How to Kill Crabgrass and Prevent it In Summer & Spring [16 Main Steps+3 Natural Ways]

Lush, green lawns are the most wanted place on summer days. But if you find some unwanted grass there, it becomes less attractive.

Crabgrass belongs to the types of grasses that grow in tough conditions. Homeowners think it bad as they want to grow healthy, green, and thick garden for themselves.

Do you know why it is called crabgrass?

It is known by this name because it grows like a crab, very slowly and gradually. It is not a fast-growing weed.

It can survive in both warm and cool conditions. So, we have to choose the method according to the weather.

The most asking question is how to kill crabgrass?

There are many natural and artificial ways to get rid of crabgrass. The best way to remove it from your lawn is a post-emergent chemical or a weed killer. It will work better to kill crabgrass without harming any other plant. You can also adopt natural ways such as Burning, Vinegar, and Baking soda. These can be used as a homemade weed killer and less harmful for other weeds. Choke out the weeds and make your lawn thicker are also natural ways to kill crabgrass completely.

Are you dealing with crabgrass this year? Don’t worry! You will get every possible method to remove it from your lawn and change it again into a thick and healthy grassy lawn.

How To Kill Crabgrass [16 steps]

Once weeds begin to grow in your lawn, it seems to live and spread forever. But unlike other unattractive weeds, that live several year crabgrass plants live only a single year.

However, in a short time period of life, they leave long-lasting effects on your lawn. If you understand clearly how it works, you are able to get rid of crabgrass and keep it away for a long time from your plants.

Want to save your turf from crabgrass? Just follow the following steps and learn how to remove crabgrass.

Let’s have a look at them:

Required Tools

  1. Scotts Turf Builder
  2. Garden Rake
  3. Spray Pump
  4. Work Gloves
  5. Safety Glasses
  6. Spade

Materials You Need

Step 1: Your lawn growth tells the best time to apply pre-emergence herbicide to get rid of crabgrass. It is best to apply a weed killer to your grass in spring.

Step 2: Apply the granules with the help of a spreader, around walk places, driveways, and also near your neighbor’s crabgrass infiltrated yard. 

Step 3: Add fertilizer with a crabgrass preventer to save your time. You can also get the mixture readily from a store. Apply this combo just before the rain to work it into the soil. This will make your turf thicker and will crush out the crabgrass plants that were missed by the herbicide.

Apply this process during the second and third mowing of the year and the soil is about 52 degrees F.

Step 4: Carefully check out the ingredients label on the product, that will guide you to kill crabgrass easily. Ask your seller about the chemical which is best for your turf kind. If you treat your lawn with pre-emergent chemicals, don’t seed it. If you do so, the herbicide will also kill your desired plants. Start seeding in late summer or early fall, keeping the distance of at least 8 weeks between two chores.

Step 5: As you notice crabgrass, pull them out. Young plants damage your turf a little if you kill them at an early stage. Desirable grass will quickly fill the holes made by crabgrass. If you will pull-out shots of crabgrass, you will see surprising effects after their removal from your lawn. But if they spread out at a large scale inspect them carefully before snatching.

Step 6: Prudently search out the lean, green seed heads that are folded up the opposite sides of the plant’s leaves. They are immature crabgrass plants. It is very difficult to remove them, so be careful while pulling them.

Step 7: If you find some seed heads spread out like a fork, leave them alone. They have splayed seed heads that are a sign of mature crabgrass. If you try to pull them out they leave a hole and spread out about 5000 seeds per plant. So, leave them till the plant die in the fall or use herbicides carefully.

Step 8: When you see crabgrass completely spread out on your lawn, spray post-emergence chemicals on crabgrass thoroughly. Pulling is also effective but it may be tough if crabgrass roots are completely spread underground. Because it is possible only if you pull out grass chunks. The spray is effective in moist soil and dry plants.

Step 9: Keep an eye on your lawn regularly and as you noticed crabgrass patches, immediately take a step to remove them. Because it is easy to kill them at an early age.

Step 10: A thick and healthy lawn is a weapon against crabgrass as it lessens the possibility of crabgrass growing. To do it you have to take care of your lawn.

Step 11: Apply a double dose of herbicide in areas like driveway, curbs, and sidewalks because they observe a lot of heat during summer, which makes them affected by crabgrass. After treating your lawn, make another pass 6 to 8 feet wide. This will help you to keep crabgrass away.

Step 12: If you tried all options mentioned above without success, then admit your defeat. Kill everything and start over again. Select a low-wind day, apply nonselective herbicide according to given instructions. The process will kill all weeds and grass in 5 to 14 days. Then re-build your lawn again.

Step 13: Now soak the area thoroughly to give new grass the best chance to grow properly. Check the depth of the water with a spade by pushing and pulling it to know the depth of soil. Get ready if the soil is moist 6 to 8 inches. Cut out the dead grass and uncover the soil.

Step 14: Seed the bare turf free areas with the help of a spade. Make ¼ inch deep furrows using a flat shovel. This will help the seeds to settle into the moist soil.

Step 15: Scatter the grass seeds and flip a rake upside down to push the seeds into the furrows. These furrows help the seed to make good contact with the soil. Take care of your new grass until its first mowing. Do not apply a crabgrass preventer to your newly planted grass. Step 16: Pre-emergent herbicides are a cheap and effective way to remove the crabgrass but you can also try hand-weeding crabgrass plants in late spring before their maturity.

Another method to control crabgrass is Corn gluten meal. It releases a protein that will slow down the growth of weed seedling roots.

How To Prevent Crabgrass In Summer

Summer is the best season for crabgrass to spread out on the entire lawn. If you don’t notice it in spring then it will be a difficult task for you.

Become depressed….Don’t worry! We have a solution for it.

It is best to stop crabgrass before it sprouts. If you are trying to remove crabgrass in summer, just follow these steps:

  1. Pull out all the roots of crabgrass. If you feel it tight, water them to loosen the soil.
  2. Never leave a space or bare areas in your lawn as they give the chance to crabgrass spread out. So, fill all the empty places in your lawn with wanted grass seeds.
  3. Water your lawn one or two times per week.
  4. Keep your grass 3 inches tall while mowing. For natural nutrients and shade, leave some leaves clippings behind.
  5. In coming up spring, use pre-emergent chemicals at the time of plants’ blooming.
how to prevent crabgrass in spring

Keep in mind that applying a weed killer can be tricky if you are new to gardening. Some herbicides prove harmful to your lawn if you use them incorrectly.

Always use treatment according to the type of your turf and read out all instructions with great care.

Here is a guided video about preventing crabgrass in summer.

How To Prevent Crabgrass In Spring

It is easier to kill crabgrass in spring as it becomes a plague during summer. Germination of crabgrass seeds starts in spring, so you should apply weed killer in early to mid-spring to get the best results.

It prevents not only crabgrass weeds for 4 months but also kill other unattractive weeds on your lawn. Most herbicides stop the growth of crabgrass as well as wanted seeds. So, you must be careful and follow the instructions properly.

Here are some other tips to prevent crabgrass in spring:

  • Mow your lawn at a desirable height.
  • Water your grass deeply at least 2 days a week.
  • Feed your plants regularly every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Repair lawn damages as early as you notice them.

How To Kill Crabgrass By Vinegar

Sometimes, you are not able to use chemicals to get rid of crabgrass. As they are harmful to grass as well as for your kid. Try to use something from your kitchen and apply it as a herbicide. You will see the best results.

Vinegar is helpful to remove weeds from the lawn. It is a natural solution to kill crabgrass and other weeds. For best results take a high-quality Vinegar, apply 20% on weeds. If the weeds are thick and tough, apply 30% to remove them. Never use a standard form that is used for cooking. The organic solution will breakdown foliage tissue rapidly.

 Be careful while using it as it may destroy your grass.

You can follow this video to use vinegar as a weed killer.

How to Kill Crabgrass By Baking Soda

We often use Baking Soda in bakery items like cake, biscuits, and food as well. But do you know another use for it?

We can also use it as a weed killer. Baking soda can be a great substitute for herbicides. It is a kind of Phytotoxin and will easily remove all types of grass and plants.

It is effective due to sodium content. It works in powder form well instead of a solution.

Here is the process of applying baking soda to your lawn:

  • Spray a little water on the crabgrass on your lawn.
  • Scatter baking soda powder on it.
  • Leave it for a few days to do its work better.
  • Pull out the dead weeds and replant the grass to fill the empty places.

Try to do this process on single patches. Because of it, there will be less possibility of other plant destruction.

How To Kill Crabgrass By Burning

Another Natural way to get rid of crabgrass is to burn the weeds but be attentive while doing this. Otherwise, you will lose other plants.

 If you want to kill crabgrass weeds from your lawn, just take a heat gun, a torch, or a weed burner. Blow the torch with a gun and heat up the weeds with it.

It kills the cells in the leaves and stems. They will not be able to make food anymore and will die soon.

Remember that crabgrass does not spread underground so it is easy to kill them out with a weed burner.

Burning is a great way to remove crabgrass without using herbicides. It is best because the ash mix in the soil to feed it.

Related Articles: How to kill Bermuda Grass


At the end of the informative journey of how to kill crabgrass and prevent in summer and spring? We come to the conclusion that there are unnatural methods as well as natural methods that will equally help to get rid of weeds.

We also know that if we keep our grass healthy and thick, unwanted weeds can not get a place to spread.

If you find crabgrass in your neighbor’s lawn or relative yard, you must inform him about it and guide him/her to kill it without harming other wanted grass weeds.

Lisa Marshall

Hi, This is Lisa Marshall. Lisa has been working with farmers for over thirteen years. It is his passion, hobby and profession. To facilitate other gardeners from her experience, she has decided to start this website to share her gardening experience with her plant lovers.

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