Crabgrass, the pesky weed that can quickly invade your lawn, is a common headache for many homeowners. But fear not! With a little effort and the right approach, you can effectively get rid of crabgrass and reclaim your lush green lawn.

Crabgrass growing along a fence.

What is crabgrass?  Crabgrass is a notorious weed that sneaks into lawns like an unwanted guest at a party. With its low-growing, wiry stems and distinctive branching leaves, crabgrass can quickly take over a once-perfect lawn, making it look messy and unkempt.  If this doesn’t look the weed you are dealing with then check out this weed identification post from OSU

This opportunistic invader thrives in bare spots, compacted soil, and areas where grass is thin or stressed. It spreads its seed prolifically, ensuring a new generation of troublemakers in the following year. Crabgrass can be a persistent foe, but with the right strategies and a little determination, you can kick it out of your lawn and restore order to your green oasis.

Get rid of crabgrass: crabgrass seeds texture and identification
Seeds of the crabgrass grow on thin spiked hairs and contain hundreds of tiny seeds.

 Here’s 10 simple steps to help you tackle this unwelcome intruder:

  1. Manual Removal: One of the most straightforward methods is to manually pull out the crabgrass. Use a hand tool or garden knife to dig deep and remove the entire root system. Be diligent, as crabgrass can spread rapidly if left unchecked.

  2. Mowing High: Keeping your lawn mower on a higher setting can help prevent crabgrass from getting the sunlight it needs to thrive. Longer grass shades the soil, making it less favorable for crabgrass growth.

  3. Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Apply pre-emergent herbicides early in the spring before crabgrass seeds germinate. These products create a barrier in the soil, preventing crabgrass from sprouting.

  4. Post-Emergent Herbicides: If crabgrass has already made its way into your lawn, consider using post-emergent herbicides. Look for selective herbicides that target crabgrass while sparing your desirable grass species.

  5. Watering Wisely: Overwatering can encourage crabgrass growth. Water your lawn deeply but infrequently to promote strong root growth in your desired grass, making it more resilient against weeds.

  6. Improve Lawn Health: Maintain a healthy lawn by regularly fertilizing and aerating. A robust, thick lawn can crowd out crabgrass and other weeds.

  7. Handpick Seedheads: Regularly inspect your lawn for mature crabgrass seedheads and remove them before they have a chance to spread.

  8. Prevent Re-Seeding: Avoid letting crabgrass go to seed in the fall by cutting it down before seed production.

  9. Reseed and Fill Bare Spots: Where crabgrass has left bare patches, reseed with your preferred grass type to prevent crabgrass from finding a foothold.  For those with Bermuda lawns: these types of lawns should fill in with time and proper care. 

  10. Be Patient: Getting rid of crabgrass might take some time and persistence, especially if it has already taken hold in your lawn. Consistency in your efforts will pay off in the long run.

Crabgrass sprawling across bare patches in lawn.

Remember, a healthy and well-maintained lawn is your best defense to get rid of crabgrass and other weeds. 

Regular care and proper lawn management will keep your lawn looking its best and keep crabgrass at bay.  Tulsans, if you need help maintaining your lawn and getting rid of crabgrass then give us a call! 

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