Crabgrass is a common weed that plagues lawns all over the world. It is a type of grass that is undesirable in lawns as it grows quickly, looks unkempt, and steals nutrients from the desirable grasses. The worst part is that if left uncontrolled, it can quickly take over a lawn and ruin its aesthetic appeal.
Most people resort to using herbicides to kill crabgrass, but this can be harmful to the other grasses in your lawn. So, what can you do to get rid of crabgrass without killing your grass?
In this article, we will be sharing some tips and tricks on how to get rid of crabgrass without harming your lawn. So, if you’re ready to take control of your lawn, keep reading!
Before you start trying to get rid of crabgrass, you need to make sure that what you’re dealing with is actually crabgrass. Here are some identifying characteristics of crabgrass:
- Crabgrass has wider leaves than most lawn grasses and tends to grow more horizontally.
- It has a lighter green color and is usually coarser in texture.
- Crabgrass seeds can remain dormant in soil for several years, making it easy for them to germinate.
If you’re still not sure whether the weed in your lawn is crabgrass or not, you can take a sample to your local gardening center for identification.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass without Killing Grass
Now that you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to get rid of it. Here are some methods you can use to eliminate crabgrass without harming your grass:
|Hand Pulling||Pulling out the crabgrass by hand||Effective for small areas||Time-consuming for larger areas|
|Mowing||Keeping the lawn mowed short to prevent crabgrass growth||Easy to do regularly||Does not eliminate existing crabgrass|
|Corn Gluten Meal||Sprinkling corn gluten meal on the lawn||Organic and safe for pets||Does not work on established crabgrass|
|Vinegar||Applying vinegar directly onto the crabgrass||Inexpensive and readily available||Can harm surrounding grass if not applied carefully|
|Boiling Water||Pouring boiling water onto the crabgrass||Effective and inexpensive||Can harm surrounding grass if not applied carefully|
|Hand Hoeing||Scraping the top layer of soil where the crabgrass is growing||Effective and inexpensive||Can damage surrounding grass if not done carefully|
|Organic Herbicides||Using organic herbicides containing natural ingredients||Safe for pets and humans||Can harm surrounding grass if not applied carefully|
One of the most effective ways to get rid of crabgrass is by hand pulling it. This method is time-consuming, but it is effective. You can use a small hand trowel or a dandelion weeder to pull out the crabgrass from the roots.
Make sure to pull out the entire plant, including the roots, to prevent regrowth. It’s best to do this when the soil is moist, as it will make it easier to pull out the roots.
Mowing your lawn regularly can also help to control crabgrass. Set your mower blades to a higher setting, as this will encourage your desirable grasses to grow taller and shade out the crabgrass.
Mowing will also prevent the crabgrass from going to seed, which is important because crabgrass seeds can remain dormant in the soil for several years, making it easy for them to germinate.
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a natural pre-emergent herbicide that can help prevent crabgrass from germinating. It works by inhibiting the growth of the crabgrass roots.
Apply corn gluten meal to your lawn in the spring, just before the crabgrass begins to germinate. It’s best to do this on a dry day, and make sure to water your lawn after application to activate the herbicide.
Vinegar is a natural herbicide that can be used to kill crabgrass. It works by drying out the leaves of the plant, causing it to wither and die.
To use vinegar as a herbicide, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and apply it directly to the crabgrass. Be careful not to spray the vinegar mixture on your desirable grasses, as it will harm them too.
Boiling water is a simple yet effective way to kill crabgrass. Boil a pot of water and pour it directly onto the crabgrass. The hot water will scorch the leaves and roots of the plant, causing it to die.
It’s essential to be careful when using boiling water, as it can also harm your desirable grasses. Make sure to pour the water directly onto the crabgrass and not onto the surrounding grass.
Hand hoeing is another effective method for removing crabgrass. Use a hoe to scrape the top layer of soil where the crabgrass is growing. This will uproot the crabgrass and prevent it from growing back.
It’s essential to be careful when hand hoeing, as it can also damage the desirable grasses. Make sure to hoe only in the areas where the crabgrass is growing and avoid the surrounding grasses.
Applying Organic Herbicides
If you prefer using herbicides, there are organic options available that won’t harm your desirable grasses. Look for herbicides that contain ingredients like clove oil, citric acid, and vinegar.
Before applying any herbicide, make sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions. It’s best to apply herbicides on a calm day when there’s no wind, as it can spread to other areas and harm your desirable grasses.
FAQs about Getting Rid of Crabgrass without Killing Grass
- Can I use herbicides to get rid of crabgrass without harming my lawn?
Yes, there are organic herbicides available that won’t harm your lawn. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like clove oil, citric acid, and vinegar.
- Can I use boiling water to kill crabgrass without harming my lawn?
Yes, boiling water is an effective way to kill crabgrass without harming your lawn. Just be careful not to pour the water onto the surrounding grass.
- Will hand pulling crabgrass damage my lawn?
No, hand pulling crabgrass won’t damage your lawn. Just be careful not to damage the surrounding grasses while pulling out the crabgrass.
Crabgrass is a common problem in lawns, but it doesn’t have to be. By using the methods mentioned in this article, you can effectively get rid of crabgrass without harming your desirable grasses.
Hand pulling, mowing, using corn gluten meal, vinegar, boiling water, hand hoeing, and applying organic herbicides are all effective ways to control crabgrass. Remember to be careful when using any of these methods, as they can also harm your desirable grasses if not done correctly.
With a little bit of effort, you can keep your lawn crabgrass-free and looking beautiful. So, go ahead and give these methods a try, and let us know which one works best for you!