Natural Ways of Killing Crabgrass: An Expert Guide

The sight of a lush lawn is very satisfying, making you the recipient of compliments from your neighbors and friends. All may seem well until crabgrass invades your yard. This weed makes your lawn look unkempt and outcompetes other plants in your yard or garden.

You can rely on various solutions to deal with this nuisance, but you should be careful lest you kill other plants. Homemade crabgrass killer is an excellent solution, especially if you are on a tight budget.

Let us look at organic lawn care solutions to consider for a crabgrass problem.

Why Is My Lawn Suddenly Full of Crabgrass?

Crabgrass on your lawn is an indicator of poor lawn conditions. This grass flourishes in loose sandy soil, which allows ample sunlight penetration to the seeds. Crabgrass grows fast, explaining why they can take over your entire compound in a short time. Poor drainage and lack of fertilizer can also lead to a crabgrass situation. 

Crabgrass can produce over 150,000 seeds, which remain dormant for a long time. The seeds’ dormancy is usually in winter before they sprout and grow from spring to summer. You will mostly witness this stubborn weed in late spring and summer.

Natural Ways of Killing Crabgrass

Herbicides are the go-to crabgrass post-emergence control measure for many homeowners. While herbicides effectively deal with weeds, they present disadvantages such as non-selective vegetation removal and pollution risks.

Avoid such problems by resorting to a natural or homemade crabgrass killer. The following are some of the natural ways of dealing with this weed. 

Uprooting Crabgrass

Uprooting is an effective and simple solution for getting rid of crabgrass, especially if you have a handful of them in your lawn. Wear gloves when plucking the weeds to avoid injuries.

A garden shovel and other weeding tools are handy for this crabgrass control method. Discard the uprooted plants far from your garden. Burning the weeds will prevent their resprouting. 

Overseed Your Lawn to Control Crabgrass

You can up your competition factor by overseeding your lawn. This scenario calls for spreading plenty of seeds in your yard, followed by fertilizer application. The good plants will flourish faster, enrich the soil and outcompete crabgrass, a slow but efficient weed eradication measure.

Overseeding shows excellent results in lawns with little weed coverage. If your lawn is full of crabgrass, you may want to use other weed control methods before resorting to overseeding. Spread the seeds in early spring or fall. This way, the seeds have adequate time to germinate before crabgrass awakens with the rising temperatures in late spring. 

Kill Crabgrass With Baking Soda

Baking soda is a multipurpose household utility that will help with the crabgrass problem. It is highly efficient, courtesy of its phytotoxic qualities. Lightly wet the grass, then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda. The weeds will be no more in 2-3 days.

Baking soda draws water from the plants, leading to cellular and tissue damage. Be careful when using baking soda to kill crabgrass, as you may kill surrounding plants too. Cover other plants to protect them from this homemade crabgrass killer. 

Use this weed control method on a sunny day for the best outcome.

Use Vinegar to Kill Crabgrass

White vinegar is another household item with several uses, and you need it for your natural crabgrass killer recipe. Pour a cup of vinegar into a spray bottle, add a dash of dish soap, and mix. Spray the liquid on the crabgrass. 

Vinegar contains acetic acid, which extracts water from the plant. The soap breaks down the plant’s cuticle for the acid’s easy penetration. Alternatively, you can use a salt-vinegar concoction as your DIY crabgrass killer. Salt is a dehydrator; thus, it enhances the action of acetic acid.

Cover surrounding plants to shield them from the effects of this homemade crabgrass killer. This method works well on sunny days. You might need 2-3 vinegar sprays on crabgrass to eliminate them.

Boiling Water Can Help Eliminate Crabgrass

Hot water kills crabgrass through scalding. You may use regular boiling water to deal with the weed or add salt and dish soap to enhance its action. Handle the hot water with care to avert accidents.

The problem with adding salt, vinegar, soap, and other additives is that they may affect the state of the soil, like altering the PH. Moreover, the water may damage other plants on your lawn.

Smother Crabgrass With Mulch

Mow your lawn or trim off the top growth before bringing mulch into the equation. Bark mulch is the ultimate weed suppressor: its thickness blocks light, which the seeds and seedlings need for growth.

Additionally, it prevents dispersed weed seeds from reaching the soil to get nutrients. Heavy cardboard, black plastic, and newspapers also do an excellent job.

Leave the mulch on the surface for roughly one growing season. Smothering is effective when dealing with crabgrass seeds. Besides killing weeds, mulching helps moisture retention and enriches the soil.

Organic Herbicides Can Help Control Crabgrass

An out-of-hand crabgrass situation requires you to bring your A-game to rejuvenate your lawn. Organic herbicides come in handy in such scenarios. The organic tag means the product’s manufacturing calls for naturally occurring chemicals, like acetic acid, citric acid, d-limonene, and eugenol, as active ingredients.

Organic herbicides are gentle on the environment as they break down fast and are less toxic than inorganic herbicides. Some are pet-friendly. You can get them in various farm supply stores.

The downside with organic herbicides is that they may need several application rounds for desired results, which can be pretty expensive. Plus, there is the issue of non-selective vegetation removal. 

Burning Crabgrass

Heat exposure can do wonders in your weed-fighting quest. Get a flame weeder or torch and target individual plants. You do not have to scorch the weeds; a little heat is enough to kill them.

It is a worthy solution for crabgrass, as it does not have a rhizome. Weeds with rhizomes will grow back, even after burning.

Final Thoughts

Crabgrass is a lawn bully, which, if not checked, will outcompete other grasses to be dominant. The result is an unkempt-looking lawn that may make you uncomfortable. This article introduces natural solutions to the crabgrass problem.

The organic weed control methods are effective, especially for a small-scale crabgrass infestation. The solutions are simple, affordable, and won’t pollute the environment. Pick a preferred homemade crabgrass killer to eliminate crabgrass.