How To Get Rid Of Crabgrass in Your Lawn

How To Get Rid of Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is an invasive weed that grows on your lawn. Here is a complete guideline and method that helps you How to get rid of crabgrass in your lawn?

What is Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is a form of plant that is more formally known as Digitaria. Its name comes from the word digitus which means finger. This describes the plant’s long leaves accurately. Besides crabgrass, it is also known as finger grass and fonio.

Crabgrass has long slender shoots and most often can be found growing in a homeowner’s front yard. Some people like this plant while others consider it to be a pest.

Large crabgrass is the most common type found in North America. It comes in two varieties hairy and smooth. Because it attacks other plants by stealing their nutrients from the soil. It is often found in yards where the other plants are dying.

How Does Crabgrass Grow?

Crabgrass is usually considered a weed because it absorbs nutrients from the soil and kills off other plants. It has a long germination period and must be killed before it starts to grow. It grows in different regions of the world, in tropical, subtropical, and temperate climates.

It grows the same way as most common plants. Water is absorbed into the soil where the roots drink it up into the plant. The plant’s leaves take in nutrients from the Sun and use sunlight and water to produce energy for it to live off of.

how to get rid of crabgrass

This energy helps the crabgrass continue to grow. Normally it spreads out into long thin shoots while slender leaves come off of them. If the plant doesn’t receive enough light or water. Its growth will be stunted and it may not spread very far, or it will have a pale color instead of a healthy green.

What Uses Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is not just a nuisance. It does have good qualities as well. The seeds can be made into flour. It is considered an important crop in parts of Africa. It is also a good crop for cattle to graze on.

For those who do not like crabgrass. However, some herbicides can kill the crabgrass before it emerges from the soil. It has to be applied at the right time or the crabgrass won’t be killed and will grow as normal.

The roots of the plant are much protected, and the herbicide must get into the plant’s system to kill it off. So, it doesn’t come back.

How to Control Immature Crabgrass?

If your lawn does not have crabgrass. But last year have lots of crabgrass. Then your lawn will suffer from the crabgrass in the coming season. So, you have to control the crabgrass early before it grows.

You can control the crabgrass early by using a pre-emergent crabgrass killer. They start emerging in the spring. So, you can control it by using pre-emergent herbicides. Because it’s become much difficult to remove once they mature.  

How to Kill Mature Crabgrass?

Once the crabgrass mature. It’s very difficult to get rid of it. The only way to remove it is by a post-emergent herbicide formula. In mid-summer, crabgrass becomes too established to remove.

And it could be very difficult to kill it even by using multiple applications. Then you have to wait long for crabgrass to die after the first frost of the season in winter. That’s why it is necessary to get rid of weeds in the early spring through pre-emergent crabgrass control.

For killing the mature crabgrass, you will use a post-emergent crabgrass killer. That will eliminate the crabgrass from your lawn. Make sure, to read the instructions on the label carefully for the best results.

Crabgrass emerges from spring through fall, you need to apply more than one application to control the crabgrass more effectively. Because it will decrease the chance of crabgrass sprouting again.

How to Kill Crabgrass Without Killing Lawn?

It is very difficult to remove crabgrass once it has taken hold in your yard. And you can remove it by pulling it with your hand. But if you have a large lawn full of weeds. Then it would be difficult to get rid of it.

However, you can remove it through a commercial crabgrass killer without damaging your lawn. Mix a commercial crabgrass killer in a sprayer with water in a recommended amount. See the label instructions for the correct proportion.

Place the cardboard tube on crabgrass and spray crabgrass killer. And repeat the process for every clump.  

How to Kill Crabgrass with Baking Soda?

Baking soda is also effective for killing crabgrass. Just water the area with the hose on the crabgrass and then sprinkle the baking soda on the crabgrass. The crabgrass will begin to die. And remove the dead crabgrass from the lawn.

Then put the grass seeds on the bare spots. Use the baking soda sparingly because the heavy salt can damage your lawn.

Manually Removing the Crabgrass

You can manually pull the crabgrass from your lawn with tools and uproot it with your hand. But it scattered the crabgrass seeds. And they will sprout out in greater numbers. That’s why avoid removing the crabgrass and other weeds manually from tools. Because there are more chances that they sprout out again in the next season.

Manually Removing the Crabgrass

How to Kill Crabgrass in Your Flower Beds?

Every gardener has to deal with frustrating crabgrass in flower beds. And it is very difficult to remove it. Although, many products are available in the market to kill weeds.

But it takes a couple of applications to remove crabgrass. Just buy a crabgrass killer and spray directly on it. The crabgrass will begin to wilt and die. Make sure to protect the desirable plants and flowers from the weed killer spray.

Some of the crabgrass is mature. Buy a post-emergent crabgrass killer to eliminate them. Sometimes, you have to apply for more than one application for tough crabgrass.

According to some gardeners, boiling water effectively controls crabgrass in flower beds. And it’s an environmentally friendly method for crabgrass.

Read: Best Weed Killer for Flower Beds

How to Kill Crabgrass in Centipede Lawns?

Centipede grass grows in a warm climate and there are more chances to invade by crabgrass. As both grow in a warm season, crabgrass takes the water and nutrients needed for the growth of the centipede lawn.

Avoid early spring and late fall fertilizer products for centipede grass. Use pre-emergent herbicides to kill crabgrass. Choose the herbicides that are suitable for centipede lawns.      

How to Kill Crabgrass in St. Augustine Grass?

Crabgrass is an invasive weed that suppresses the growth of your beautiful lawn. And it also grows on the St. Augustine lawn that can be removed by using fertilizer.

Apply pre-emergent crabgrass when the temperature is above 50 degrees. And then water your lawn about a one-half inch that activates the crabgrass preventer.

Choose an appropriate herbicide that is suitable for St. Augustine grass. And then spray on the crabgrass. Do not water the lawn for the next 24 hours. After that apply the water.

When Can You Plant Grass Seed after Applying Crabgrass Killer?

Crabgrass killers do not differentiate between crabgrass seed and grass seed. It means you can’t apply grass seed after the crabgrass killer application.

Some of the crabgrass control manufacturers recommend applying grass seed 4 months before the crabgrass killer. All of the crabgrass preventers contain different chemicals. So, some of them work better when spread close to the seedling time.

That’s why, read the instructions on the label of the herbicide.

What Time of Year is best to Kill Crabgrass?

Early spring is the best time of year to control crabgrass. You can apply a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer to eliminate the crabgrass seeds. Moreover, apply a crabgrass preventer in the morning to prevent the water from evaporation.

Every crabgrass killer has a different formula. So, always read the instructions on the product label for the best results.

Mowing Height to Prevent Crabgrass Growth?

Pay attention to mowing height to control crabgrass growth. Because, if you mow the lawn too short. There will be more chances of crabgrass growth. As their seeds will get more sunlight for growth.  

You need to mow the lawn for a height of 2 inches or more to maintain the health of your lawn.  

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mowing the lawn


Crabgrass is an invasive weed that halts the growth of your lawn and suppresses the beauty of your lawn. It stops the growth of your lawn by taking water and minerals. And your lawn looks ugly.

Crabgrass grows from spring throughout September. Make sure, to apply a crabgrass preventer early in the spring to stop the crabgrass seeds from growing. You can apply pre-emergent herbicides that are specialized for killing the crabgrass.  

But if your lawn has mature crabgrass, then apply the post-emergent crabgrass killer. Remember, always read the instructions on the weed killer product for the best results. And follow all the directions.

Also, know about the type of grass you have on the lawn. And then select the crabgrass killer according to it.   


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I am Ricky Martin, a seasoned landscape designer, a passionate gardener, and a barbecue enthusiast. With 12 years of experience in building and restoring, I welcome you to my website