In the battle for a beautiful lawn, crabgrass is a stubborn, prevalent enemy. While chemicals can kill crabgrass, they may also kill everything around the crabgrass. The most effective method for removing crabgrass is to take it out by the roots. You can choose from a number of tools to root out crabgrass, but according Purdue University, it's impossible to completely eliminate crabgrass from your lawn. Your best hope is to keep the infestation small.
Most gardeners already have a hoe on hand. You can use a hoe with a straight blade, or one with a triangular blade specially designed for weeding. The hoe's long handle makes it easier to exert force to dig deeply on all sides of the crabgrass. Remove as much of the root as possible, as any remaining bits of root may send up new crabgrass sprigs.
Digging out crabgrass with a hoe will leave a large divot in your yard and it's hard to rremove the crabgrass without taking surrounding grass with it.
This tool has a long handle like a hoe, with coiled tines designed to grab hold of roots once the instrument is twisted into the soil. The Weed Twister has a smaller footprint than a hoe and doesn't leave as large a hole.
Pulling up crabgrass with a tool like a Weed Twister poses a higher risk that some of the root will break off and be left behind.
A Weed Hound has a long handle, with prongs on the end that form a basket. A metal protrusion on the side of the handle near the base serves as a step. Position the Weed Hound over a weed such as crabgrass, and step on the protrusion to drive the prongs into the ground. When you pull up on the handle, the prongs close around the root of the weed and you can yank it out of the ground. Like the Weed Twister, the Weed Hound makes a smaller hole in the lawn.
Sinking the Weed Hound into a thick patch of crabgrass can be difficult. It works better on younger, smaller crabgrass plants. Be careful not to leave any root behind.