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Grass Clippings Question????

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by jritkes, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. jritkes

    jritkes LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 1

    I was told that if I have a crabgrass problem with my lawn, then I should not be leaving the clippings on the lawn (Mulching) because that would increase the crabgrass growth....

    Is this true or is it true only when crabgrass is actively growing??

    Any advice would be great!!!
  2. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    This is not true in a fescue lawn. Clippings decompose quickly and provide nitrogen back in the soil.
  3. mrkosar

    mrkosar LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 664

    i don't see how it matters what type of grass the majority of the lawn is. the questions isn't whether the lawn can benefit from the clippings, but will the crabgrass spread if the lawn clippings are mulched rather than collected when the crabgrass is actively growing.

    my answer would be to collect your clippings if you see the crabgrass seeding. the problem with this is crabgrass lays very low to the ground and is hard to even mow.

    so my advice...mow high to reduce the amount that germinates, but when some does, pull it out before it can seed. maybe every other day during the growing season look for plants and yank them out, then throw some seed in the bare spot.
  4. Regular Joe

    Regular Joe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 48

    from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crabgrass

    The most prevalent species of Digitaria in North America are Large Crabgrass (D. sanguinalis), sometimes know as Hairy Crabgrass; and Smooth Crabgrass (D. ischaemum). These species often become problem weeds in lawns and gardens, growing especially well in lawns that are watered lightly, underfertilized, poorly drained, and growing thinly.[3] They are annual plants, and one plant is capable of producing 150,000 seeds per season. The seeds germinate in the late spring and early summer and outcompete the domesticated lawn grasses and expand outward in a circle up to 12 inches in diameter. In the fall when the plants die they leave large voids in the lawn. The voids then become prime areas for the crabgrass seeds to germinate the following season. Crabgrasses also have a different texture and color that often interrupts the uniformity of a lawn. In vegetable gardens, crabgrass can quickly out-compete desirable plants, causing yield reductions. Crabgrasses can be controlled with pre-emergent herbicides that interfere with a key enzyme when a seed germinates. These herbicides must be applied at a critical time. If they are applied to the soil too early, they get washed too deep into the soil by rainwater. If they are applied too late the key enzyme inhibited is no longer active. The rule of thumb is to apply when the local forsythia blooms are wilting.

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