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Crabgrass (Digitaria) – All You Need to Know About

Crabgrass (Digitaria) also known as finger grass is a monocotyledonous plant, belonging to the Poaceae family of grasses in the order of Poales and native to tropical and warm-temperature regions but can occur in cooler temperatures as well.

They are perennials and is said to grow uninterruptedly by seeds in the ground. They behave like a stubborn grass, since the eradication of weedy species of grass is difficult, especially if this grass has been seeded into existing lawns.

Due to its stubborn nature, trying to get rid of this grass by applying the cultural practice can be very stressful, therefore it is better to get rid of this grass by employing the use of herbicide sprays.

They are notably a troublesome weed, they tend to accumulate more spaces because they have stems that are reclining on the ground and their stems also form cohesive patches.

However, a lot of people battle with this stubborn grassy weed every year and it can be very frustrating due to its nature.

Most people tend to mistake this grass for St Augustine grass, therefore we will be explaining in detail how you can easily identity crabgrass in your lawn.

This monocotyledonous plant has two species:

(1) Large Crabgrass

(2) Smooth Crabgrass.

Both the large and smooth crabgrass tend to have similarities in their growth habit and other characteristics like their appearance, but a few barely notice the difference between them.

Read Also: St Augustine Grass – Complete Growing Guide

How to Identify a Crabgrass (Large Crabgrass vs Smooth Crabgrass)

The following are some of the major differences between the large crabgrass and smooth crab grass:

Large Crabgrass and smooth crabgrass both appear between late spring to early summer and continue to grow throughout the summer months, you should keep that in mind when trying to diagnose your weed infestation.

Large crabgrass has hairs on both sides of the leaf and the sheath while the smooth crabgrass only has hair around the collar region.

At a temperature below 32°F, crabgrass will die, but one interesting fact about the crabgrass is that once the plant dies, the crabgrass seeds will be deposited into the soil to germinate again the following year.

How to Get Rid of Crabgrass (How to kill crabgrass)

Crabgrass (Digitaria) - All You Need to Know About

At this point, I’m glad that you can now readily identify crabgrass easily and answer any question relating to what does crabgrass look like?

However, you may want to know how to get rid of crabgrass (how to kill crabgrass) from your lawn but not sure how to go out it.

Regarding the best crabgrass killer or crabgrass preventer, there are different ways to achieve that as you can either apply the cultural practice or use chemicals like herbicides.

Both ways are effective but applying the cultural practice comes with a lot of stress, since you will be digging and weeding out the grass manually, but this is the best way to get rid of the crabgrass from your lawn.

After digging and weeding out of the grass manually or using any other means, you can just go ahead to gather the grasses together and apply herbicides on them, before burning them up.

This method is extremely effective because after burning them up, both the grass and its seeds will be burnt to ashes thereby not allowing the seed to germinate again.

Another method is by using herbicides only to get rid of this grass without weeding, this method is also effective, but not efficient because the seeds tend to germinate again.

Although applying the first method does not necessarily mean that the grass won’t grow again in your lawn, but it will take more time before this grass grows on your lawn.

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Procedure for Herbicide Application on the Crabgrass

The following are the recommended procedure to applying herbicide on the grass:

  • Before applying herbicides, make sure you measure the area you want to treat.
  • Ensure that you measure the exact amount of herbicide and water for this job
  • Once you have measured the right amount of chemical you intend to use
  • Ensure that you mix the solution properly according to the guidelines attached to the chemical you bought
  • Make sure you put on the proper personal protective equipment
  • After that you can proceed with treating your lawn.

Facts About Crabgrass

You should know that crabgrass is one of the most commonly misidentified weeds.

Below are some interesting facts about crabgrass.

(1) This monocotyledonous plant reproduce by seed

(2) They are a warm-season grass and it grows to about 3-4ft tall

(3) The crabgrass seeds are edible and the grass is mainly used as animal fodder

(4) They are used as grains in places like Germany especially in Poland, where it is occasionally cultivated

(5) They are beneficial for gonorrhea, cataracts, and debility.

Digitaria Sanguinalis is also known by other common names like; Hairy finger grass, large crabgrass, purple crabgrass, and crab finger grass.

Digitaria is nearly known worldwide as a common weed, the genus name “Digitaria” is being derived from the Latin word “digitus” meaning finger while the species name Sanguinalis is derived from another Latin word “Sanguis” meaning blood.

Read Also: Pampas Grass (Cortaderia Selloana) Comprehensive Guide

Benefits of Crabgrass

(1) An extraction of the plant is used in the treatment of gonorrhea

(2) It serves as a remedy for cataracts

(3) The seeds in most cases can be ground and used as flour. The fine white flour produced from the monocotyledonous plant seeds can be used for semolina

(4) A single crabgrass plant is capable of producing upto 150 seeds

(5) The fiber obtained from the crabgrass is used in making paper.

In summary, Crabgrass scientifically known as Digitaria is a monocotyledonous plant found mostly in tropical regions belonging to the Poaceae family of grasses.

The grass is beneficial for gonorrhea, cataracts, and debility. It can grow up to 4ft in height and when the grass dies, it tends to reproduce through its seed deposited on the soil.

The grass as said earlier has two species such of which include, large and smooth crabgrass.

This monocotyledonous plant is said to be a stubborn grass packed with tons of health benefits and domestic benefits, however, most people tend to ignore that fact and try to get rid of it from their lawn, using herbicides or by applying other crabgrass killer methods.

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