Crabgrass plant on the lawn.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass
Crabgrass can be difficult to control once it has established itself in the lawn. Here are some ways you can get rid of crabgrass.
1. Apply Pre-emergent
Applying a pre-emergent herbicide, commonly known as a crabgrass preventer, in early spring before grass begins to germinate is the best way to control crabgrass. Pre-emergent herbicides work best when applied in early spring before soil temperatures begin to hit 55°F. It will create a barrier in the soil that prevents crabgrass seedlings from germinating.
GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer with Crabgrass Preventer provides pre-emergent weed control of over 40 common weeds, including crabgrass and other weeds.
It also provides post-emergent crabgrass control for up to 4 weeks after it germinates, meaning if you’re late to apply the product, you will still be able to stop seedlings that have sprouted. Extended time-released nitrogen also greens your lawn into summer without excess growth.
Can be applied to many types of grass including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue (see label for full list). Read the label carefully before applying and use proper safety precautions to prevent injury.
2. Apply Post-emergent
Applying a post-emergent herbicide, commonly known as a crabgrass killer, should be your last resort in your crabgrass defense. It will kill crabgrass but will not disrupt the crabgrass seeds that have already spread around the lawn.
Choose a selective herbicide that will not kill your grass. Read the label carefully and use proper safety precautions when applying post-emergent herbicides.
3. Lawn care
Crabgrass is more likely to grow in thin, poorly maintained lawn or garden areas.
Mow at a higher setting to allow grass blades to grow longer. This will shade out crabgrass and make it harder for it to grow.
Consistent fertilizer applications will create a thick lawn that crowds out crabgrass seeds from germinating.
Also, make sure the lawn gets a healthy amount of water. This will encourage a thick lawn that will prevent crabgrass from taking over.
If your lawn is thin or damaged, overseed with GreenView Fairway Formula Grass Seeds to increase the lawn's resistance to crabgrass growth. Overseeding is the process of planting grass seed on top of existing grass to help thicken and revitalize the lawn. This will help fill in bare spots and thin areas of your lawn, making it harder for crabgrass to establish. For best results, aerate or dethatch and mow the lawn before overseeding.
The best time to overseed is in the Fall for cool-season grasses. However, you can still overseed in the spring if needed but it may take longer to grow because the soil temperature is cooler.
5. Improving Soil Quality
Improving the conditions of your soil will help the grass grow thicker and fuller.
Start with a soil test in spring or fall to determine what nutrients it lacks (or has an excess of). You can get a soil test from your local extension office or you can buy one at your local gardening center.
Next, top-dress your lawn with organic matter such as compost to help improve soil fertility. Top dressing will also improve drainage, loosens compacted soil, and helps retain moisture in sand-dominant soils. Adjust pH levels by adding a product such as lime to help bring the soil to the desired acidic range.
6. Pull Crabgrass
The crabgrass will be easier to remove if you wait for a dry day. Using a garden weeder tool, loosen and pull out the entire plant including the roots.
Place the pulled crabgrass into a trash bag and seal it tight to contain any crabgrass seeds that can still be spread.