Crabgrass Killer: Does It Harm Zoysia Grass?

Will crabgrass killer kill zoysia grass? It’s a question that many homeowners who are battling the persistent crabgrass weed ask themselves. And the answer is, yes, crabgrass killer can indeed damage zoysia grass if not used carefully. But before we dive into the details, let’s take a moment to understand the characteristics of these two adversaries. Zoysia grass, known for its lush green color and resilience, is a popular choice for lawns due to its ability to withstand drought and foot traffic. On the other hand, crabgrass is a pesky weed that invades lawns, competing with desirable grass for nutrients and space. So, how can you get rid of crabgrass without harming your beloved zoysia grass? Let’s find out in this article.

Crabgrass Killer: Does It Harm Zoysia Grass?

Will Crabgrass Killer Kill Zoysia Grass?

Zoysia grass is a popular choice for lawns due to its ability to withstand harsh climates, resist disease and pests, and maintain its vibrant green color throughout the year. However, like any other type of grass, it can still fall victim to common weeds such as crabgrass. As a homeowner, you might be wondering if using a crabgrass killer will harm your precious zoysia turf. In this article, we will explore the compatibility of crabgrass killers with zoysia grass and provide you with all the information you need to effectively combat crabgrass without damaging your beloved zoysia lawn.

Understanding Zoysia Grass and Crabgrass

Before we dive into the topic, let’s take a moment to understand the characteristics of zoysia grass and crabgrass.

Zoysia grass – Zoysia grass (Zoysia spp.) is a warm-season grass known for its dense growth habit, durability, and ability to tolerate drought and heat. It thrives in full sun and establishes a strong root system that makes it resistant to many weeds.

Crabgrass – Crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) is an annual weed that germinates in late spring and quickly spreads in lawns and garden beds. Its aggressive growth habit can smother your zoysia grass and create unsightly patches in your lawn.

The Compatibility of Crabgrass Killer with Zoysia Grass

When it comes to using a crabgrass killer on a zoysia lawn, it’s important to choose a product that specifically mentions its compatibility with zoysia grass on the label. While some broad-spectrum herbicides may effectively kill crabgrass, they can also harm or even kill zoysia grass due to their non-selective nature. Therefore, it is crucial to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer to avoid any potential damage to your zoysia turf.

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Selective Herbicides

Selective herbicides are designed to target specific weeds while minimizing harm to desirable grasses like zoysia. These types of herbicides are the preferred choice for controlling crabgrass in zoysia lawns. Here are some commonly used selective herbicides:

  • Quinclorac – Quinclorac is a popular crabgrass killer that is safe to use on established zoysia grass. It effectively targets crabgrass without harming the zoysia lawn.
  • Fenoxaprop-P – Another selective herbicide that can safely control crabgrass in zoysia grass is fenoxaprop-P. It is known for its ability to suppress crabgrass while leaving the zoysia turf unharmed.
  • Sethoxydim – Sethoxydim is another crabgrass killer that is safe to use on zoysia grass. It selectively targets grassy weeds like crabgrass and does not harm zoysia lawns when applied according to the label instructions.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides are another effective way to prevent crabgrass from germinating in your zoysia lawn. These herbicides create a barrier in the soil that inhibits the growth of crabgrass seeds. However, it’s important to note that applying pre-emergent herbicides can also prevent zoysia grass seeds from germinating. Therefore, it is recommended to only use pre-emergent herbicides on established zoysia lawns.

Timing is Key

To effectively control crabgrass in your zoysia lawn, timing is crucial. Pre-emergent herbicides should be applied before the crabgrass seeds germinate, typically in early spring. The timing may vary depending on your location and climate. It is best to consult with your local agricultural extension office or a lawn care professional to determine the ideal timing for applying pre-emergent herbicides in your area.

Best Practices for Applying Crabgrass Killer on Zoysia Grass

To ensure that your zoysia grass remains healthy while effectively controlling crabgrass, here are some best practices to keep in mind when applying a crabgrass killer:

  1. Read the label – Always carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the herbicide manufacturer. Pay close attention to the recommended application rates, timing, and any precautions specific to zoysia grass.
  2. Spot treat – If you only have a few patches of crabgrass, spot treating can be more effective and minimize any potential harm to your zoysia lawn. Use a non-selective herbicide on the individual crabgrass plants, taking care to avoid spraying the surrounding zoysia grass.
  3. Apply during the right weather conditions – Applying herbicides when the weather is calm and rain-free for at least 24 hours will help prevent the product from drifting onto your zoysia grass or being diluted before it can take effect.
  4. Maintain a healthy zoysia lawn – A healthy and well-maintained zoysia lawn is more resistant to weeds like crabgrass. Proper fertilization, regular mowing, and adequate watering will help keep your zoysia grass thriving and prevent crabgrass from invading.
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In conclusion, while crabgrass can be a nuisance in zoysia lawns, there are safe and effective ways to control it without harming your beloved zoysia grass. By choosing selective herbicides that are labeled as compatible with zoysia and following the instructions provided, you can effectively eliminate crabgrass while maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn. Remember to always read the label, consider timing, and spot treat when necessary. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a beautiful zoysia lawn free from the clutches of crabgrass.

How to Control Weeds in Your Zoysia Lawn During the Spring Season

Frequently Asked Questions

Will crabgrass killer kill zoysia grass?

Using a crabgrass killer on zoysia grass can be risky, as it can potentially harm or even kill the zoysia grass along with the crabgrass. However, the effect of crabgrass killers on zoysia grass can vary depending on the specific product used and the application method.

Can I use a selective herbicide to control crabgrass without harming my zoysia grass?

Yes, there are selective herbicides available specifically designed to target and control crabgrass while being safe for zoysia grass. These herbicides are formulated to selectively target broadleaf weeds and grassy weeds like crabgrass, without causing harm to desirable turf such as zoysia grass.

What precautions should I take when using a crabgrass killer on zoysia grass?

When using any herbicide, including crabgrass killers, on zoysia grass, it’s important to carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some general precautions include avoiding application during periods of stress for zoysia grass (such as extreme heat or drought), applying the herbicide when crabgrass is actively growing, and ensuring proper coverage without excessive overspray.

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Will repeated use of crabgrass killer damage or weaken my zoysia grass?

Repeated use of crabgrass killer can potentially weaken zoysia grass if not used correctly or excessively. It’s important to follow the recommended application rates and frequency specified on the product label. Overuse or misuse of herbicides can lead to stress, discoloration, or even death of zoysia grass.

Are there alternative methods to control crabgrass in zoysia grass without using herbicides?

Yes, there are alternative methods to control crabgrass in zoysia grass without relying solely on herbicides. These methods include hand-pulling crabgrass, improving lawn maintenance practices to promote a dense and healthy zoysia turf, maintaining proper mowing height to discourage crabgrass growth, and overseeding with zoysia grass to outcompete crabgrass.

Final Thoughts

Crabgrass killer may not be suitable for use on zoysia grass. While it can effectively kill crabgrass, zoysia grass is a resilient and hardy turf that can withstand some herbicides. However, using crabgrass killer on zoysia grass may cause damage and potentially even kill the grass. Therefore, it is important to use herbicides specifically designed for zoysia grass to avoid any adverse effects. Consider consulting with a professional or using herbicides labeled safe for zoysia grass to ensure the health and longevity of your lawn. So, will crabgrass killer kill zoysia grass? It is best to avoid using it and opt for zoysia-safe alternatives.