The best defense against weeds in your lawn is a dense, healthy, vigorous lawn. Weeds take advantage of open spaces in thin, weak stands of turf. This segment promotes the safe, effective use of herbicides for controlling lawn weeds.

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Crabgrass Prevention in Lawns

Now is the time of year to be thinking about spring crabgrass control – or spring annual grass control. Crabgrass preventer works by preventing seeds from germinating. So, you’ll need to have this product down on the ground before those weed seeds germinate.

The other important fact is that the chemical found in crabgrass preventers doesn’t differentiate between crabgrass seed and turfgrass seed. So, if you have some bare areas in your yard that you need to reseed with tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass, you either need to avoid putting these products down, or use another product called Tupersan or siduron.

You’ll want to look for environmental cues. If you see the yellow flower of the forsythia bush, you’ll still have a couple weeks to apply it. Once you see the flower, be thinking about getting to the store to purchase your product.

I have four bags of three different products. This one has a chemical name called Team, this one has a crabgrass preventer called Dimension, and the last two have a crabgrass preventer called Barricade. There’s also another popular one called pendimethalin. And, they all work very well at controlling crabgrass.

Each of these products can be applied onto lots of different grasses, but the rate will be different depending on what type of grass you have in your yard. These two bags both have Barricade in them, and they both have 19 percent nitrogen, so they look very similar. They look like they should be the same bag of fertilizer and crabgrass preventer.

However, when you look closely at the label, this one has .20% prodiamine, and this one has .38% prodiamine. So, this one has a lot more Barricade in it. This bag will cover 12,500 sq. ft., and the other bag will only cover 6,600 sq. ft. While the bags look very similar, there is a difference in how much area they will cover.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter too much which product you choose: Barricade, Dimension, pendamethalin, or Team. They all have some pros and cons with each product. The key message is to read the label, find out how you’re supposed to use that product, and buy and use the correct amount for your size of yard.

This feature story prepared with Rodney St.John, former Kansas State University Research and Extension Turfgrass Specialist. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at

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