How to Get Rid of Crabgrass

Crabgrass is a common weed in many lawns. Because it’s an annual weed, it will continue to come back unless it is properly taken care of. We’ll show you how to identify crabgrass and make sure that you remove it properly to ensure that your lawn is free of this pesky weed for years to come.

Skill Level: Beginner
  1. Step 1 Identify Crabgrass

    Identify Crabgrass

    Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows during the spring and summer. It’s a light lime-green in colour, broader-looking than most grass and can even have stalks in its more mature stages. Because it’s an annual weed, it will germinate and spread if left unchecked. Since crabgrass can produce upwards of 150,000 seeds in one season, it spreads fast in lawns that are stressed out, dry or bare.

  2. Step 2 Prevent Crabgrass by Keeping your Lawn Healthy and Tall

    Prevent Crabgrass by Keeping your Lawn Healthy and Tall

    For crabgrass control, the best strategy is prevention. Crabgrass and other weeds thrive in lawns that are dry and bare. A thick, lush lawn will choke out crabgrass and other weeds, so be sure to water and fertilize your lawn when needed. Crabgrass also loves short lawns and has been known to grow in grass as tall as 2 inches. Try to keep your grass about 3 inches tall to ensure that you’ve got great coverage and plenty of grass length to smother weeds below. Never cut off more than a third of your total grass length to avoid stressing it out.

  3. Step 3 Remove Crabgrass from your Lawn by Hand

    Remove Crabgrass from your Lawn by Hand

    If you’re reading this guide, you’ve likely got crabgrass already. Don’t worry though, there are a few ways to deal with this pesky weed. First, since it’s an annual weed, it will die in the fall. Though, it will drop lots of seeds and come back even stronger next year, so leaving it isn’t a great option. The best thing to do is to pull it from your lawn by hand using a weeder tool. It’s extremely important that you dig deep enough to get the roots, as you don’t want any remnants around to grow next year. Bag the weeds and be sure not to disperse any seeds while moving them around. Fill the holes left behind with grass seed and soil and water deeply to fill the patch.

  4. Step 4 Treat your Lawn with an Herbicide to Kill Crabgrass

    Treat your Lawn with an Herbicide to Kill Crabgrass

    If your lawn is infested with crabgrass and hand picking it isn’t going to suffice, use an herbicide that is specially formulated for crabgrass control. Always read the label, as some herbicides will kill your real grass as well, so be careful to select the right one. Crabgrass killer is meant to be applied to the crabgrass only and shouldn’t be applied to healthy grass. Once your crabgrass has died off, be sure to follow proper lawn maintenance procedure to get your lawn thick and healthy. This will help prevent it from coming back next year.

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