Crabgrass Killers That Won't Kill Your Grass

10 Best Crabgrass Killers That Won’t Kill Your Grass

In Buyers Guide, Lawn Care by Jamie

Are you tired of pesky crabgrass taking over the lawn year after year? Then maybe it’s time you knew how to get rid of it effectively. Crabgrass spreads easily because of its many seeds, so choosing effective crabgrass killers is important. Here is an in-depth guide to help you pick the best crabgrass killer that won’t kill grass.

What is Crabgrass, and Why is it Bad?

Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows in thin and bare patches of your lawn. It can be controlled by mowing it down. In the fall, one plant will produce thousands of seeds, which will be ready to germinate the following spring when it dies.

Heat and aridity favor the growth of crabgrasses. Because it tends to grow low to the ground, the grass clump is characterized by stems that radiate from the middle of the grass clump in a pattern reminiscent of crab legs.

What Does It Look Like?

Crabgrass maintains a low profile on the lawn, making it difficult to cut with your lawnmower blade. Even in high-traffic locations, it keeps up well to foot movement because, unlike taller weeds, there isn’t much that it can “break” on.

When one plant part on the weed stands out, it is the stalk that carries the blooms and, eventually, the seeds. This stalk is extremely resilient and does not mind being trampled on

Crabgrass is a clump of grass that is coarse and light green in color. The legs of a crab are reminiscent of the stems of this plant.

It is frequently confused with fescue grass. However, the color and size of the grass are good distinguishing characteristics that allow it to be identified correctly. Tall fescue grass is typically a darker green color, is generally thick, and grows rapidly.

Crabgrass blades are roughly the thickness of a pencil when they are young, but as the stems become heavy, fall, and scraggly, you will discover a star-shaped pattern in the center.

It Depletes the Soil of Nutrients

Crabgrass thrives even in the most adverse conditions due to its remarkable tenacity and ability to self-sufficiency. It has the potential to deplete your lawn of moisture and nutrients.

Known for its higher stalk space, crabgrass is a spring-flowering weed that dies off in the fall. This characteristic makes crabgrass an ideal breeding ground for pests.

It Spreads Easily Across the Lawn

A thin lawn or patches of lawn that have been damaged by insect and disease pressure are the most vulnerable to crabgrass infestations.

During July and August, it will quickly take over any open space. If you don’t deal with it in time, it ends up being a sprawling summer-time weed that quickly takes over desirable lawn patches.

How Do You Get Rid of Crabgrass Without Killing Your Lawn?

If you’re worried that the crabgrass removal process will destroy your lawn, know there are a few methods to get rid of it without destroying the landscape.

By Hand

Remove the entire clump, including the roots. Crabgrass roots should be removed with a garden weeder tool designed specifically for this purpose. Typically, these tools are equipped with a claw or plunger that can be used to dig deep into the ground in order to remove it.

This procedure is time-consuming, but it effectively controls crabgrass growth. Make sure to discard the crabgrass by placing it in a trash bag and sealing it properly. This prevents potential crabgrass seeds from sprouting.

With Chemicals

Use a crabgrass-specific post-emergent herbicide to control the weed. If the problem has already been established, it may be necessary to use a chemical treatment to eliminate a crabgrass infestation.

Herbicides for lawn weeds are not all created equal. Some of them can kill weeds and some regular grass. Herbicides designed to kill crabgrass will be available in a liquid form.

It’s intended as a spot treatment only, not as a broadcast treatment. Follow the directions on the product’s label to ensure that the proper safety protocol is followed.


10 Best Crabgrass Killers

1. Primesource Quinclorac (Drive XLR8) Primesource Quinclorac 1.5L Select (Drive XLR8) Liquid Crabgrass Killer (64 ounces)

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We kick off this list of crabgrass killers that won’t kill your grass with Primesource Quinclorac. This is a selective post-emergent herbicide that keeps grass protected while working to eliminate different grassy and broadleaf weeds.

Suitable for commercial and residential settings, this product can be applied either one week before seeding or up to 28 days after crabgrass has made an appearance.

2. BASF Drive XLR8 Herbicide BASF Drive XLR8 Crabgrass Herbicide (1/2 Gallon, 64 OZ.)

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Another amazing product that helps get rid of pesky crabgrass is BASF Drive XLR8 Herbicide. With a single bottle of this herbicide, you can cover about one acre of turf, promising to kill weeds faster than the competition.

The product dries in less than an hour, which makes it a suitable choice for households with children and pets.

3. Spectracide Weed Stop Crabgrass Killer Spectracide 511072 Weed Stop for Lawns + Crabgrass Killer Concentrate, 32-Oz

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When used as specified on the label, Spectracide Concentrate kills more than 470 different kinds of weeds. It takes as little as five hours for this ready-to-spray product to start working, and it destroys almost every weed it comes in contact with.

To begin, thoroughly shake the container before using it. To use the sprayer, attach a garden hose to the nozzle. Ensure that the “off” switch is all the way forward.

4. Tenacity Turf Herbicide Tenacity Turf Herbicide - 8 Ounces

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Unlike other crabgrass killers, Tenacity Turf Herbicide is non-toxic to grass in your lawn. It is a systemic pre-and post-emergence herbicide used to control weeds in turfgrasses through selective contact and residual control. Tenacity is absorbed by weeds after their emergence from the soil after being administered as a pre-emergent.

5. Celcius WG Herbicide Celcius WG Herbicide 6666194

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CELSIS WG Herbicide is an effective post-emergent herbicide that contains three active components, all of which have a wide range of applications. It can be used in residential and commercial settings, including on golf courses, sports fields, school premises, and even parks.

6. BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer BioAdvanced 704140 All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer Garden Herbicide, 40-Ounce, Concentrate

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The BioAdvanced crabgrass cleaner is another customer favorite. It has proven itself to be an efficient product against crabgrass time and time again.

In one simple step, the exclusive formula eliminates the listed lawn weeds as well as crabgrass from the root. It has a treatment area of 5,000 square feet, making it ideal for treating large areas.

7. Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns Ready-To-Use2 with Comfort Wand, 1 gal. (193210)

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The Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer is another product that’s safe for the lawn but dangerous for crabgrass. It can help get rid of more than 250 weed varieties and is very easy to work with because of the included applicator wand.

You can find this product in multiple package sizes so there should be a good product for you whether you have a small or a big lawn.

8. AgraLawn Organic Crabgrass Killer 

AgraLawn Organic Crabgrass Killer

The number of natural crabgrass killers available is limited, but AgraLawn Organic Crabgrass Killer is one of the most effective ones for the task at hand. Cinnamon bark, the active ingredient, can help keep crabgrass in check without harming your lawn.

For optimal results, apply the product in the morning when there is still morning dew present, or moisten the affected area with a hose, irrigation system, or spray bottle.

Crabgrass Killer from Agralawn generates relatively little response or yellowing in St. Augustine or Bahia lawns when used appropriately, according to the manufacturer.

9. Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides Non-Ionic Southern Ag Surfactant for Herbicides Non-Ionic, 16oz, 1 Pint

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As a wetting agent containing 80 percent non-ionic surfactant, Surfactant for Herbicides is here to make other herbicides more efficient. It improves the coverage and penetration of almost any herbicide by increasing the amount of water that is absorbed by the herbicide.

Non-ionic surfactants can be used in conjunction with most herbicides to improve the uniformity of coverage by lowering the surface tensions of spray droplets.

10. Roundup All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns Roundup For Lawns1 Ready to Use - All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns, Kills Weeds - Not the Lawn, One Solution for Crabgrass, Dandelions, Clover and Nutsedge, For Use on Northern Grasses, 1.33 gal.

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Our final product for today is the Roundup All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns. More than 250 common lawn weeds, roots and all, are controlled by this product, which is particularly effective on difficult-to-kill weeds such as crabgrass.

This fast-acting formula begins killing weeds as soon as they come into contact with it and kills them down to the root, preventing them from reappearing.

Can You Prevent Crabgrass?

Crabgrass preventer products make use of herbicides known as “pre-emergents,” which are applied to germinating seeds before new shoots emerge from the ground. Pre-emergents work by interfering with seed germination and root development, preventing seeds from germinating and growing into established plants.

Use Crabgrass Prevention Products

A good product that helps prevent new crabgrass formation is Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer.

Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer - Crabgrass Preventer, Pre Emergent Weed Control for Lawns, Prevents Chickweed & More, Treats up to 10,000 sq. ft., 20.12 lb.

This product is designed to solve your crabgrass problem for the entire year. You can apply it during early spring or autumn. All the instructions needed for the application can be found on the label.

Adjust Your Lawn Mower

Make sure your grass is on the tall side, about three inches in height. Taller grass blades aid in the shading of the soil. Maintain a layer of grass clippings on your lawn to provide natural nutrients and shade for your soil. Crabgrass seeds are prevented from germinating as a result of this.

Deep Water Your Lawn

Weeds thrive in lawns that are overworked. Deep watering is beneficial to the majority of grass species. Check to see that your lawn gets one inch of water each week, whether it comes from the rain or irrigation.

The water must penetrate six to eight inches into the soil. Deep watering can help with the development of a deeper root system, which allows it to grow thicker and thus more effectively competes with weeds.

Feed the Lawn

Weeds have a hard time growing on a healthy and thick lawn. When your lawn is undernourished, it becomes stressed and is more susceptible to being overtaken by weeds. During the growing season, fertilize your lawn every six to eight weeks with a balanced fertilizer.

Related Questions

Will Vinegar Kill Crabgrass?

This all-natural method of killing crabgrass is an excellent choice because it will not cause long-term soil damage. Simply saturate the weed with vinegar (with at least 5 percent acidity) until it is completely submerged in the liquid.

Can You Burn Crabgrass?

Yes, you can. Due to this exposure, the weed is subjected to extreme heat, which causes the cells in the leaves and stems to die. The weed will be unable to produce food, and it will die off almost immediately. You can use a weed burner or a blow torch.

Can You Naturally Get Rid of Crabgrass?

Yes. If you don’t want to bother with making a homemade solution, you can purchase natural crabgrass killers. Some of them are made using ingredients such as soap, vinegar, and sea salt.

Should You Pull Out Crabgrass?

It depends. If you can pull out crabgrass and avoid having seeds spread all across the lawn (which eventually leads to more crabgrass sprouting), then you should do it. To avoid this from happening, avoid pulling forked seed heads and opt for young closed seed heads instead.

When Can You Spray for Crabgrass?

Crabgrass seeds germinate in spring as the soil temperature reaches 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Early to mid-spring is the ideal time to start applying crabgrass preventers.

Final Thoughts

Remember that even if you are successful in eliminating crabgrass with a post-emergent herbicide, you will not be able to prevent seeds from a neighboring property from flying over and landing in your yard.

The seeds will germinate in your grass and sprout the next spring unless you use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent them from growing. While post-emergent herbicides will kill crabgrass for the rest of the season, there is no guarantee that crabgrass seeds will not find their way back to your lawn the following year.