If that picture looks like something in your lawn the first thing that you should know is that it is not crab grass. Crab grass doesn’t even exist in our Cedar City climate.
Well then what is it? And why does everyone call it crab grass?
It is actually called tall fescue. Although we don’t know why people in Cedar often mistakenly call it crab grass it leads to problems because people look up solutions online or buy products for crab grass and then wonder why they don’t work. It’s like researching remedies or going to a doctor for headaches when really you have a lacerated leg.
I don’t care what it’s called; How do I get rid of it?
Now that you know what it is let’s talk about how to fix it. You have two main options:
Option #1: One is organic, simple in nature, and only requires a shovel and a good back to dig out the
infected area. Be sure to get all of the roots or your problem will grow back a short time later. Once it has
been dug out you’ll need to fill your hole with some nutrient rich topsoil and then plant some new seed or
sod. Pay attention to the breeds of seed/sod you use as you wouldn’t want to introduce any more tall
Option #2: Kill the tall fescue. Spray it with a glyphosate killer (example: Roundup). Since
glyphosates are non-selective herbicides they will also kill the bluegrass or wanted grass in the area so
be careful. Glyphosates can also “leach” in the soil and spread with water and/or gravity so once again,
be careful. Once you have killed all of the tall fescue you’ll want to prep the ground, and re-seed or sod it
as soon as possible to prevent hostile weed takeover in your now bare patch of soil.
There’s got to be an easier way…At time of publication these are the best solutions we know of. If you can come up with a better solution please let us know (and you’ll probably make millions) as it is problem we hear about almost daily.
How to prevent the fescue invasion:
- Water deep and less frequently to encourage longer roots
- Aerate and Dethatch each spring to encourage thick roots
- Fertilize at least 4 times per year to make your lawn stress tolerant
- Remove any fescue that you see before it seeds and spreads
- Mow your lawn at least weekly so as not to shock it by mowing off more than 1/3 of the blade length
We have compiled a list of other websites, blogs and YouTube videos on this subject in case you want a second opinion or to learn more. Thanks for visiting our blog and please inform all of your friends and neighbors about Cedar City “crab grass”.