Crabgrass and moisture

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BigDave, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. BigDave

    BigDave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 148

    Hi all,

    TLS made an interesting observation in the Exmark forum, basically saying that crabgrass holds moisture all too well, and that when mowing, it will come out wet and clumped even on a 100 degree sunny day.

    I think this might be part of the reason I'm slipping and sliding around so much this season and losing traction - crabgrass has overrun us this year, and even if it hasn't rained for a few days, my tires are completely soaked within minutes.

    Anyone care to comment on TLS's observation? If it's true, I wonder why crabgrass holds moisture better than grass?
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    It's Dense, thick, and Juicy.

    Has a VERY high water content in the plant itself. This is why it is able to survive in the hot summer so well.

    This is also why it will clump and ball up under your deck.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Tommy is right. I'm not positive as to moisture content but crabgrass is somewhere in the 90% range where normal grass is about 15% to 20% lower. A couple of weeks back I said that I only had 3 lawns with crabgrass problems. Since then that number has gone up to about 20 out of 38 clients. The crabgrass should be going to seed shortly and start dieing out as the temperatures drop.
  4. yardmonkey

    yardmonkey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    I don't know why, but yeah, crabgrass is very wet. Thick crabgrass is almost unmowable. Clogs up under the mower. Also leaves green tire tracks on sidewalks, etc.

    When I saw the title of this thread I thought it was referring to moisture causing crabgrass, which is another observation I have made this year. Many people with sprinkler systems overwater - like everyday or even twice a day. This really makes the crabgrass (and nutsedge) take off.

    For anyone who does chemical-free lawncare, I have been experimenting with a new technique to get rid of crabgrass. I have covered sections of bermuda grass lawns with black plastic for about 10 days - the crabgrass is killed, the bermuda snaps right back. I'm now trying this with clear plastic, which should take even less time - this would be true solarization (killing with heat), rather than just shading it out.

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