How to Eliminate Crabgrass

How to Eliminate Crabgrass image by mateoutah/flickr


No matter the type of crabgrass is growing on your lawn, one thing is bound to be true: Gardeners and homeowners want it gone. Knowing what to look for and when are essential to preventing a turf spotted with the weed. Take out this common enemy to lawns by following a few simple and strategic steps.

How to Eliminate Crabgrass

Step 1

Cut the Grass. Keep your lawn regularly and properly cut. According to Michigan State University Extension, the primary and most effective weed control tactic in a lawn is proper mowing. Regular mowing eliminates some 80 percent of weedy species.

Step 2

Fertilize the lawn. Apply fertilizer to increase turfgrass vigor and further reduce weed competition. Open and weak tufgrass areas promote crabgrass infestations because of higher soil temperatures, which enhance germination and decrease competition.

Step 3

Timing is everything. Knowing when crabgrass is likely to be present is key to proper control. Crabgrass germination typically begins in early May when soil temperatures reach 62 degrees. Apply pre-emergent treatments prior to this time for the greatest effect. Spot spray with a crabgrass post emergent herbicide in the summer to kill any seed that survived earlier pre-emergent treatments and sprouted.

Step 4

Pull young weeds from the soil. The National Gardening Association advises to pull the root as well as the stem. Apply mulch at least 2 inches thick in flower beds to deprive the weeds of the light they need to germinate and grow.

Things You'll Need

  • lawnmower
  • fertilizer


  • Michigan State University Extension Service
  • National Gardening Association
Keywords: crabgrass, eliminating, garden

About this Author

Stephanie Green is a writer with more than 10 years of experience. Her work has been published in various lifestyle and trade publications, covering parenting, gardening and human-interest stories. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.

Photo by: mateoutah/flickr