How To Get Rid Of Crabgrass In Your Yard
How can you get rid of crabgrass in your yard? Your options include pulling the plants at their roots, applying weed killers or turning to lawn care professionals.
No matter what method you choose, you may face an ongoing battle.
Crabgrass at first it seems like nothing but an oddly colored blade here or there, poking up among the otherwise rich green turf. Then, as soon as you let your guard down, you realize its a full offensive. The crabgrass has arrived to sabotage your immaculate landscaping.
Before the invasion takes over, theres a lot you can do in the fight against crabgrass. After youve launched your counterattack whether by hand-to-hand combat or chemical warfare or calling in reinforcements the crabgrass will retreat and your lawn will again rank as one of the best in the neighborhood.
How To Get Rid Of Crabgrass Naturally
For those of you who are dead set against having crabgrass take over, but don’t like using chemicals, here are several suggestions for getting rid of it naturally. Note that the ultimate goal is to create a thick, healthy lawn that has no room for crabgrass to grow. What you can do is:
- Start watering early, before it gets warm.
- Enrich the soil.
Solarise Your Soil To Kill Crabgrass
- Try this on the hottest day possible: Mow your plants as short as possible and water them generously. Proceed to cover the area with a sheet of clear plastic.
- Seal the edges around it by digging a shallow trench around the plants and covering the plastic’s edges with soil.
- Leave this in place for four to six weeks and watch the plastic heat up the ground, killing the seeds in the process. Once the seeds are dead, you can proceed to reseed the ground with the grass.
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Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns + Crabgrass
The Spectracide 511072 Weed Stop for Lawns + Crabgrass is designed to destroy more than 470 weed species to the root in just 5 hours, including crabgrass. You could notice that certain grass varieties turn a different color following the application, but this change will become less noticeable once the crabgrass has died.
How To Remove Crabgrass
Crabgrass also can be eliminated with a product labeled as a crabgrass killer or a non-selective weed killer, meaning it will kill any plant it gets on. If you prefer to avoid products with synthetic chemicals, look for ones that contain concentrated vinegar. Always make sure to follow label instructions when using weed killers. Even vinegar-based ones can burn skin, eyes, and lungs.
If you find crabgrass in your edible garden, weeding it out by hand is best. This plant has shallow roots, but using weeders or a trowel as a crabgrass removal tool will make the job easier. Don’t toss the uprooted weeds in your compost pile, though, because they could still reseed themselves. It’s better to toss in the trash.
If you pull up crabgrass from your lawn, prevent it from coming back by filling in the bare patch with grass seed. Cover it with a light layer of topsoil, and water well to help the seeds sprout. Wait to mow the new grass until it reaches at least 3 inches tall.
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Uproot The Dead Crabgrass
For complete destruction of crabgrass, make sure to pull the weed by hand to clear the area for reseeding with turfgrass. You can also use a crabgrass weed puller such as the Fiskars Stand-Up Weeder to make your work a lot easier.
But why is this step important in the crabgrass control plan?
Crabgrass and other aggressive lawn weeds like to grow in areas that are thin or bare. So, youll need to pull up the dead crabgrass weeds in preparation for patching up the bare spots which is the next step in this procedure.
Leave Your Mower Blade Up
Another way to combat crabgrass from growing is by leaving your mower blade up throughout the summer instead of lowering it as the season gets underway. Yes, this means that youll probably have to cut your grass more often, but its also a great way to ward off crabgrass.
Crabgrass flourishes when it has direct sunlight. In arid climates, it can be difficult for grass and other plants to grow, which means the crabgrass receives direct sunlight. When you leave your mower blade up and leave your grass a little longer, the ground will be shielded from the sun by the taller grass. This will help to keep crabgrass from growing.
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Baking Soda + Vinegar Crabgrass Killer
Vinegar and baking soda recipes are also effective at killing crabgrass and other weeds permanently. Like bicarbonate soda, vinegar also desiccates weeds, forcing them to die permanently.
Mix one part of baking soda with two parts vinegar and spray the solution on crabgrass or other weeds in the lawn. Repeat the application until the weeds are removed permanently.
Vinegar is acidic and will burn the weeds in your lawn, killing them within a short time. When combined with baking soda, they make a great homemade crabgrass killer.
The Bottom Line On Removing Crabgrass
Crabgrass is a highly invasive weed thats difficult to remove and it can quickly overtake gardens and poison nearby plants. Thankfully, there are tried-and-true methods to keep crabgrass at bay.
On top of removing and disposing of the weeds, there are many effective store-bought products that can both kill existing plants and prevent new seeds from germinating. Individuals who seek a natural method for the sake of pets and small children can also use vinegar and salt to control crabgrass growth.
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Cover Neighboring Grass And Plants
Since baking soda is a nonselective natural weed killer, it will cause injury to any plants it comes into contact with.
To get rid of crabgrass without killing turfgrass, cover the grass neighboring the patch of crabgrass with a cardboard or other safe material to prevent contact with baking soda.
Did you know: Tenacity Turf Herbicide kills crabgrass without killing grass?
Easy Ways To Eliminate Crabgrass
Getting rid of invasive grasses like crabgrass can be a difficult task if left untreated for too long. An essential step in eliminating crabgrass is through proper lawn maintenance and weed prevention. Eliminating existing crabgrass and preventing crabgrass germination is the key to strengthening desirable lawn grasses.
Crabgrass and other weeds will have a difficult time thriving in a healthy, vigorous lawn. There are two steps in proper lawn care. First, eliminate weeds in their entirety. Second, make your lawn as healthy as you can to prevent crabgrass seedlings from being able to take root.
The following sections show you the best way to get rid of crabgrass, whether you plan on using herbicides or want to remove them naturally. Youll also learn how to use proper crabgrass weed control strategies by maintaining a healthy lawn so that desirable grass can thrive.
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Reseed Any Bare Patches In Your Lawn
How To Identify Crabgrass : Quackgrass Vs Crabgrass Identification
Aliases: couchgrass, quitch grass, creeping wheat
Thin, creeping underground rhizomes spread and release chemicals that inhibit the growth of other plants.
This weed is common pasture grass in some areas, so if you are buying hay mulch or composted manure from somewhere this plant is common, make sure it isnt loaded with quack grass seed.
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Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control
Preen Lawn Crabgrass Control prevents broadleaf weeds including crabgrass for up to four months when applied before seed germination. However, avoid using this product on a lawn that has recently been seeded because it will stop the grass seeds from sprouting. Apply in the spring or the fall for the better result.
If All Else Fails Kill Everything And Start Over
- Admit defeat when your lawn only has 30 to 40 percent desirable grass left in a given area and the rest is lost to crabgrass and other weeds. If youve tried all options on how to kill crabgrass without success, its time to start over.
- Begin by killing all the vegetation. On a low-wind day, apply a nonselective herbicide that is approved for lawn use. Follow the label directions exactly. Depending on the product, weeds and grass will die and dry up in five to 14 days following application. Then re-building your lawn can proceed.
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Grow A Thick Mean Lawn To Starve Crabgrass
Weeds cant grow in a lawn thats thick and dense. Heres how you can increase the volume of your lawn:
- Water it once a week. This will send a signal to your plants to grow deeper, stronger root systems. Watering any more than this will weaken your lawns roots.
- Mow your lawn higher than you usually do. 2-3 inches higher will crowd out crabgrass and stunt its growth.
- Aerate and detach your lawn. You should do this at least once a year, especially if your turf has clay soil in it. This will improve oxygen circulation and promote a healthier, thicker lawn.
If your lawn already has crabgrass all over it
These are your next line of defense to naturally get rid of crabgrass:
Control Crabgrass Using Roundup
Photo by Mike Mozart
Roundup is a non-selective chemical herbicide that contains glyphosate as its active ingredient. Here is how you can get rid of crabgrass using roundup:
- Fill one gallon of water into a clean, chemical-resistant bucket. Add 2.25 ounces of Roundup herbicide to the water and carefully mix.
- Keep mowing around the crabgrass for about two weeks to give it time to grow taller than your lawn before treating it with roundup.
- Move the diluted Roundup herbicide into a spray bottle and apply the herbicide to the crabgrass foliage to the point of saturation.
- As an alternative, you may soak a sponge in the roundup and cover the top of the crabgrass with it.
- Wait ten days. Adjust the height of the lawn mower to its lowest setting, and then mow over the dead crabgrass.
- To ensure that the roundup completely kills the weed, you might need to treat the crabgrass two to three times over the period of two weeks.
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Deeply Water Your Lawn
Weeds thrive in stressed lawns. Most grass species benefit from deep watering. Make sure your lawn receives one inch of water per week, either from rain or watering. The water needs to soak the soil six to eight inches deep. Deep watering encourages your lawn to develop deeper roots, so it can grow thicker to help crowd out weeds.
Use Baking Soda Vinegar Or Corn Gluten
If you are wondering how to kill crabgrass all-natural way, applying home-made killers such as baking soda, vinegar, and corn gluten is a great idea. Its the stuff all of us generally have in our homes, so it will also save you a trip to the store and save you some money.
Phytotoxin content of baking soda will do harm to any pant it comes in contact with. As with touring hot water, its best used in isolated areas and single patches of crabgrass.
Simply spray some water over crabgrass or any other plant you need to be destroyed for that matter and sprinkle baking soda powder over it. In the course of a few days, you will see the results and then uproot the dead plants, rake the surface and plant new grass.
Using vinegar is a great method of dealing with crabgrass since, while it has the same effect on plants as the
Roundup, it does no damage to the soil, and after you apply it ground is ready for reseeding. The best way to use it is by combining it with salt and liquid dish soap.
Vinegar and salt will dry the crabgrass out and soap will allow the plant to soak up the solution. Pour 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of salt, and 1 tbsp of soap in a bowl or a bucket and mix it well. Spray the weed once a week, although youll generally notice the effect within a day or two.
One of the best organic preventers of crabgrass growth is corn gluten. It obstructs the development of weed roots.
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Control Crabgrass Using Post
Post-emergent herbicides eliminate existing weeds. When used on young, delicate weeds like crabgrass, they are especially successful at eliminating difficult-to-kill weeds. However, multiple treatments might be necessary to eradicate mature weeds, which can be detrimental to the nearby plants and grass.
The best crabgrass killer for your lawn may depend on a number of variables. For example, do you prefer a product that exclusively targets crabgrass or one that kills other weeds as well? Also, will the herbicide be used during the weeds active growing season or in its dormancy?
So make sure to do your research before choosing a crabgrass killer for your lawn. Nonetheless, here are my favorite crabgrass killers:
How To Get Rid Of Crabgrass Without Chemicals
Crabgrass dies on its own each year in fall. If you can wait it out, the weed will be gone by winter, and crabgrass wont return if you apply a pre-emergent next spring.
Or you can pull out small crabgrass infestations by hand. Then, follow it up with healthy lawn care habits to lessen its chances of returning.
Crabgrass is a grassy weed thats tough to kill with most combination herbicides. In fact, some post-emergent herbicides can damage your lawn while acting on crabgrass. So, whats the best crabgrass killer for lawns that probably wont kill grass?
The best crabgrass killer for lawns is Tenacity Turf Herbicide. It is a safe selective systemic herbicide that wont kill lawn grasses such as KBG, perennial ryegrass, tall fescues, and centipede grass. Tenacity can be applied at seeding or on established lawns. Do not apply it on paspalum, kikuyu grass, and bermudagrass.
Below is a review of the best crabgrass killers for lawns with different turfgrasses to help you find a great grassy weed killer that wont harm your lawn.
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Apply Natural Crabgrass Preventer In The Spring
Pre-emergent, also known as a preventer, is a weed killer that can be used over your lawn before weeds have emerged. During the winter and early spring, crabgrass seeds can lay dormant underneath the soil waiting for the right conditions before growing.
By applying pre-emergent to your lawn in the early Spring, the preventer will sink into the soil and kill off any crabgrass seeds that may be waiting around. As always, make sure you read the instructions on the pre-emergent to make sure it wont kill your grass or affect your animals or children if they walk in the yard.
I hope this article was helpful in putting up defenses against crabgrass. To know more, check out our article Getting Rid of Crabgrass in the Summer: Complete Guide.
Reducing The Distribution Of Seeds
Aggressive seed distribution allows crabgrass to spread through a large area, quickly dominating your lawn. One of the best ways to eliminate crabgrass without the help of chemicals is to prevent seed distribution.
When you hand-pull grass patches from the ground, place them in a plastic bag and throw these bags immediately into the trashcan or landfill. This way, the seeds are contained with no way to disperse through your lawn.
If you prefer to compost as much organic material as possible, you can tie up the bags and leave them out in the sun from 4 to 6 weeks. This method ensures that the seeds have been killed by the heat, leaving the remnants safe to add to your compost heap.
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How To Kill Crabgrass With Roundup
If you plan on using a store-bought solution for killing weeds rather than a do-it-yourself remedy, Roundup is a great option. Roundup uses an active ingredient to kill weeds known as glyphosate, which kills most vegetation almost instantly. This weed killer is especially helpful when crabgrass has wholly overtaken your entire lawn.
As a result, when you spray large areas at a time, it also kills most of your yard. Because crabgrass is still grass, using selective herbicides, like those designed for killing broadleaf weeds like a non toxic dandelion killer and sparing the lawns, doesnt work.
Roundup kills weeds on contact down to the roots, including crabgrass and other weeds with which it contacts. Its the best way to retake control of your yard and act within a matter of minutes to control infestations.
Water Your Lawn Once A Week