Crab Grass Prevention


Crabgrass is the name of a genus that is comprised of approximately 300 different grass species. It is part of the Poaceae family. Crabgrass is also commonly known by names such as Digitaria, fonio and finger-grass. It is a monocotyledonous perennial and annual, and is often classified as being a lawn pest and weed. Because of this fact, many people seek ways to prevent crabgrass from occurring.

Natural Defense

One of the best ways to prevent crabgrass from occurring is a natural method. A lawn should be kept thick and growing vigorously. It should be mowed no more than 2.5 inches in cases of cool season grasses. This should prevent crabgrass from appearing.

Pre-emergent Control

One popular way to prevent crabgrass is by the use of pre-emergent weed controls (chemical herbicides). These weed controls need to be applied when the temperature of the soil remains under 50 degrees. Pre-emergent applications become less effective when a lawn gets raked during the cultivation season's first half. They come in both granular and liquid form, and destroy the seedlings of crabgrass when they are germinating.


Once the crabgrass seeds have undergone germination, pre-emergent controls become 100 percent ineffective. It is important to not apply the controls after germination. The controls work well with tender young plants.


One way to keep a lawn crabgrass-free is by attempting to get rid of it as soon as it appears. The grass is extremely fertile, so just a tiny patch of it can soon grow into a full-blown and persistent problem.


After getting rid of an initial symptom of crabgrass, no matter how small it is, it is crucial to mulch the soil. Mulching works to make sure that any roots that are left behind do not take seed and wreak havoc upon the lawn at a later time.

Keywords: crabgrass prevention, crabgrass, crabgrass control

About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.