Get Rid of Crabgrass in Your Lawn
Out with Crabgrass
There are different ways that you can control crabgrass and keep it from making itself at home in your landscape.
Many people dread the sight of crabgrass growing in their lawn during the summer months. However, you don't have to resign yourself to the presence of crabgrass every year. There are different ways that you can control crabgrass and keep it from making itself at home in your landscape.
Crabgrass is a low-growing weed with dark green leaves that are approximately 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 in. wide and 5 in. long. Crabgrass grows outward, sending out shoots that root wherever they touch the soil, forming a clump. It's an annual weed, which means that even though it dies every year, it sprouts again from seed. A single clump of crabgrass produces over 150,000 seeds a year. That's a lot of seeds.
Early Prevention of Crabgrass Is Key
The keys to controlling crabgrass are preventing seed from germinating in spring and making growing conditions difficult for the young crabgrass plants that do sprout. Once crabgrass matures, it becomes more difficult to control, so it's important to treat it early. There are both chemical and cultural ways to control crabgrass that can both be used in conjunction with each other.
Chemical controls for crabgrass include herbicides, which kill weeds. Two different types of herbicides are helpful for crabgrass control: pre-emergent and post-emergent.
- Pre-emergent herbicide is applied before crabgrass seed has germinated. It creates an invisible layer on the soil that keeps seeds from sprouting. Crabgrass germinates when soil temperatures reach 50 to 60 degrees, so apply pre-emergents in early spring, depending on where you live. Pre-emergent herbicides are available in liquid or granular forms.
- Post-emergent herbicide kills plants after seeds have germinated. There are two types of post-emergent herbicides: selective and nonselective. Selective post-emergent herbicides will kill only weeds, not other plants, and are the best solution to control crabgrass and other weeds growing in your lawn. Nonselective post-emergent herbicides kills all plants, including grass plants in your lawn. They work well if you have bare areas full of weeds and no other plants.