When you spend the time maintaining a beautiful garden you don’t want it marred with weeds and unsightly plants that take hold. Some weeds are worse than others and require more effort to remove. If you don’t keep a nice-looking yard the neighbours can potentially complain. The work will have to eventually be done, even if you don’t have a lot of time to garden.
One of the most pesky weeds is crabgrass. It has long green finger-like leaves, and it congregates in bunches on the top of soil or in lawns. It’s from the Digitaria genus of plants and is found in tropical and warm temperate regions. It’s considered a weed as it can grow quickly and take over the lawn or garden. If it starts to dry out, it looks like an unsightly tangled mass on the lawn.
When crabgrass starts to take up a greater portion of your lawn or garden, it will need to be eradicated. Since it’s an annual plant, treatment for this weed is usually successful with a bit of effort.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass?
There are three methods to get rid of crabgrass and often a homeowner may need to use all three methods in the fight against it. You will need to continue treatments until you break the cycle of the seeds turning into seedlings, and you have removed all the adult weeds from your garden.
- Dig the crabgrass out of the lawn or garden. This method can be time-consuming, but it’s worth it to get rid of crabgrass from the garden. But remember that one plant is capable of producing up to 150,000 seeds per season, so you may need to do other treatment methods too.
- Apply organic crabgrass remedies. This method is most effective right at the start of infestation. It’s also safe to use these remedies when you have children or animals who also enjoy the garden or lawn.
- Herbicides. These are the most effective treatment when crabgrass threatens to take hold of your yard. Herbicides will kill the seedlings as they are germinating. There are two main types. They are called pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent herbicides. Pre-emerging herbicides will kill weeds before the sprouts emerge from the soil, while post-emergent herbicides kill the seedlings. But certain precautions must be met when you decide to undergo these types of treatments.
Best Homemade Organic Crabgrass Remedies
If you have pets or animals that play in your yard on a regular basis you may be hesitant in spraying store-bought herbicides until you absolutely must. Crabgrass removal must involve a variety of weed-killing treatments, so it’s best to begin with homemade organic crabgrass remedies first. You may also wish to physically dig them up out of the ground.
Begin with these tips and see how well they perform. If you begin them soon enough, you may avoid having to order herbicides online, and you could save a bit of cash too.
- Cook it like a vegetable. You can boil some hot water in a kettle on your stove, and then pour it directly onto the plant. You’ll need to drench it for full effectiveness, right down to the roots. However, it may also cook the grass surrounding the plant, but at least you can reseed those areas if need be. The hot water method works great if there are individual patches in the soil. Be careful to not burn your hands when you pour the water onto the ground.
- Use table salt. Salt is made of mostly sodium chloride. You can pour the salt directly from the box onto the crabgrass. You may also wish to mix up a solution of one part salt and two parts hot water. Salt may damage concrete so you’ll want to apply it only on to the crabgrass. It may also kill other plants so it’s best to do this treatment in isolated areas.
- Vinegar dousing. Store bought vinegar contains 5 percent acetic acid and it can be effective in killing crabgrass. Vinegar is also safe for your skin to touch and won’t harm pets or children who come into contact with it. But vinegar is usually only a temporary solution as it is not effective on the roots. It can keep the crabgrass away for up to 13 weeks. You’ll also have to use the usual cautions, the same as with hot water or salt, as vinegar can kill beneficial grasses too. You may wish to use a vinegar treatment a couple of months before you begin an herbicide treatment, as you may then require less herbicide in the yard.
Best 3 Post-Emergent Herbicide Product Control Methods
Post-emergent herbicide products can kill the crabgrass as it begins to grow in your garden. It’s an effective method of not only ridding your garden of unsightly patches, but also for keeping it under control.
As you begin to use one of the three following herbicide products, you’ll soon regain control of your garden so you have more space to plant flowers, vegetables, plants, or lawn grass. These three products are some of the best in the market. They can each be found easily on amazon for ordering.
1. Ortho Weed B Gon Max Weed Killer for Lawns, Plus Crabgrass Control
- Kills crabgrass and weeds, leaves healthy lawn grass alone.
- Ortho’s most powerful lawn weed killer.
- Will kill 190 different types of weeds including crabgrass.
- Kills from the top of weed right down to the root.
- Rainproof after one hour.
The Ortho Weed B Gon Max weed killer is designed to kill weeds that are growing on lawns, including stubborn crabgrass. This weed killer comes in a one gallon green bottle and has a simple trigger spray for applicable direction from the bottle. There’s no need to mix up the pesticide.
This weed killer is guaranteed to kill crabgrass, dandelions and other types of lawn weeds right down to the root. It kills weeds without damaging the rest of your good lawn grass. You’ll begin to see results in only hours after initial application, as long as you use it as directed.
The Ortho weed killer is best for those small patches of crabgrass that may be on your lawn or growing over concrete, rather than any major infestation which may be best to just dig out. It can cover a range of 5000 square feet with the one gallon bottle.
2. Bayer Advanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer Concentrate
- Will kill crabgrass and other types of weeds without harming the lawn.
- Kills over 200 of the most common types of broadleaf weeds.
- Will control grassy weeds such as crabgrass.
- Becomes rainproof in one hour.
- Lawn will be ready for mowing from one to two days after application.
The Bayer Advanced All-in-One weed killer comes in a blue 32 ounce bottle that is concentrated. It’s not recommended for use on St. Augustine grass, floratem, bahiagrass, carpetgrass, centipede grass or dichondra. It is effective on weeds such as dandelion and clover.
It’s recommended to water your lawn at least two days in advance of using your Bayer herbicide. You won’t have to worry about rain or a lawn watering washing away the herbicide, as it’ll be set in place only one hour after application.
The 32 ounce container will treat a lawn of up to five hundred square feet. It’s recommended that you keep the herbicide away from your flowers or shrubs, as it’s designed for lawn weed control only. It’s also recommended that you wait until the temperature has dropped below eighty-five degrees before beginning application. You can use it in the fall, but it’s not recommended to apply to grounds that are frozen.
3. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
- Apply in the spring for a weed-free lawn through spring and summer.
- Will still work through rain, snow, or freezing weather.
- Prevent winter weeds during application in the fall.
The Scotts Halts crabgrass and grassy weed preventer will treat up to 5000 square feet of your yard. It can be applied during different times of the year to prevent different types of weeds from growing. When used in the fall, it can prevent weeds such as poa annua, henbit, and chickweed. When used during the spring, the herbicide will prevent crabgrass, foxtail, spurge, fall panicum, oxalis, goose grass, and barnyard grass from growing.
For best crabgrass prevention, apply it before it has a chance to grow. This means doing it when there is still snow on the ground. After sixty days you’ll then want to apply it one more time to your garden.
It’s not recommended that this product be used on dichondra or bentgrass lawns. After you have applied the herbicide be sure to allow it to dry. Once it’s dry it’s safe for pets and people to enter the area. For extra safety, water the grass about two days after application and let dry.
When to Apply Crabgrass Preventer?
Crabgrass preventers are simple and easy to apply, and certainly a lot simpler than having to dig out crabgrass plants all the time. It’s best to follow the directions, whether you have a pre-emergent herbicide, post-emergent herbicide, or are using natural organic weed killer remedies.
- Follow the directions on the bottle for applying post-emergent crabgrass weed killers.
- Do your application right after you see the weeds.
- The sooner you apply the herbicide after you see the weeds, the lesser the chances that the crabgrass will take over your entire yard.
- You should be checking out your garden and yard at least once every three days for problems and issues, including weeds.
- Do your herbicide application when it is under 85 degrees, otherwise the combination of the heat with the lawn grass and herbicide may make the grass die.
- The fall is the best time for herbicide application, so make a note on your calendar to focus your efforts during this time. You can eradicate the crabgrass during this time of year, and have only a minimum of effort to do weed eradication next spring and summer.
- If you have a newly seeded lawn, wait for the beneficial lawn grass to take hold first—ideally past 4 or 5 lawn mowings.
Precautions & Safety Measures
Since you’re working with herbicides that are not organic or natural, you’ll need to exercise extra caution and safety measures while doing so. This will minimize injury to adults, children, and pets. You’ll also save time in the long run, and money too. Certain herbicides may even be damaging to concrete, furniture, or wood. If you have flowers or a fruit or vegetable garden, it may not be safe to spray certain herbicides in these regions.
- Read the instructions thoroughly on the bottle.
- Use the herbicide on only recommended lawn or garden types.
- Use the herbicide to kill the listed weeds.
- If the herbicide is not suitable, continue your search for a better one, rather than potentially damaging your lawn or other plants, and wasting money.
- Wear rubber gloves during mixing and application.
- If you must mix up concentrate with water, avoid splashing it in your eyes.
The best crabgrass killer will not only keep your garden looking great due to a lack of crabgrass weeds, but it will also keep crabgrass from getting out of control. As you work at ridding your garden of crabgrass, you’ll soon notice in the seasons ahead that your efforts have met with success.
Soon you’ll be proud to have a great looking garden, and all your neighbours will wonder how you manage to find the time to do so. But it’s your secret that you have used organic herbicides or purchased three of the best herbicides for lawn and yard.