Crabgrass is a notorious and stubborn weed that’s not easy to get rid of. Killing crabgrass can feel like mission impossible. Your lawn might even be inviting crabgrass without you realizing it. Crabgrass loves sandy, compacted soil where the grass is thin or bare, meaning no defenses against this weed. These conditions are exactly what you will find in many Texas lawns.
Why is the weed called crabgrass, anyway? Believe it or not, the reason isn’t because it makes property owners feel crabby. (Though, seems like a good guess, doesn’t it?) Crabgrass earns its name from the plant’s rosette—thick leaves that look like fingers radiate from its central growing point. There are 33 listed crabgrass species, but the two we deal with in Denton and Collin counties, TX are smooth crabgrass and hairy crabgrass. Both emerge in mid-spring, reproduce prolifically during summer, and are killed by the first frost in fall.
Here’s what we mean by “aggressive growth”: One crabgrass plant can generate 75,000 seeds in one season.
Wondering how to get rid of crabgrass? Feel like crabgrass control is impossible? If you feel frustrated that every summer, the grassy weed just seems to take over, you’re certainly not alone.
You can get rid of crabgrass in your Texas lawn. It takes persistence, effective products and a knowledgeable lawn care specialist who can prevent, treat and fix the damage left behind. Here’s what to expect.
Preventing crabgrass is the best, first approach to managing this notorious weed. Crabgrass preventer is applied two times as a pre-emergent treatment to north Texas lawns. The first application occurs in late fall, and an additional crabgrass preventer is applied in early spring. Pre-emergent weed control targets crabgrass weed seeds right when they germinate to reduce the chance of them emerging above the surface.
But crabgrass preventer is not perfect. You must also use crabgrass control during its peak growing season—late spring through early fall. Again, crabgrass in Texas is persistent. It does not want to give up, so you can’t either.
Maybe you didn’t head off crabgrass with preventive treatments—or, you’re dealing with some crabgrass weeds that found their way into your lawn anyway. (They often do.) As we said, crabgrass preventer is highly effective, but there is no magic bullet for stopping crabgrass. It takes patience and consistency—and more patience. Typically, we tell homeowners in the Flower Mound, Highland Village and Lewisville, TX area that minimizing a rampant crabgrass problem will take two years. There is a faster way, which will address later (Manual Labor—Hand-Weeding and Sodding).
Regardless of your commitment to crabgrass control, if you’re dealing with the weed in summer and wondering, “Is it too late to take care of this problem?”
This is where curative crabgrass treatment from a lawn spraying service comes into play.
Multiple chemical treatments applied every two to three weeks in summer are effective at killing crabgrass. Frequency is critical because crabgrass spreads quickly. We want to nip new crabgrass growth in the bud before it spreads its seeds and exacerbates your problem.
Were your efforts to get rid of crabgrass in summer met with—more crabgrass? (Again, we recommend a lawn spraying service and multiple treatments). Don’t worry. Fall is not too late to apply crabgrass control. For treating crabgrass in fall, before the first frost, we use the same curative crabgrass products that work on a lawn during summer. Then, be sure to follow up with a late-fall crabgrass preventer, as well as the early-spring preventer to set the stage for reduced crabgrass pressure next season.
Once you eliminate one (or hopefully many more) of these weeds, your lawn will have bare spots where the weed once grew. Filling in these spots with healthy grass is essential, because a lush lawn actually prevents weeds from growing because there is no “room” for the weed to thrive. Also, weeds including crabgrass are hardy and grow just fine in sandy, compacted soil with few nutrients. Your grass, on the other hand, wants plenty of water, oxygen and nutrition from healthy soil.
The bottom line is: When you fill the gaps crabgrass left behind with fresh soil and healthy sod, you’ll improve the conditions for grass—which will take over instead of weeds.
After killing crabgrass, we apply new, rich soil to the bare spots, along with new sod.
We mentioned that it can take up to two years to get a really tough case of crabgrass under control using even the most effective treatments. An alternative for controlling patches of crabgrass if the problem isn’t pervasive is to jumpstart the process by physically digging out the crabgrass weeds, and then replacing sod in the bare spots as described. This should be followed up with a lawn care program including crabgrass preventer and summer crabgrass control.
Crabgrass might be the most frustrating weed. But you got this. Now you know what it takes to manage stubborn crabgrass in your Texas lawn, and if you follow these steps you will have a real good chance of controlling this common weed. A pro can help if you need a hand, or if you’d just rather not deal with the problem on your own. (We get it.)
The key to killing crabgrass is to be more stubborn than the weed. We can help with that.Seriously, crabgrass doesn’t have to be a headache if you hire a pro. Get a free quote, get $25 off your first visit, and then enjoy the best lawn on the block!