If you have a lawn, then you have probably dealt with crabgrass before. This pesky weed can be difficult to get rid of, but with the right tools and techniques, you can eradicate it from your lawn for good! This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about getting rid of crabgrass. We will cover the different methods that you can use and some helpful tips and tricks. So if you are looking to eliminate this weed for good, read on!
Crabgrass is a type of grass that grows in tough conditions. This makes it bad for homeowners who want thick, lush, and green lawns. All the methods we will use to kill crabgrass will consider growing in warm or cool weather.
Timing to Getting Rid of Crabgrass for Good
Crabgrass is a type of weed that looks just like the other grasses on your lawn. You cannot get rid of it with combination herbicides. You also have to be careful about timing if you want to get rid of it for good.
The control of perennial grass weeds and annual grasses is vastly different. Crabgrass lives all year, whereas annual grasses die in the winter. That’s why it’s referred to as a perennial weed.
Crabgrass grows well in the spring and summer, from March to October. Here are two tips that can help you get rid of crabgrass in your lawn:
- To prevent weed seeds from germinating in the spring, apply a pre-emergent herbicide before they have a chance to grow.
- When the summer starts, or when you see the first signs of crabgrass, use a powerful herbicide to kill any existing weeds in your lawn.
As you can see, understanding the life-cycle of this lawn weed is key to eliminating it for good. Here’s a summary of what you need to keep on your calendar to control this weed.
Methods of Killing Crabgrass in a Lawn
The best natural way to get rid of crabgrass and perennial weed grasses is to dig them out. You can also use other ways to get rid of these weeds.
1. Pull Out the Crabgrass (by Hand or Using a Tool)
Even if you use a chemical to kill the crabgrass, you will still have to dig it out. Chemical weed killers have bad effects on the grass around them.
I prefer to remove crabgrass naturally, which means digging it up. This is a great way to get rid of the weed without harming the lawn grass.
Here’s a simple approach to get rid of crabgrass:
- To kill crabgrass, water the spot for about 30 minutes.
- You can use a claw weeder or a pitchfork to remove crabgrass. If there are just a few spots, you can also use your hand.
- Add fertilizer or manure to the area so it can grow better.
- If you have a spot in your lawn where the grass is not growing, reseed it with good grass seed to regrow the grass.
- You should water and care for the new grass as usual.
Early in the spring, the shoots of crabgrass are small. They can be pulled out of your lawn, and you will be able to get rid of them. But this is not true in the summer when they are big and difficult to pull up.
Crabgrass has a crab-like root system. This makes it easy to uproot, but you may want to use a claw weeder to make your work a lot easier. It uproots invasive weeds, including crabgrass, dallisgrass, dandelions, etc.
Be careful when digging and uprooting because this can damage your lawn. If you have a lot of crabgrass in your yard, it can be harder to fix the problem.
2. Apply a Crabgrass Killer Herbicide
First, you need to identify what kind of grass you have. There are different products for different types of grass.
You can mix Quinclorac with T-Zone if you want to treat more than just crabgrass. This will help you to treat all your weeds.
Mix the herbicides together, and then spot spray the areas with crabgrass. Let it dry for 24 hours (don’t water it in).
Crabgrass should be treated in the spring with a pre-emergent. This will help stop weed germination and make weed control over the summer much easier.
If you see some small spots of crabgrass, then treat them with an over-the-counter herbicide. The most effective herbicides are ones that contain quinclorac as the main ingredient.
Another option that you can use is a herbicide with mesotrione as an active ingredient. A good example is Tenacity Turf Herbicide. If you applied Tenacity, wait around 5-7 days before mowing. After 10 days, you will see the effect of the bleach on your grass.
3. Sponging with Roundup
Sponging or spot-treating is a good way to get rid of crabgrass and other perennial grasses on your lawn. It is different from spraying because you don’t want to hurt the good grasses in your lawn.
Here’s how to get rid of crabgrass using a sponge or spot-treating:
- Mow around the crabgrass for about 2 weeks so that it will be taller than your lawn.
- You can put Roundup herbicide in a bucket and mix it with a surfactant or sticking agent.
- Put Roundup on a sponge on the top of the crabgrass (2-3 inches of the grass blades).
- Repeat this process 2-3 times for two weeks. The herbicide will kill all the weeds.
With sponging, the glyphosate in Roundup goes underneath and travels down the weed, killing it to the root. Glyphosate is an herbicide that can easily kill perennial weeds as well as your lawn grass.
If you want to get rid of crabgrass without killing the lawn grass, be careful not to use too much Roundup.
You will have a ring of death around the area where you used the chemical if you do.
4. Use Baking Soda to Kill Crabgrass Naturally
Baking soda is a poison that can kill plants. It is dangerous for plants to contact it because of the sodium content.
Even at a % of concentration, baking soda can start to kill crabgrass in your lawn. A solution may not work well on weeds in your lawn, but you can use baking soda as powder.
Here’s how to get rid of crabgrass naturally by sprinkling baking soda on it.
- Spray some water on the crabgrass and other weeds on your lawn.
- Sprinkle baking soda over the weed.
- It will take a few days to destroy the weeds.
- Remove the dead weeds and replant grass to fill in the spots.
Baking soda will kill plants if it comes in contact with them. If you put baking soda on the leaves of these plants, they will die.
5. Apply Corn Gluten (Another Natural Option)
Corn gluten is one of the best organic ways to prevent crabgrass from growing. It also helps fertilize your lawn because it is high in nitrogen (10% by weight). Crabgrass seeds will not grow if they come into contact with corn gluten.
According to the Iowa State University, corn gluten meal can be put down as a pre-emergent to prevent crabgrass and other weeds germinating in spring.
However, the University of Maryland Extension says that corn gluten doesn’t prevent crabgrass from germinating. It only controls it by feeding lawn grass with enough nitrogen. In turn, the lawn grass ends up growing faster and choking out crabgrass.
6. Use Vinegar to Kill Crabgrass Organically
Vinegar is an organic solution that kills crabgrass and other weeds. To control crabgrass naturally, apply vinegar to the weed. The higher the concentration of vinegar, the better it will work. Don’t use regular vinegar that you would buy for cooking. The organic solution will affect the cell membranes of the weed, causing rapid breakdown/desiccation of foliage tissue on contact.
Here’s how to get rid of crabgrass naturally with vinegar:
- Mix vinegar, salt, and dish soap in a plastic mixing cup.
- Stir with a plastic spoon to mix all of the ingredients.
- Pour a little of this vinegar solution on crabgrass.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 on all of the weeds in your lawn.
You can use regular vinegar in this solution. It is not as strong as the organic vinegar weed killer, so you need to add more and let it kill the weed naturally.
Note that you want to use herbicidal vinegar, not household vinegar. Herbicidal vinegar is an organic concentrate that can kill weeds in your lawn. It will kill both broadleaf and grassy weeds.
Be careful when you use this product. If it comes in contact with any plants, it will kill them. Interestingly, this is not only effective with plants, it is also an excellent wasps killer.
Vinegar organic herbicide kills weeds just like Roundup does. It will kill the weed’s roots, so it can’t come back.
7. Burning Weeds
To kill crabgrass in your yard, you can burn it. You can use a heat gun, a blow torch, or a weed burner. This will make the weed hot, and it will die right away.
It is hard for crabgrass to spread through underground stolons. You can take care of it by using a weed burner.
Burning weeds is a great way to get rid of them without using chemicals. Burning them will also help the soil because the ash will go right into it and help to feed it.
Use the Flame King Weed Burner. I have used it before, and it is a great tool for controlling weeds.
Don’t burn crabgrass in a dry lawn because it might start a fire. Put safety measures in place, such as a water hose burning it in green grass.
How to Control Crabgrass (Prevention Options)
If you want to stop crabgrass from coming back in your yard, or if you want to get rid of it for good, time is important. If you wait too long and let the weed take root, it will be hard to get rid of.
Here are three great ways of controlling crabgrass in your lawn:
Put Down Pre-emergent on Time
You should use a crabgrass control product during the second mowing or so. This will help to control crabgrass early in the season. Make sure to read my guide on the best time to put down a crabgrass preventer.
Overseeding Your Lawn
Overseeding is one of my favorite techniques for weed control and keeping my lawn looking great. It is a simple technique to plant grass seed directly into the existing turf without normal preparation procedures.
The result of overseeding your lawn is a thick lawn and filled-up bare spots. But how does that get rid of weed?
- The thick lawn grass will naturally kill any existing crabgrass.
- Seeding your lawn will help to prevent crabgrass from growing.
You can reseed your lawn in the fall or in early spring. This will let the grass grow before summer starts, and there is a lot of crabgrass.
Grow a Thick, Healthy Lawn
Having a healthy and thick lawn is the best. No weeds will be able to grow in it. If there are any crabgrass, you can easily kill them by making your lawn thick. But how do you make your lawn thick?
Here’s how to kill crabgrass weeds and create a thicker lawn:
- Water your lawn only once a week to promote a stronger root system. If you water more than once, your lawn will have weaker roots, making it more likely that weeds will take over.
- If you want to prevent crabgrass from growing, it is recommended that you leave your lawn 2 – 3 inches higher than you are used to. This will crowd out the crabgrass and make it harder to grow.
- You should aerate and dethatch your lawn at least once a year. This is especially good for lawns with clay soil. Lawn aeration will help improve oxygen circulation and promote a healthier, thicker lawn.
- You need to fertilize your lawn, especially if it is Bermuda grass. However, you should use a time-release nitrogen fertilizer to control weed growth.
- It is important to reseed or overseed your lawn with grass in the fall. This will help prevent crabgrass. But why in the fall? Fall is a time of warm days and cool nights. Grass will grow well during those times.
You can visit this site to learn more about how to get rid of crabgrass.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Get Rid of Crabgrass
What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Crabgrass in Your Grass?
You can try using vinegar to kill crabgrass. This is a great, all-natural option that won’t damage your soil. Just spray the vinegar (which should have a 5% acidity or higher) on the weed until it’s drenched. Repeat this a few times for several days to a couple weeks, or until the crabgrass dies.
Should You Pull Crabgrass?
Crabgrass will die on its own in the fall, usually after the first frost. However, if you don’t remove it before it spreads its seeds, you will have to deal with the weed again the following year. The best way to get rid of crabgrass is to remove the clumps as you see them.
How Do You Get Rid of Crabgrass in the Summer?
Use a crabgrass preventer on your lawn. Make sure that you are watering your lawn enough. Raise the mower blade to cut the grass higher. Use herbicide on any existing crabgrass. Pull out crabgrass with your hands when it shows up again in the spring.
Is Crabgrass Bad for the Lawn?
Crabgrass is a tall grass that grows in the spring. It grows where there is water and sunlight. Crabgrass looks like it will take over your lawn, but it won’t. If its appearance doesn’t bother you, then there’s no need to remove it. Crabgrass could look nice with a couple of big flowers – so make sure to design your lawn properly.
Will Dethatching Remove Crabgrass?
A dethatcher will kill some of the crabgrass, but not all. It also prevents new crabgrasses from growing. You can apply it to your lawn in late April or early May (when dandelions are in flower). Removing dead crabgrass is more about beauty than anything else.
Is It Better to Pull or Spray Crabgrass?
Stubborn patches of crabgrass are tough to get rid of. You can pull them out, but if they have roots in the grass, you might also pull out chunks of the lawn. If post-emergent crabgrass has gone to seed, it is not worth spraying a product on it.
Why Does Crabgrass Grow?
Crabgrass prefers to grow in densely packed soil and where the grass has been weakened or thinned. The larger the crabgrass grows, the more water and nutrients it needs. The biggest problem crabgrass causes are that it is ugly, making it difficult for people to have nice-looking lawns.
What Spray Kills Crabgrass but Not Grass?
Glyphosate is a herbicide that can kill many types of plants. It is easy to use and can kill perennial weeds quickly. If you want to get rid of crabgrass without killing the lawn grasses, make sure you don’t use too much Roundup.
How Do You Get Rid of Crabgrass Without Chemicals?
One way to get rid of crabgrass without using chemicals is to prevent the seeds from spreading. When you pull out patches of grass by hand, put them in a plastic bag and throw them away in the trashcan or landfill.
What Active Ingredient Kills Crabgrass?
Drive XLR8 Herbicide Crabgrass Killer is one of the highest-rated, best-selling weed killers. It contains over 18% quinclorac as the main active ingredient. It is undeniably the best herbicide to kill crabgrass, especially in mature crabgrass plants in more than three tiller stages.