Crabgrass Prevention and why timing is everything! Apply Early Spring before it invades and protect your lawn all season. Crabgrass control must happen in early spring. Once crabgrass starts growing, it becomes difficult to control, so it’s important to treat it early.
Not sure when to apply crabgrass preventer?
Prevent crabgrass in early spring with Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer. You can apply in rain, snow, or freezing temperatures and it will not affect performance!
Scotts has two crabgrass products available at Lowes and Home Depot: Scotts Crabgrass with Halts and Scotts Halts Crabgrass and Grassy Weed Preventer.
Crabgrass preventer must generally be applied before grass has been mowed twice in the spring. This product also helps prevent the germination of other common grasses and weeds to promote a healthier-looking lawn.
Apply Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer in early spring, before any visible signs of crabgrass. Crabgrass seeds germinate when soil temperatures warm to 55 degrees Fahrenheit and remain warm for three to seven days. Soil temperatures generally reach this critical temperature when daytime temperatures range between 55 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Apply when grass is dry. See spreader settings above for the appropriate setting for your spreader. Product does not need to be watered in, but for best results, the lawn should receive 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water from rainfall or watering within 2-3 days after application.
Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer
When to Apply: Apply in early spring to prevent crabgrass all season long. For most areas this is going to be from late February until mid May. So it can vary from February 15th-May 20th.
Crabgrass seeds can germinate when nighttime soil temperatures reach over 50 degrees for 3 days.
Coverage Area: 5,000 and 15,000 sq. ft bags.
What are the Benefits
Stops crabgrass, foxtail, spurge and other problem weeds before they start.
Cautions when using
Don’t use on newly seeded lawns until after the fourth mowing. Scotts Halts will kill grass seed and newly sprouted seedlings. Don’t apply more frequently than twice a year. Allow at least a two month interval between applications. Don’t rake or aerate after application, as the Halts chemical barrier in the soil will be disturbed.
Active Ingredient 1.29% Pendimethalin. Not for use on dichondra and bentgrass lawns.
Scotts Halts is generally available in the following states: Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming .
Scotts Crabgrass and Grassy Weed Preventer
When to Apply: Apply in early spring to stop crab grass and problem weeds before they start. Fall application helps prevent winter weeds like poa annua and chickweed.
Coverage area: 5,000 square foot bags and 15,000 square foot bags.
Scotts Halts Grassy Weed Preventer is generally available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia.
Cautions: Don’t apply more frequently than twice a year. Allow at least a two month interval between applications. Not for use on dichondra and bentgrass lawns. Don’t use on newly seeded grass lawns until after the fourth mowing. Do not plant grass seed for four growing months or sprig an area for five months after use of this product.
Don’t apply more frequently than twice a year. Allow at least a two month interval between applications. Don’t rake or aerify after application.
Active Ingredient: 1.71% Pendimethalin. Not for use on dichondra and bentgrass lawns.
Prevents crabgrass and provides a thicker, greener lawn. Guaranteed to deliver pre and early post-emergent crabgrass control. Will prevent crabgrass, foxtail, oxalis and spurge all season long. Exclusive timed-release formula builds thick, green lawns from the roots up without burning your lawn.
There are guidelines to applying Scotts Halts Crabgrass Preventer. Always apply in early spring from late February to May. Either before dandelions reach the puffball stage or before Forsythia blooms. Forsythia is usually the first flowering shrub that blooms in the spring.
To be most effective, Halts Crabgrass Preventer must be applied before forsythia is in full bloom. Scotts Turf Builder with Halts has tiny, All-In-One Particles that blanket the lawn for a better barrier against crabgrass.
Periods of Active Crabgrass Growth
Grass Type Period of active growth
Bluegrass Late February
Fescue Early March–June
Ryegrass Late February–June
Bermudagrass April–late September
St. Augustinegrass March–October
Don’t know if you have cool season or warm season grass? Here’s our post on Grass Seed Types.
Here’s another tip for applications
Watch for weeds sprouting along the edges of concrete. Next to sidewalks, patios and driveways as the temperature will rise more quickly in these areas. These materials absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the soil adjacent to them.
Crabgrass seeds get lodged in these edge areas, and they are often the earliest of the weeds to sprout. Watch for bright green seedlings. When you see them, you have entered the season. Now is your best time for complete control of crabgrass using a pre emergent.
Crabgrass preventers have no effect on actively growing crabgrass. For an application to get the desired results, good timing is essential. Crabgrass preventers are pre-emergence herbicides and they only work when crabgrass seeds have not germinated or are just beginning to germinate and are absorbing lots of soil moisture.
Researchers at the University of Maryland determined that the minimum daytime soil temperature to observe the initial emergence of crabgrass was 54 degrees. The major emergence of crabgrass did not appear until soil temperatures were at least in the range of 60 to 70 degrees. The great majority of the products labeled for crabgrass control will provide good to excellent control if applied between March 1 to April 1.
Pre-Emergent and Post Emergent Crabgrass and Weed Control
Do not apply pre-emergent herbicide such as Scotts Halts if you are planning on re-seeding your lawn. As always read the label and follow the application instructions closely. After applying crabgrass preventer continue with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed Plus 2 to control weeds and fertilize your lawn all season long. This helps to kill dandelions and other major lawn weeds.
If you have a major crabgrass problem or its too late in the season to apply, you still have an option. Post-emergent herbicide products control crabgrass and other weeds after they have already germinated. Since the weeds are already growing it is too late to use a pre-emergent herbicide and remember to select a herbicide that is used for already growing weeds.
Post-emergent herbicides work by killing the crabgrass plants. Apply these herbicides directly to the crabgrass. Your best choices for already growing weeds are products like Ortho Weed B Gon , Bayer Advanced Weed Control or Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns.
With just a single application of Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer in the early spring, you can stop crabgrass and problem weeds ruining your your lawn.
Once you’ve applied Halts, its ready to work. Don’t apply more frequently than twice a year. Allow at least a two month interval between applications.