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Controlling Crabgrass

Tommy Asked

What is the best product to control crabgrass in my lawn?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Tommy: Crabgrass is a common grassy weed that can be removed by hand if it is a small area and it seems reasonable. Once it is introduced, it will spread quickly and form a dense root system. If allowed to flower and set seed, the amount of crabgrass will increase. This grassy weed can produce thousands of seeds each season. At this time of the year cultural controls are important in reducing future spread. Mowing at the highest height the lawnmower allows is best and proper fertilization of turfgrass will help grow a healthy turf and discourage crabgrass spread. Crabgrass can be a challenge to control, and it will likely take multiple seasons to eradicate since seeds are viable for several years. Removing the grass is ideal but preventing the seeds from forming and germinating is key at this time of the year. The following publication is provided by the Cooperative Extension Service in collaboration with land grant universities. It provides a detailed list of registered post-emergent and pre-emergent herbicides for controlling crabgrass in Kentucky. 

Ag-r78: Weed Control Recommendations for Kentucky Bluegrass and Tall Fescue Lawns and Recreational Turf (

Angie Oakley

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