How To Get Rid of Crabgrass

Crabgrass is one of the most pervasive, opportunistic weeds that lawns face. It likes to grow in thin areas and bare spots, but will also appear in even the healthiest of lawns too.  FACT: Crabgrass is a prolific annual weed that produce over 150,000 seeds per plant.

HOW TO GET RID OF CRABGRASS

There are many aggressive herbicides that will kill crabgrass, but there are also non-chemical methods that can be effective. After you’ve hand-pulled any young crabgrass you can, here are a few more things to try:

  • Smother the crabgrass. Cover the crabgrass with a brick, tile, plate or any object to block the weed from getting sunlight. Wait 4 to 6 weeks for the crabgrass to be smothered to death. When the weed is dead, remove it. Then rake the ground’s surface where the crabgrass was and reseed with quality turf seed.

  • Pour boiling water on the weed. You can kill unwanted weeds by pouring hot, boiling water on and around it, up to a 3-foot radius in order to address the root system. Be aware, though, that boiling water will harm and kill healthy grass and other plants around the crabgrass.

  • Try Gardening Vinegar. This all-natural method to kill crabgrass is a great option that won’t cause lasting soil damage. Simply spray the vinegar (5% acidity or higher) on the weed until it’s drenched. Repeat a few times over the course of several days to a couple weeks, or until the crabgrass dies.

  • Treat with organic Weed Warrior. Spray the herbicidal soap on the weed until it’s drenched. Use carefully as it will harm any grass or other plants it comes into contact with. Afterwards, remove the dead weed, patch and reseed as needed.

HOW TO PREVENT CRABGRASS

The number one way to ensure crabgrass does not take over your lawn is to make sure weed seeds don’t have the opportunity to germinate. That boils down to following lawn care basics that will create a healthier, strong lawn that is resistant to weeds.

  • Mow high – Keep grass healthy and thick by mowing high, removing no more than ⅓ of grass blades at any one time. Mowing high will reduce space for weed growth.

  • Be proactive with weeds – Pull or treat weeds in the spring before crabgrass gets the chance to spread. Use a weeding tool (even a screwdriver will work) to pull the crabgrass out with its root.

  • Overseed – This important landscaping technique is key to crowding out crabgrass and other unwanted weeds in cool season lawns. 

  • Water less often – Watering less frequently but deeper will promote longer, healthier root growth for your lawn and can help dry out more shallow-rooted weeds like crabgrass.

  • Aerate – To reduce soil compaction. Some weeds thrive in compact soil while grass cannot. Aerate your lawn to ensure your lawn’s soil is getting enough oxygen and nutrients to grow healthy grass.