How to Plant Crab Grass


Crab grass is red and green in color and typically considered a troublesome weed because of its invasive nature. However, some people like the appearance of it in their lawns because it adds dimension and color. Plant crab grass by seed in the spring or fall. It's an annual, so it will have to be replanted each year for continuous color.

Step 1

Rake the top 2 to 3 inches of soil to loosen the top layer. Pick up and discard debris such as sticks and leaves.

Step 2

Break up dirt clumps that are larger than 2 inches in diameter. Leave smaller clumps alone. Make the planting site as level as possible to avoid the pooling of water. Add soil in low-lying spots, if necessary.

Step 3

Spread out the crab grass seeds evenly. Drop it by hand in small planting areas, or use a lawn spreader or a mechanical seeder in large areas.

Step 4

Sow about 16 seeds per square inch for the best coverage to ensure the seeds can get the nutrients they need to grow without fighting for room.

Step 5

Rake the crab grass seeds lightly to mix them in with the top layer of soil, leaving no more than 1/4 of an inch of soil over the seeds.

Step 6

Fertilize the area with a starter fertilizer to help provide needed nutrients, retain moisture and keep the seeds from blowing away. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label.

Step 7

Water the crab grass seeds once a day until moist, but don't saturate the area. Keep up the watering schedule until the crab grass is 2 inches tall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never use weed killers before or after planting crab grass.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Soil
  • Crab grass seeds
  • Lawn spreader or mechanical seeder
  • Fertilizer


  • Waddell School: Crabgrass
  • GreenView: How to Plant Grass Seed
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica: Crabgrass
Keywords: plant crab grass, grow crab grass, crab grass

About this Author

Kelly Shetsky has been a broadcast journalist for more than ten years, researching, writing, producing and reporting daily on many topics. In addition, she writes for several websites, specializing in medical, health and fitness, arts and entertainment, travel and business-related topics. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Marist College.