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How To Get Rid of Crabgrass

What is crabgrass?

Crabgrass is the grass that annually grows in late spring in any soil that is bare, and has sufficient water content and receives sufficient sunlight. They continue to grow till summer and start withering off during winter season. It does not cause any harm to the lawn, however, it destroys the aesthetic appeal of your garden.

There are various methods of doing this. Let’s briefly discuss the main categories first.


Crabgrass grows quickly. Hence, the best method is to root it out when it’s young. However, that is not always possible. Below are 10 methods through which crabgrass can be prevented, removed, and controlled:

  1. Manual labor

This is often the last desperate method if you have not taken various preventative measures (discussed later). It involves manually pulling the crabgrass out of the garden soil with hands or with a speedy weedy— an easily accessible garden tool. This weed pulling tool helps in effectively pulling out the crabgrass. It may be possible that the crabgrass has covered a vast area of lawn, which will make it difficult manual labor to be any effective. In such cases, since chemicals will not work, you will either have to wait till winter season or try a different method.

  1. Preventive measures

During winters, when all the crabgrass has withered away, you should fertilize the soil properly and make sure to have denser garden, leaving no bare patches for the crabgrass to grow. Fertilizers and dense growth will prevent crabgrass from growing. If few patches do remain, they can be filled with dirt. Do make sure all the previous dead crabgrass has been pulled out.

  1. Pre-emergence herbicide

This chemical should be applied before the spring season starts. Once the crabgrass seeds are about to germinate, the chemical effect of the herbicide will kill the crabgrass right away. It becomes easier to remove them from the garden. The herbicide could be mixed in with the fertilizer to make the process more effective.

  1. Mowing and watering at the right level

By mowing the lawn at a higher shade, the soil will prevent the crabgrass seeds from germinating. Water the soil deeply, but less frequently. Make sure you flood it with water. This will discourage the crabgrass from growing.

  1. Proper use of fertilizer

Using balanced fertilizer with the right nutrients and compost will ensure proper growth of grass. This will cause the space from being taken over by crabgrass, and will leave no room for the crab grass to grow.

  1. Suitable climate

Always choose the grass best suitable for the given climate to be grown on your lawn or garden. The more compatible the grass type is with climate the better it will grow. This prevents crabgrass seeds from taking root.

  1. Hoe and mulch

Digging out the crabgrass and mulching or applying compost, like woodchips or hay, will reduce growth of crabgrass and increase water storage near the roots of the plants.

  1. Weeding machines

Oeliatec has developed an ecologically friendly weeding machine which eradicates weeds using hot water. The machine runs on battery and electricity. Hot water is used without any chemicals. The weeding machines work by heating the water at a high temperature and then sprayed onto the crabgrass. This thermally eliminates the crabgrass.

  1. Killing It

Crab grass can be killed by certain herbicides. These can be categorized into four main types:

  • Preventive (preemergent) treatments: These are applied before weeds begin to grow. Benefin and trifluralin are popularly used to prevent their growth.  

  • Non-selective chemical herbicides: These eliminate all sorts of weeds. There are two kinds of herbicides contact herbicide and systemic herbicide. The contact herbicide kills the green part of the plants (for example: Diquat, Pelargonic acid) while the systemic herbicide kills them all the way till the roots. (for example: Glyphosate, Glufosinate-ammonium).

  • Selective chemical herbicides: These chemicals target specific kind of weeds while other remains unaffected by the chemicals. There are specific university research based crabgrass killers, including: Quinclorac (Drive 75 DF Herbicide), Dithiopyr (Dimension), DSMA (Methar 30), and FEnoxaprop-p-ehtyl (Acclaim Extra).

  • Organic, non-chemical treatments: Corn gluten is a byproduct of cornstarch and is applied after the grass has started to germinate so that the corn gluten only kills off the crabgrass and not lawn grass itself.

  1. Allowing the lawns to breathe

It is important to remove all the dead grass layer and allowing it to be aerated where the air and water can be circulated properly with the soil and fertilizer for the lawn to grow in a healthy manner. This allows the nutrients to get seeped into the soil and should be done on a yearly basis.


Crab grass does not really cause any real damage but the landscaping of the garden and its beauty does get jeopardized. Therefore, it is better to remove crabgrass using effective means to prevent and control the crabgrass.

Solutions Pest & Lawn has a number of great options both emergent and pre-emergent which can sufficiently get rid of crabgrass. Look into the products on our website or if you would like more advice tailored to your lawn’s situation give us a call at 800-479-6583 or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com.


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