Archive for Weeds


Crabgrass sprouts, blooms, produces seeds and dies all in one season.  The problem is it drops so many seeds during the season, that more crabgrass will grow from the reserves it leaves in the soil.  The seeds can lay dormant for several years before germinating.

crabgrass2                                        crabgrass4

Applying a pre-emergent does not guarantee a crabgrass-free lawn, but it will help reduce it.  Aerating and over-seeding yearly will help fill in sparce areas.  A thick lawn not only eliminates areas for the crabgrass to grow, it also shades the soil, reducing the number of seedlings that are able to establish.

Even pre-emergent is more effective in a lawn with good density.  If your lawn is thin going into the summer, you can expect to have crabgrass, even with a pre-emergent application in the spring.

Did you know that:

  • Crabgrass is an annual weed, but a perennial problem because of its seeds.
  • Crabgrass starts to germinate when soil temperatures hit about 55 degrees.
  • It continues to grow and produce seeds all year.
  • Each crabgrass plant can produce more than 150,000 seeds during a season.
  • Crabgrass thrives in full sunlight and high temperatures.
  • It has very low nutrient requirements and can grow basically anywhere.
  • The best defense against weed invasion is a dense, healthy turf.

Really want to reduce the crabgrass in your lawn? 

Call Sterling Insect and Lawn Control to schedule aerating and over-seeding. (207) 767-5555





In the 40’s and 50’s clover was a common component of lawn seed mixes.  As a result, it is one of the most common weeds today.


Did you know that:

  • Clover can be a perennial or an annual weed, depending on the species.
  • There are many varieties of clover.
  • White and red are the 2 major varieties.
  • Its flowers attract bees and other insects.
  • Clover is a shallow rooted weed with creeping stems and roots at the nodes.
  • It reproduces by seeds and by creeping stolons.
  • Clover does not do well in acidic soil.
  • It can be an indication that the soil is lacking in nitrogen.
  • It can tolerate a wide variety of soil conditions.
  • It is capable of fixing its own nitrogen, which enables it to thrive in unfertilized areas.


Clover grows well in..

  • Temperatures of 50-85 degrees
  • Nitrogen depleted soil
  • In moist areas

red clover

Below are some cultural ways to control clover:

  • The primary control against clover is to make the lawn healthier to out-compete the clover.
  • Let the grass grow taller – clover dies out in shade.
  • Increase nitrogen and decrease phosphorous.
  • Aerate and over-seed for proper drainage and to thicken the turf.


Don’t be run over with clover…

Call Sterling Insect & Lawn Control (207) 767-5555





Brown Patch

Brown patch starts as a small, circular spot which quickly spreads outwards.  The circles can range in size from a couple of inches to a couple of feet.  It begins as yellow and continues to darken as the turf dies.  Many times, as the fungus grows outward, the inside of the circle will start to recover.  This gives the appearance of a “smoke ring”, a characteristic of brown patch (although not always present).

brown patch5                                      brown patch leaf

Did you know that:

  • Brown patch is one of the most common fungal diseases in a lawn.
  • It is most prominent in the summer, when heat and humidity are high.
  • The fungus grows when conditions are wet and humid.
  • Excessive nitrogen also encourages the problem.
  • The fungus destroys the tissue at the base of the leaf, not the root or crown.
  • It can lie dormant in the soil for years without affecting the grass.
  • Affected grass will show leaf tip browning and leaf lesions.

Below are some cultural ways to control brown patch:

  • Water early in the morning to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
  • Aerate to ensure good drainage and avoid compaction.
  • Control thatch with regular de-thatching and/or aerating.
  • Avoid fast-release nitrogen fertilizers.
  • Cut back surrounding bushes to allow more sunlight to the area.

Do you have a problem with lawn fungus?

Call Sterling Insect / Lawn Control @ (207) 767-5555.