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(September 2012)

QuestionFor years my wife's father had his yard in primo condition. Since his passing, the yard has cultivated a dandy crop of crab grass and other weeds unknown to me. I have used Ortho Weed Killer with crabgrass preventer, and it really doesn't seem to be doing the job. In thinking ahead to spring of 2013, what would be my best option in eradicating crabgrass from the yard, and should I start this fall. I do plan to apply a Wintertime weed and feed probably in mid October.


AnswerI don’t like to use any fertilizer on lawns in Arkansas after mid September unless you are growing tall fescue. Most southern lawns go dormant for the winter, and I would hate to encourage new growth, too late in the year, or spur on winter weeds. Crabgrass is a summer annual weed, which means it germinates in late spring, grows all summer, sets seeds and dies in the fall or early winter. There is nothing to do this fall to prevent it for next year. Apply a pre-emergent herbicide in late February and a second application in early April and you should be good. Monitor for weeds during the growing season. The more dense the lawn grass, the less weeds you have. We do have lawn care calendars for each of the lawn grasses grown in Arkansas on our website:

(July 2006)

QuestionI live in a new home in Springdale. My builder installed a fescue lawn, which I really enjoy. However, my neighbors' Bermuda grass is invading parts of my lawn. What do you suggest? I've been told that top-seeding in the fall and spring with fescue should minimize the effect, but I'd value your expert opinion.


Answero you have sun or shade? That is going to be a huge factor for you. Fescue is a much stronger performer in the shade, while Bermuda is a much stronger grower in the sun. Fescue tends to struggle in the summer, especially when it is hot and dry. Northwest Arkansas has an easier time with fescue than we do in the rest of the state, but even you can have problems when it is really hot. Bermuda thrives on heat and humidity, and is the most drought tolerant lawn to boot. There is nothing you could spray to kill the Bermuda that wouldn't kill the fescue as well. You may want to have a line of demarcation so to speak between your neighbor’s yard and yours, and spray there with Roundup to prevent spread. Keep in mind that Bermuda is an active spreader, while fescue is a more clumping grass, so it isn't as strong of a competitor. Over seeding fescue in the fall is an excellent practice every year to keep your fescue thick and strong, but that alone is not going to keep the Bermuda out.

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