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Lawn Care Bleg

I have encroaching crab grass that has taken over roughly half of my backyard. How do I deal with it?

23 Responses to “Lawn Care Bleg”

  1. drstrangegun Says:

    “How do I deal with it?”

    You don’t *deal* with it, appeasement never works. You’ll have the Third Sod making movements towards the Sudeten…er… south side of the lawn in no time.

  2. Jay G Says:

    Learn to love it. It’s green, isn’t it? That’s lawn-color to me…

  3. NateG Says:

    You build a basketball court (or garden, or patio, etc.) that covers roughly half your back yard. Problem solved.

  4. Barry Says:

  5. Xrlq Says:

    Find a better name for it. People only hate crab grass because it’s called crab grass. They wouldn’t mind it if it were called something cute, like “elf grass.” So says Homer Simpson, anyway.

  6. Thibodeaux Says:

    Dang. I was going to say “take off and nuke it from orbit,” but there’s enough smart-ass comments already.

  7. Alston Says:

    I too was going to add something about the natural enemy of Crab Grass, Crabs, but enough with the smart-assery.

    I WAS at Home Depot yesterday, and saw a “Kills Weeds, not Grass Guaranteed” stuff in passing, but have no personal experience. We always just used to heavily overseed with Bermuda at the studio, and let it fill in.

  8. Phelps Says:

    Disolve equal parts of polystyrene into acetone, then mix with two parts gasoline or kerosene. Spread liberally on lawn and ignite. Reseed with Frankengrass from Monsanto — that stuff is GREAT. Grows lush, stops growing at 2″, and strangles anything coming in.

  9. SayUncle Says:

    WHere can I find this Frankengrass?

  10. GLN Admin Says:

    Agent orange for effect; napalm for fun.

  11. tgirsch Says:

    Smart-assery aside, what kind of grass is your actual grass? That will determine what herbicides would be safe to use to kill the crabgrass, without killing the actual lawn. In any case, you’ll either need a tank sprayer or a rotary spreader and a sprinkler.

  12. SayUncle Says:

    Tom, it’s kentucky 31.

  13. power5483 Says:

    Too much fun. Why do we even care?

    We had the same problem last year. Mayo’s in Knoxville has fertilome crabgrass, nutgrass, and dahlia grass killer. It worked pretty well (after two sessions of spraying) but found out later it has arsenic that is bad for pets and degrades very slowly. My neighbor stopped by while I was working on the crabgrass and said the only thing to kill it is Round Up. Round Up also kills grass so you have to be very careful to spot spray and not when it is windy.

    Once you have killed it you must add grass seed, or sod. If using grass seed, add a little dirt on top to get it to grow better.

    The time is now to start control of crabgrass. It easily comes back if you have neighboring yards/fields that are infested. Ah, you must keep your yard healthy to prevent crabgrass. I worked very hard at it last year, including digging out the clumps along with using chemicals.

    This year I may have a different attitude. As Jay G said, Learn to love it. Itís green, isnít it? Thatís lawn-color to meÖ

  14. Rob Huddleston Says:

    Uncle –

    If you want to go the expensive route, I have one word for you:




  15. ben Says:

    just ignore it an it will go away, at least in your mind. This reminds me of a little story about my youth. On second thought, nevermind.

  16. justin Says:

    pay $10k to a lawn care company to dig up your yard and plant sod….every other year or so. crab grass is like kudzu….shit just wont die…

  17. tgirsch Says:

    Mostly, what Power5483 said. If you had answered “Bermuda,” the solution would have been simple: Just hit it with round-up, and let the bermuda re-encroach. But for non-spreading grasses, you have to be careful to pick a crabgrass killer that won’t kill your lawn, or, as Power points out, you’ll have to reseed.

    Biggest thing you can do is prevention: apply a pre-emergent herbicide at the first sign of new weeds showing up each year, and fertilize twice a year when the time is right. I don’t know if this will kill the existing crabgrass, but it should prevent it from spreading further. Just be sure to follow the directions (it matters!) concerning watering and timing for your area. And you’ll want to keep the pets and kids off the lawn for a day after you apply.

  18. Lyle Says:

    Mow it and water it, as needed.

  19. OldeForce Says:

    We’ve got crabgrass and thistle . Told to use one of the chemicals that speeds growth – saturate the stuff repeatedly and it grows so fast it dies! Have heard there’s a “green” pesticide that won’t take down your kids or pets (maybe just the kids cutting through your yard and the dog using your yard for his own pit toilet?), but haven’t found it yet.

  20. Homer Says:

    I sent an email to Scotts for info about weeds in my Bahia lawn (Florida). They responded with “Turf Builder with Plus 2 for weed control, apply Halts for pre-emergent control, then 2 weeks after applying those put down Weed-B-Gone Max.”

    Did the first step last weekend, so I can’t testify how well it works yet.

  21. Jay G Says:


    I think Lyle’s got the best advice yet:

    Mow it and water it, as needed.

    That way, it’ll think you think it’s regular grass and die immediately. At least that’s what my lawn does when I try to take care of it…

  22. David the hypenated American Says:

    Pay neighbor kid to mow every coupla weeks – let rain do the watering.

    If its short and green, you won’t see it anyway, bit like those Leprachaun thingys.

    Go to the range instead.

  23. SayUncle » Smoking Says:

    […] My yard looks like shit. The crab grass is still winning. […]

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