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

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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 p.m. 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.