Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Fix for Crabgrass?

Spring has sprung, and for anyone calling themselves a handy person this means working in the yard, or some facsimile thereof. Personally, yard work is better hired out, but I'm neither rich nor old so onward. Okay, yard work isn't that bad; not at all. However, we've all heard the stories about crabgrass; one comic strip from my youth even depicted it as stronger than armor. Be as it may, it's still the bane of everyone who's tried to keep up a yard. It's ugly, doesn't feel good on the feet, but it is hardier than any other weed out there. There's also a very limited window on which to deal with this lawn pest, you have to use crabgrass control and hope that it works. I use chemicals to deal with dandelions as the trailer park I live in will write me up for letting them propagate. Fortunately, there's no such sanction for crabgrass, but it doesn't make it any less appealing in my book. I disdain the use of chemicals to control the crabgrass, mainly due to the expense but the environmental impact of these is also a cause of concern. We live right next to a couple ravines and creeks run through both.

The one thing that crabgrass cannot live through very well is through heat. You'll need a bottle of MAPP gas and a torch with a spreader head on it. I used a plumbing torch and MAPP gas to grill mine to a golden brown (really a charcoal black). Again, use common sense. Do this after it rains and not if the surrounding grass is dry. You will cause a grass fire, guaranteed. Don't think you're saving time by using a big propane tank with fire straight out of same either. Great for ratings, but will likely result in a call to the authorities.

Try to work from the edges to the center. The trick is not to injure the surrounding grass too much and cook the crabgrass until it shrivels. After a couple days, it will brown and hopefully die. You can do this when it's begun to tassel and get seeds, but it's better to kill it in the spring before it has a chance to get too established. Another bit of advice; try to stay away from the fume plume when burning this stuff. Have fun. Maranatha!

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