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Crabgrass and Japanese Stiltgrass Germinate Approximately 30 Days Earlier than Normal in 2017

February 28, 2017
by Fred Yelverton and Travis Gannon

Emerging crabgrass 2017

We love to talk about weather because it’s very important in many aspects of turfgrass management. In what has been a very odd winter, it just keeps getting more strange. 

Crabgrass in eastern North Carolina germinated last week (see photo).

As of 4 pm on Monday, February 27, the 3-day average soil temperature at the Turfgrass Field Laboratory in Raleigh was 55.8 degrees at 10 cm (approximately 4 inches) depth. This means the temperature in the upper inch is higher. This is important because crabgrass species germinate when soil temperatures average about 55 degrees over a few days. We are slightly above this threshold and I would expect crabgrass emergence to occur any day in Raleigh.