We understand you are looking for answers for controlling crabgrass germination without the use of synthetic herbicides or harmful chemicals. Your time will not be wasted with information that are already available elsewhere online. We will dive deep into controlling crabgrass organically and methodically.
PREVENT CRABGRASS SEEDS FROM ROOTING
Your first goal is to control the crabgrass seeds from rooting in the first place. Since we service Austin, Texas, we really can't predict the weather every year. That is just a fact of life in our hometown. We have had very hot and humid winters on and off for the past... who knows how long? Forever? See, crabgrass propagates in hot weather, so a general rule of thumb is to be aware of crabgrass germination whenever the weather is projected to hit above 80F. This can happen at anytime of the year. When it happens, follow our recommendations, and you will be off to a great start.
We recommend using natural corn gluten meal as a go-to organic fertilizer for all types of turf grass. At 9-0-0, it is a good organic fertilizer going into the growing season. This will give your lawn the push it needs to grow. Because natural corn gluten has organic sources of nitrogen, it will not burn the lawn. Nutrients are released as moisture becomes available over a longer period of time. Where natural corn gluten really shines, however, is in its natural herbicidal tendencies. It will not only create a layer to prevent crabgrass seeds from rooting, it will in fact prevent ANY seeds from growing! So do not overseed in Spring if you will be applying corn gluten meal as fertilizer in Spring. Overseed in Fall instead. That's the optimal time to overseed anyways. If you are really concerned about crabgrass, we recommend to use the maximum application recommendation found in the label for best results. This means that a 40 lbs. bag of natural corn gluten meal, if applied at a rate of 20 lbs per 1,000 square feet, will only cover 2,000 square feet. A bag of corn gluten in 2019 will set you back upwards of $45. This is definitely not a cheap alternative to the toxic chemicals available at the local big box store. But this by far is the best pet friendly and child friendly alternative for health conscious people like yourself. Have we mentioned you must water immediately after laying it down? Yes you do have to water right away because birds love eating it. Water also activates the corn gluten meal and breaks it down even further. Corn gluten meal also smells like cereals if you've ever opened a fresh bag. Be aware though that corn gluten meal can rot and decompose if stored improperly. Unless you want your lawn to smell like rotten eggs, we suggest to only use fresh corn gluten meals. A single application will provide up to 4 months of protection from any seeds. Generally, we only recommend using corn gluten meal once a year. You do not need to use it repeatedly if your soil composition is healthy for turf growth. As your lawn becomes thicker and healthier, you can lessen your application volume up to the point where you no longer need it.
CONTROL CRABGRASS SEEDS FROM GERMINATING
If you did not get the chance to read your first goal in time, then this is where you will begin your organic lawn care plan. Your second goal is to control the existing crabgrass. Crabgrass seeds germination can be controlled by mowing high and by bagging all the clippings whenever you mow. No, you will not collect all the seeds with your mower, but you will collect a bunch of them. This will control some of the crabgrass seeds from getting in contact with the soil; thereby, minimizing seed germination. Mowing as high as possible also helps in controlling seeds from germinating. See, taller grass blades lessen lawn heat stress by retaining moisture in the soil. Moisture in the soil means that the soil is cooler than the ambient temperature. Since crabgrass seeds germinate when it's hot, you are lessening germination by keeping the soil cool. Lawns with taller grass blades also provide shade that lessens direct sunlight contact to the crabgrass seeds. This in turn will further lessen seed germination.
REMOVAL AND OVERSEEDING
If you are interested in our organic lawn care program, contact us right away. We can help you.
Beautiful Lawn: Organic Fertilizers, Actively Aerated Compost Tea Treatments, and Mulched Grass Clippings
Our approach to lawn care and plant care has continued to improve through the years. We now use a combination of organic fertilizers, beneficial microbes, and natural nutrient sources to encourage maximum grass and plant growth. This takes advantage of nature's natural nutrient cycle and recycle. No use of harmful chemicals. No synthetics. 100% natural and organic.
Among all key primary nutrients found in all fertilizers, Phosphorus is of a main concern for the environment. Phosphorus is a mobile nutrient which can leach and hurt aquatic resources. Grass in general does not need a lot of phosphorus to propagate. This is the reason why when soil phosphorus content is low, the organic fertilizers we use have very low phosphorus content. And when soil phosphorus content is sufficient, we use phosphorus-free organic fertilizers to promote clean water in rivers, lakes, bays, and wetlands. Our practice has always been to use products and create services that work with nature, not against it, and for all our clients to only pay for the services they actually need and to not take advantage of that trust.
Phosphorus/Phosphate (AS NEEDED)
Actively Aerated Compost Tea Treatments
Actively Aerated Compost Tea (AACT) in general is a liquefied biological amendment made by maneuvering beneficial organisms from a highly active organic pile into an aerated water solution with various food sources. Our specific AACT treatment has been professionally brewed from only the highest quality, pathogen-free, weed-free, pet friendly and bacteria-dominant organic compost, all-natural organic earthworm castings, fish hydrolysate, brown algae, soghum grass, sugar cane (NOT from genetically engineered), and highly aerobic, chlorine-free water. AACT helps accelerate organic matter decomposition like thatch and leaves, improves soil's aggregation to increase water-holding capacity, and reduce soil compaction by adding beneficial microbes for both grass and plants. It contains 12 bioavailable essential nutrients grass and plants need for optimum growth. The advantage of the tea is that specialized recipes can be developed and fine-tuned to target specific lawn conditions and plant needs. Careful application of AACT can speed up the process of balancing the soil biology. The challenge, however, is achieving the proper mix. This requires a lot of time and testing because there is no way to ensure that one had brewed the proper amount and types of immobile and mobile bacterial populations, protozoas, rotifers, fungal hyphaes, and nematodes other than to test each and every batch, analyze under a microscope, and monitor the results. The amount of beneficial organisms found in AACT makes it particularly favorable for lawns and trees.
Mulching Grass Clippings
If you ever need help with your lawn care and plant care needs in Austin, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are very eager to help you.