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How to Kill Crabgrass Organically

By Lauren Wise ; Updated September 21, 2017

Dealing with weeds is a part of every lawn, no matter how well-manicured the landscape is. Crabgrass is a common intruder into lush, green, healthy lawns, that germinates every spring. It is important to be able to recognize crabgrass and understand how to eliminate it, as it is not only ugly, but is bad for your lawn too. Although there are several herbicides available to get rid of crabgrass, there are some natural and organic products as well. These usually are produced from plant oils or salt. There are also some methods to getting rid of crabgrass with organic home materials, such as boiling water.

Remove the crabgrass by hand first if the weed is only in small patches. Wear gardening gloves, and use a hand spade to slide underneath the main roots of the crabgrass. Pull the top of the crabgrass weeds firmly up with your hands while pushing up with the spade, in order to get all the roots out. Pick out any blades of crabgrass that are left and discard.

Pour boiling water on large patches or patches of crabgrass on bare soil. Be careful not to kill regular grass on your lawn too. After the crabgrass wilts and dies, pull it out with your hands and the spade.

Use large plastic sheeting to solarize the plant if your entire lawn has patches of crabgrass throughout, or if you have a very large area of pure crabgrass. Lay the sheeting over all the crabgrass, weighing it down on all edges with bricks or large rocks. The heat from the sun bakes and kills the crabgrass after about six to eight hours of direct sunlight. Remove the sheeting and uproot the dead crabgrass with your hands and the spade.

Prevent future crabgrass from growing. Lay corn gluten meal (found at most health food stores) over the areas where crabgrass germinated. Corn gluten meal prevents the weed from growing.


Things You Will Need

  • Hand spade
  • Gardening gloves
  • Water, stove, large pot
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Bricks or rocks
  • Corn meal gluten