree about all that. I also use a generic version of Talstar now and expect no more chinch bugs.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 6:04PM
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Hello all.

I had a few small patches of Crabgrass trying to invade my Bermuda grass.
I keep my Bermuda grass height at 1 inch.
On the evening of June 5th, 2007 I followed the "dusting with baking soda procedure" posted by dchall san antonio.
The Crabgrass was eliminated by noon June 7th 2007.
No damage to my Bermuda grass.

The Crabgrass is gone.

Thanks everyone.

Good day.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2007 at 5:45PM
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Dchall, i'm fascinated with your baking soda solution to crab grass (which is plentiful in my yard). However, you preface your technique with the words "if you live in the South." Is there some reason this wouldn't work for me in the Pacific Northwest?

I'm going to try it on a small spot and see. What fun!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:27PM
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I agree. I have never heard this tip before.

Dchall, could I have instructions? Dust? Sprinkle? A mix, or baking soda straight out of the box?

I'm going to be trying it in Michigan, on crabgrass that infested my newly seeded (too late last fall) acre in the back. The KBG is coming in, slowly, but the CG is coming in rapidly. Other than shooting (an acre. a whole darn acre) roundup judiciously on each plant, I think I'm stuck till I have what KBG I have, and then go to war with pre-emergents, and let the KBG spread out. That may take two seasons.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2007 at 12:51PM
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bttt....I'd like to hear more as well. I tried this evening. I used a thin sock, you know...the church type. I could barely get anything out of it. Does it just need to be a very tiny, light dusting or a pretty good coating?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2007 at 10:48PM
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not being mean - just clarifying for dchall - he stated this technique was developed in Florida for SA and Bermuda grass. Not sure what the effect baking soda would have on KBG and others.
He also said you could use pantyhose. I would think that would be more suitable to get the "dust" out. Note Dust being the key word. I have few spots myself and I have nothing to lose to try it out.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2007 at 11:19PM
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"I used a thin sock, you know...the church type. "

I have no idea what a church type of sock is. Can you enlighten me?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 1:17AM
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haringfan(zone 5, MI)

dchall and others: it would be helpful to know if this technique works on CG in other types of lawns besides St. Aug and Bermuda. Any chance it works KBG or fescue (or mixes)?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 8:30AM
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if you click on the lonk below it will show you Dchall response to a person from the North. he states it may be a little spotty.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dchall

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 2:38PM
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A church sock is a thin blue or black one. Not pantyhose thin, but not a tube sock.

Anyway, last night I did some more using some of my wife's pantyhose. It definitely worked better, but the baking soda kinda got moist through them. Didn't work so well then.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2007 at 3:10PM
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I have lots of crabgrass in my fairly new Creeping Phlox flower garden
Short of trying to pull it up by hand, is there a something I can put on it to kill it without killing my flowers. We had quite a bit of rain in May and June, and it got ahead of me. Thanks

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 2:45PM
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We got a whole bunch of rain and suddenly a section of my lawn is completely overtaken by crabgrass. If I do pull everything by hand, there is going to be huge bare spots. Any advice on how to deal with this...

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 10:32AM
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"I have no idea what a church type of sock is. Can you enlighten me?"

They are holey ones : )

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 3:56PM
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I have front yard full of crabgrass.What can I do to kill it?

    Bookmark   August 18, 2009 at 9:21AM
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I really appreciate the advice on crab grass, I have to be very careful useing certain types of weed control, and sprays, especially with lots of children and pets, plus it seems this might be alot less expensive. It almost seems nearly impossible to get rid of any unwanted weeds with it being so hot, and humid, in the deep south, it's what you would say 'almost tropical down hee're, ya'll'

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 12:31AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I see I have been delinquent in answering some questions asked of me. Sadly I believe philes has passed away before getting his answers.

For more information on the effectiveness of baking soda to kill crabgrass, do a Google search using the following terms:
crabgrass dallisgrass baking soda sock pictures. Or click the link. The first entry has some photos of baking soda in action along with details of how he applied it.

Yes you just need to apply it as a dust. Clumps of baking soda do not work.

No I would not try it on any other grass - including bermuda. St Augustine is extremely tolerant to sodium excess. Baking soda is nearly the definition of sodium excess. I believe the baking soda works because it kills plants which are not salt tolerant.

Baking soda dust can get into your eyes and lungs. It's kind of nasty.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 10:46PM
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