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How to Get Rid of Crabgrass

If stubborn crabgrass is choking your manicured lawn, rescue your landscape by nipping grass growth in the bud.


  • Step 1: Use a pre-emergent fertilizer Use a pre-emergent fertilizer early in the spring -- before the outdoor temperature reaches 65 degrees -- to kill crabgrass seeds before they can germinate.
  • Step 2: Mow the lawn low Mow the area that has the crabgrass using your mower's lowest setting. Collect all the clippings, and scrap the soil with a hoe or shovel to bury and kill any remaining crabgrass seeds.
  • Step 3: Apply compost and seed Apply a layer of compost and plant new grass seed. Water often until germination. The following spring, apply a pre-emergent fertilizer to prevent the crabgrass from returning.
  • TIP: Pull out any crabgrass seedlings by hand if they return.
  • Step 4: Keep grass long Let your lawn's grass grow a bit long to prevent crabgrass seeds from germinating and growing. The dark, moist environment discourages the crabgrass from taking root.
  • Step 5: Water deeply Water your lawn deeply -- to a depth of 4 to 6 inches -- but less frequently to encourage a strong root base in your grass and to choke out any crabgrass that has sprouted.
  • Step 6: Apply herbicides Apply herbicides as a last resort if the crabgrass has taken root. Plan ahead and monitor your crabgrass problem before it gets out of control for a healthy-looking lawn.
  • FACT: The first artificial lawn for use on a sports playing surface was installed at the Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1964.

You Will Need

  • Pre-emergent fertilizer
  • Lawn mower
  • Hoe or shovel
  • Compost
  • Grass seed
  • Herbicide

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