Topics: Lawn care, Weeds, Spring Lawn Care, Crabgrass

Learning Center

How to Prevent and Control Crabgrass

Posted by Brian Gerber on Mar 5, 2020 1:28:41 PM

How to Prevent Crabgrass

Have you ever worked super hard on your lawn in the spring to have crabgrass destroy it in the summer? You used a preventative but it didn’t work? If so, you know it is a very difficult weed to control once it starts growing...
The best way to prevent crabgrass from invading your lawn in the summer is with a pre-emergent in the spring.

Questions answered in this article:

Related Resource written by our owner, Nate:

When and Where does crabgrass grow?

  • When: Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows from late spring until late summer/early fall.
  • Where:
    • Sunny areas
    • Hot temperatures. 
    • Bare soil areas.
    • Insect damaged areas: a healthy lawn can fight crabgrass but a damaged lawn cannot.
Areas where your turf is scalped (cut too short).

Why is crabgrass bad?

  • Crabgrass will grow into thin or bare areas in your lawn and it chokes out "good" grasses.

  • When temperatures drop as fall approaches, crabgrass dies leaving bare areas in your lawn.

  • If given the space, it can create up to 15,000 thousand seeds per plant each year.

  • Its high stalk create a perfect space for lawn pests to thrive.

How do I identify crabgrass in my lawn?

  • New crabgrass will appear a light green color (lighter than your grass).

  • As the season goes on it will get darker and become a dull green color.

  • Crabgrass tends to grow close to the ground and in clumps.

  • Crabgrass has a thicker leaf than a grass blade

  • Crabgrass grows outward instead of upwards.

How do I prevent crabgrass from growing in my lawn?

  • Healthy Lawn: Thick, healthy lawns are strong enough to fight off crabgrass. Maintaining a healthy lawn is a preventative on its own.

  • Products: Pre-emergents such as Dimension and Pendimethalin are two of the best options. When it's time to fertilize in the spring, make sure one of these products is included.

    • We recommend one application in early spring and one later in the spring.

How to get rid of crab grass

How do I control crabgrass after it has grown?

Selective Herbicides (kills weed and not grass):

  • Quinclorac (Drive 75 DF Herbicide

  • Dithiopyr (Dimension)

  • DSMA (Methar 30)

  • FEnoxaprop-p-ethyl (Acclaim Extra)

* Read your weed control label to make sure one of the above products is in the ingredients.
Non-selective herbicides (kill everything):
  • Round-up. (These areas will have to later be re-seeded) 

    Who can help me prevent/control crabgrass?
  • DIY: Follow steps above and use recommended products. 
  • Hiring a professional: call a local company and make sure they are applying pre-emergent in the spring and weed control throughout the year
Nate Bahler and Brian Gerber of Green Meadow Lawn Care in Ellington, CT
Bottom Line:
To eliminate the takeover/spreading of crabgrass and make your lawn more enjoyable for your family, follow these guidelines or call a trusted professional.
Referrals from family, friends, and neighbors are a good way to make sure you won’t be taken advantage of.

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