How to Get Rid of Invasive Crabgrass

Overview

Crabgrass is actually considered more of a weed than a grass. It even looks a bit crablike--forming a flat mat that is reminiscent of the shell and scuttling claws of a crab. In lawns it begins to grow sooner than other weeds and can crowd out more desirable forms of grass. Crabgrass is highly adaptable. It can even be found sprouting from cracks in the sidewalk, where the dense spread of grass can hide the concrete itself. Mowing won't kill crabgrass. Instead, the grass flattens and continues to produce seed. Ridding yourself of crabgrass can prove quite challenging.

Step 1

Rake your lawn with a lawn rake before mowing to deadhead crabgrass and prevent it from producing seeds.

Step 2

Treat crabgrass with a selective herbicide. Selective herbicides formulated to kill crabgrass will not harm your lawn.

Step 3

Remove the dead crabgrass clump with a V-shaped weeding tool. While it is alive, crabgrass releases chemicals into the soil that kill other plants around it. Once the crabgrass has been removed, your lawn will begin to recover.

Step 4

Replant your lawn in the area where you removed the crabgrass. Replanting the lawn lessens the opportunity for crabgrass to return.

Step 5

Treat your lawn with a pre-emergent weed killer in between growing seasons to prevent crabgrass seeds from sprouting the following year.

Things You'll Need

  • Lawn rake
  • Lawn mower with grass catcher
  • Selective herbicide formulated to kill crabgrass
  • V-shaped weeding tool

References

  • What Does Crabgrass Look Like?
  • Pests in Gardens and Landscapes
  • Control of Crabgrass in Home Lawns

Who Can Help

  • Getting Rid of Crabgrass
  • How to Kill Crabgrass
Keywords: crabgrass, lawn care, weeding

About this Author

Tracy Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Arkansas.