Despite proper cultural practices, crabgrass may still remain problematic in certain turf areas. The best approach to controlling crabgrass is to use a preemergence herbicide such as dithiopyr (Dimension), pendimethalin (Pendulum), prodiamine (Barricade), prodiamine + quinclorac (Cavalcade PQ), sulfentrazone + prodiamine (Echelon), and others. These herbicides inhibit cell division and prevent crabgrass seeds from properly emerging. Since these herbicides work on germinating seeds, you must apply them before germination — with the exception of dithiopyr, which controls crabgrass after germination until it reaches one tiller.

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