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The Home Depot

5 Tips to Get Rid of Crab Grass

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Landscaping > 5 Tips to Get Rid of Crab Grass
5 Tips to Get Rid of Crab Grass

Crab grass is the bane of lawn owners across the United States. This annual weed which thrives in the warm season grows through seeds. It keeps producing seeds all year long and it can seem as if the grass is popping up continuously. It sprouts up on bare spots in the lawn or places where the soil is compacted or disturbed in some manner. Crab grass needs to be treated as soon as it is detected or the problem can soon get out of hand.


The color of crab grass is yellowish-green with a coarse texture and hairy leaves on the stem. Purdue University Turf Science Department of Agronomy has compiled a detailed document about tackling crab grass on home lawns. Time is crucial in implementing the anti-crab grass campaign.


The best way to keep crab grass at bay is to adopt some control methods as soon as the first tuft is noticed. Providing your lawn with excellent maintenance and nurturing it as best as possible are the most sterling means of prevention. The healthier the lawn, the better its chances of combating crab grass growth.

  1. 1.Proper Lawn Maintenance

    The lawns should be mowed frequently and the recommended height maintained. Heavy watering once a week is preferred over light watering often. As long as the soil feels moist, watering is not a necessity. Do not fertilize in summer since the nitrogen in the fertilizers is conducive to crab grass growth. Local weather conditions will factor significantly in lawn maintenance. The bare soil around lawns can be covered with mulch to prevent the growth of any weeds. If you use the services of a professional service or a particular individual to look after your lawn, it might be a good idea to advise them to rinse off the equipment they use before they start work on your lawn. This will lessen the possibility of transferring crab grass seeds to your lawn from somewhere else.

  2. Sprinkling table salt is one way of combating crab grass. But the amount of salt used must be limited because too much can end up damaging the soil.
  3. 2.Organic Method

    Using composts heavily in spring can help control the growth of crab grass. Bare spots on the lawn must be re-seeded at the earliest, thus cutting short opportunities for growth of crab grass. Keeping lawn grass at a height of about three inches will ensure that crab grass does not get any sunlight and this will lead to it withering away in due course. Cutting crab grass in the summer can also act as a deterrent to rapid growth.

  4. 3.Pre Emergence Herbicides

    Pre-emergence herbicides must be applied on the lawn well ahead of crab grass season. These herbicides can be applied at the same time as fertilizers. They can be in the form of granules or sold in a liquid form. The herbicide forms a protective layer on the soil surface and thwarts crab grass before it can sprout. Watering is essential after the pre-emergent herbicide has been applied. A second round of application of the herbicide may be required in some instances. Instructions must be adhered to when applying the herbicide and the correct ratio to lawn size must be maintained to ensure optimum performance. In the case of newly seeded lawns, it is best to let three months pass by before applying such herbicides.

  5. 4.Home Remedies

    Sprinkling table salt is one way of combating crab grass. But the amount of salt used must be limited because too much can end up damaging the soil. A gallon of white vinegar mixed with a few drops of soap sprayed on the crab grass often can lead to its gradual death. Yet another home remedy is pouring some boiling water over the crab grass.

Always remember not to put in a new lawn in spring due to avoid the danger of crab grass. Crab grass control is something that a layman can understand and implement. More often than not, following some household tips can save you a lot of time and money.

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