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How to Kill Crabgrass in July

By Meg Butler ; Updated September 21, 2017
Handweeding is the most effective way to kill crabgrass in July.
fork and spade image by Horticulture from Fotolia.com

Healthy, vigorously lawns can easily out-compete a crabgrass infestation. But, in the heat of July, your lawn may be especially stressed. These hot summer months are exactly when crabgrass thrives. Unfortunately, this is also the toughest time to treat crabgrass. It is often resistant to post-emergent herbicide, and the herbicide will not kill the crabgrass seed that will produce future outbreaks.

Hand weed your crabgrass with the help of a small spade. Water the grass first to loosen the soil.

Spot treat the crabgrass with a post-emergent herbicide listed as safe to use on crabgrass and the type of grass in your lawn. Mow or cut the crabgrass low and allow it to re-grow around 1 inch before spraying it. Coat the crabgrass with the herbicide (according to the manufacturer's instructions) early in the morning on a day when there is no rain forecast for the next 48 hours. Re-spray at the intervals dictated by the manufacturer until the crabgrass is gone.

Mow your lawn to a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches after the crabgrass is gone to help guard against an outbreak the following season.

Apply a pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide in early spring. Spray or spread liquid or granular pre-emergent herbicide over your lawn. Re-apply the herbicide at the intervals dictated by its manufacturer.


Things You Will Need

  • Post-emergent crabgrass herbicide
  • Pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide
  • Spade
  • Hose
  • Lawnmower


  • Timing is an important aspect of the effectiveness of pre-emergent herbicide. Contact your local county extension office or the experts at your local gardening center to discover the best time to apply pre-emergent crabgrass herbicide in your area.
  • The turf specialists at Cornell University recommends methanearsonate and dithiopyr as effective post-emergent herbicides and benefin, dithiopyr and pendimethalin as effective pre-emergent herbicides.

About the Author


Based in Houston, Texas, Meg Butler is a professional farmer, house flipper and landscaper. When not busy learning about homes and appliances she's sharing that knowledge. Butler began blogging, editing and writing in 2000. Her work has appered in the "Houston Press" and several other publications. She has an A.A. in journalism and a B.A. in history from New York University.