‘Easily’ kill crabgrass on your garden lawn and stop it returning next year in two steps

Gardening expert on how to keep your garden free of weeds

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Crabgrass appears as a coarse, light green clump of grass that typically grows on lawns. The weed gets its name from its low to the ground, sprawling items that resemble a crab. Though it can be pulled out, this annual weed can become a headache for gardeners returning year after year.

There are a few types of crabgrass to look out for, including hairy and smooth crabgrass.

Hairy crabgrass also sometimes goes by the name long crabgrass and tends to grow a little bit longer than smooth crabgrass.

The hairy weeds (Digitaria sanguinalis) are named due to the tiny hairs or fibres that grow on its leaves and stems. This form of crabgrass is a coarser and has broader blades.

Smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum) has no hairs around the sheath or the leaves. Sometimes called small crabgrass, this weed can grow up to six inches but is much often shorter than its hairy counterpart.

How to kill crabgrass on your garden lawn

Step one: Pull out the entire weed by hand

Once crabgrass has appeared in your garden, the best way to tackle it is by taking a hands-on approach.

Sharing tips in a Reddit forum, one gardener posting under the name Orichalcon said: “If it’s the only thing around and you want it gone easily, just dig it out. Crabgrass is a shallow grass, so it’s easily removed, it’s just a pain as it tends to grow around things you want to keep.”

An expert from Home Depot previously told Express.co.uk: “It’s important to remove the clumps as they pop up. You can use a weed tool, or pull by hand just be sure to remove them roots and all.”

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Step two: Use a pre-emergent pesticide

However, because crabgrass is an annual weed, you will also need to ensure the plant does not return in the future.

To do this, you will need a “pre-emergent pesticide”, but you should be careful to only spray it on the specific area the weed lives or you could risk damaging your wider lawn.

Reddit user Orichalcon said: “Pull [all of the weed] out if you can, then put down a pre-emergent herbicide focused on crabgrass. You want to spray the herbicide before the crabgrass germinates, which is usually in early spring.

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“If in doubt with herbicide, ask for advice from the nursery where you purchase it, they’ll be able to tell you how to safely and efficiently apply it.”

You can also use a pre-emergent herbicide in the spring months before you notice the arrival of crabgrass, though you will need to have an idea of where the weeds usually spring up.

Experts from CrabGrassLawn.com explain: “For spring, just before the germination of this weed, apply a pre-emergent herbicide. This will prevent the seeds from germinating on your lawn.”

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