Best Ways to Kill Crabgrass

It takes effort to rid a lawn of crabgrass.
It takes effort to rid a lawn of crabgrass. (Image: Green Grass image by EastCoastPhoto from

Crabgrass has long finger-like stems that grow out of control once they take root. They can be found in the cracks of your cement and in your lawn and garden. They are difficult to remove; if pulled out by the roots it will often grow back within a matter of days since it prospers based on their seeds. Eliminating crabgrass is a serious project and it takes additional care to eradicate the problem.

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Crabgrass begins to grow when the weather warms up, typically mid-spring or later. Applying a safe lawn herbicide early in the spring, such as March, will help to eliminate the problem of crabgrass. Applying the herbicide earlier rather than later is necessary so that the seedlings of the crabgrass can be eliminated before becoming active. It may also be necessary to reapply the herbicide every six to eight weeks for future prevention of the crabgrass. There are many different brands of herbicides specifically formulated for crabgrass, and some fertilizers also have added weed killers to them, which are just as useful for crabgrass. Look specifically for fertilizers that have nitrogen.


Since crabgrass loves hot temperatures and struggle to grow in shaded areas, consider cutting your grass using the higher setting of your mower, which should leave your grass 2 to 3 inches high. This will shade the crabgrass, slowing down its germinating cycle.

Water Deep and Infrequently

Instead of watering daily for a short amount of time, consider watering deep and then do not water again until the grass begins to show signs of drought. Crabgrass prefers moist soil at all times and will spread rapidly in sunny, moist areas. If you are not sure how to tell if your lawn is showing signs of drought, notice the color of the turf, which will show a gray-bluish tint. If you walk or sit on it, your prints will remain visible.


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