The Powerful Solution You Need To Put An End To Fast-Growing Crabgrass

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Crabgrass is a frustrating foe in the garden and landscape. In fact, just the thought of this weedy grass makes us a little crabby. Like so many troublesome plants, crabgrass was introduced to the US intentionally for animal forage. Since arriving in 1849, this Eurasian native has become a challenge to control and will quickly take over empty beds and turf grass lawns. A powerful plant requires a powerful solution if you want to completely eradicate it. Thankfully, there are synthetic and organic options available to help you deal with crabgrass.

One of the reasons crabgrass is so problematic is its ability to spread quickly. Each plant can produce around 150,000 additional plants. As if the ability to produce over 100,000 seeds each isn't bad enough, this grass is also a tillering plant –- green shoots near the ground spread and produce roots, allowing crabgrass to grow horizontally in each direction. To eradicate crabgrass from your lawn or landscape, treat it with herbicide as soon as you see it for the best results.

The best synthetic options for crabgrass

There are two ways to deal with crabgrass: using spray-on treatment for existing greenery, and applying a preemergent to prevent seeds from sprouting. Using both of these methods will get rid of the problem grass you already have and prevent future issues. The key to removing and preventing weeds is diligence. For the existing crabgrass problems in your lawn, try Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed Killer which is available in ready-to-spray and concentrated options. While crabgrass is still actively growing in your outdoor space, it helps to keep the lawn mowed to only 2 or 3 inches tall to prevent it from producing all those seeds.

Since crabgrass seeds can be spread through the air or by wildlife, using a pre-emergent can keep those unwanted seeds from sprouting. Pre-emergent does not kill or harm existing weeds, it only affects seeds, so timing is key to successful use of these products. Scotts Halts Crabgrass and Grassy Weed Preventer works to prevent several types of weed seeds. Apply in the spring to keep crabgrass seeds from spouting and again in the fall as a defense against early spring weeds. Always read the warning labels on lawn chemicals before application.

Organic herbicide options

There are other effective options if you prefer to fight your battle against crabgrass more naturally. This is particularly important if you are treating an area near an organic edible garden, a pond, or if you are simply concerned about where your children or pets play. Although these products are organic, the rules are the same for control and prevention -– you'll need to spray existing crabgrass and prevent future seeds from sprouting. Natural products may come with precautions for safety, so read those carefully before use.

Earth's Ally Weed and Grass Killer is a natural spray-on option. Rather than harsh chemicals, the active ingredient in this product is sodium chloride, also known as salt. For best results, spray crabgrass on a hot, sunny day. Corn gluten is a natural alternative to synthetic pre-emergents. This is the active ingredient in Espoma Organic Weed Preventer. This product can also be used in spring and fall to prevent common lawn weeds.