Are you having trouble getting rid of weeds and crabgrass in your lawn? If so, you’re not alone. Weeds are a common problem for many homeowners as they can create an unsightly appearance on your lawn. They can also make it difficult to enjoy the space.
Fortunately, help is available to eliminate weeds and crabgrass without spending hours pulling them out manually.
In this guide, we discuss the best lawn weed and crabgrass killer to keep your yard looking its best all year round. We’ll also cover what causes weeds in lawns and how to choose the right weed and crabgrass killers for your needs, among other basics. With this knowledge, you can rest assured that your lawn will be weed-free year-round!
Table of Contents
What Causes Weeds in Lawns?
Weeds in lawns can have numerous causes, ranging from improper lawn management to environmental factors. Perhaps the most common cause of weed proliferation is a lack of weed control.
Poor lawn maintenance, such as mowing at excessively high or low heights, or failing to fertilize or water adequately, can give weeds a competitive advantage over grass and other plants.
In large areas where turf management is often overlooked, such as parks or golf courses, warm-season grassy weeds like crabgrass can become quite abundant.
This is why weed control is incredibly useful!
Some soil temperatures and types are more conducive to weed seed germination than others, which is why you will often see weeds flare up at certain times of the year.
Another factor causing weeds in your lawn can be propagules introduced by animals and other visitors in your garden.
Broadleaf weeds like False Dandelion and Blackseed Plantain reproduce quickly via wind-borne seeds transported from one location to another by wind or critters.
In this case, controlling the population of these animals during certain times of the year could help reduce the spread of weed seeds into your yard or garden.
Also, aggressive weeds can quickly spread across a patch of ground if uncontrolled for too long. These weeds are very difficult to eradicate once established in an area.
Even if you don’t have any weed problems yet, it’s important to be conscious of potential sources that might introduce new varieties onto your land.
Being proactive will help you limit future growth before it becomes unmanageable.
Different Types of Lawn Weeds
There are over 200 different weeds that you can find infiltrating your lawn. But don’t worry. You won’t suddenly see hundreds of different plants growing on your lawn.
Many weeds grow only in certain areas of the world. And the good news is that most lawn weeds can be treated using the same products and methods!
Lawn weeds can be categorized into three main types: broadleaf, grassy, and grass-like.
Below are some of the most common weeds you’ll find in your lawn!
Broadleaf Lawn Weeds
Broadleaf lawn weeds are a type of lawn weed characterized by having a distinct, wide leaf with a noticeable vein down the middle, and they’re one of the most common weeds that grow in grass.
These weeds can be annual or perennial and grow in every shape and size. Some may bloom, some may not. Their only connection is the fact that they grow broad, flat leaves!
Common Chickweed can be found in gardens and lawns around the world. The plant grows small, egg-shaped leaves and puts out small, white flowers.
While beautiful, these flowers are actually weeds, and you may not love seeing them around.
This weed needs to go to seed to reproduce, so treatment includes regularly mowing your lawn to prevent the weed from blooming.
Ground Ivy is also known as Creeping Charlie, and it is not to be mistaken for poison Ivy. Despite their similar names, they are very different plants!
This weed is specifically common in the UK and other parts of Europe – although it can be found in parts of the US as well.
Ground-Ivy can be incredibly tough to treat, so if you find this plant growing in your garden or lawn, pull them out right away to prevent severe infestations!
This tall-growing weed can reach up to 7ft if allowed to grow freely. As it grows, it produces small, purple flowers at the top of its tall stalk.
Bull Thistle can reproduce quickly, producing up to 5000 seeds annually, spread through wind and insects. The best treatment for this weed is pulling it out by hand right before it begins to flower.
Other broadleaf weeds include Black Mustard, Wild Buckwheat, Tansy Mustard, Hairy Fleabane, and Bird Vetch.
Grassy Lawn Weeds
As their name suggests, grassy lawn weeds closely resemble grass blades. Their leaves are flat and pointy and grow in the same manner as grasses.
These weeds can be hard to spot, as they are often mistaken for simply being part of your lawn.
Crabgrass plants can take over your lawn in a matter of months.
You may have guessed it by the names. The difference between the two varieties is that one has tiny, bristle-like hairs on its leaves.
The weed’s roots may overtake the delicate roots of your grass, and when these annual weeds die in the winter, they leave behind bare, ugly spots in your lawn.
Spotting Crabgrass can be especially difficult if you have St. Augustine grass. This grass looks very similar to Crabgrass, making it easy to miss the weed infestation!
Most often, you’ll only notice the Crabgrass after it’s died, leaving unsightly brown spots in your lawn after winter.
Annual Meadow Grass (Poa Annua)
If your lawn is cluttered with Pao Annua, or Annual Meadow Grass, your lawn will look like an uneven, discolored mess.
Despite its name, Annual Meadow Grass is a perennial plant that can return year after year. This weed can be a pain to eliminate, as it is similar to grass in shape, height, and life cycle.
To properly remove it, you must sacrifice your lawn to kill as much of the Poa Annua as possible and re-grow your lawn afterward.
Grass-like Lawn Weeds
Grass-like weeds are somewhat similar to grass but easier to identify than grassy weeds.
Instead of flat leaves (like grass blades), these weeds have hollow, triangular, or other types of leaves.
Wild Onion & Wild Garlic
These weeds thank their names for their similarities to the garlic and onion we love to eat.
They are often recognized for their odor. As you may guess, they can emit a strong, garlic-y scent.
Unlike many other weeds, these should not be pulled by hand. When you do this, some offshoot bulbs will typically remain in the ground, and the weed will grow right back!
A good-quality herbicide is the way to go to treat these.
Prostrate Knotweed is a variety of knotgrass, most commonly found in North America.
This weed is invasive and can take over your entire grass lawn if you aren’t paying attention.
The best and most effective way to treat and prevent this weed is by keeping your soil aerated because Prostrate Knotweed exclusively grows in compact, dense soil.
What is the Best Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer?
Choosing the best crabgrass killer or the right weed killer can be intimidating. This is largely because a large variety of products are available on the market.
You must consider several factors to make sure you choose the right product.
These factors include the active ingredients, the types of weeds you’re trying to control, and, most importantly, the local environmental conditions.
Types of Herbicides
When shopping for a weed and crabgrass killer, you should also look at the product label to determine which herbicide it contains.
Also, depending on the time of the year, the two important categories of herbicides you’ll need to consider are pre-emergent herbicides and post-emergent herbicides.
- Pre-emergent herbicides prevent weed seeds like crabgrass seeds from germinating. In most cases, pre-emergent herbicides are only effective if applied in early spring before weeds begin growing.
- Post-emergent weed killer kills existing weeds and grasses after they have sprouted. These herbicides are more effective during warmer months when soil temperatures reach around 65°F (18°C), and weeds are in the middle of their growing season.
Organic products such as corn gluten meal can be effective as a pre-emergence grassy weed preventer.
But these usually require a second application throughout the season for optimal results against stubborn weeds.
Non-organic products may contain glyphosate as an active ingredient, which can effectively control a wide variety of plant species.
However, you should use them cautiously near sensitive flower beds or water areas where non-selective destruction could occur.
Steer clear of products containing dimethylamine salt, as this toxic compound has many health risks to humans and wildlife.
Avoid spraying toxic herbicides during hot, sunny afternoons. In heatwaves and extreme temperatures, weeds ‘shut down’ and become resilient against herbicide treatments.
Most post-emergent herbicides are effective during daytime temperatures between 65F and 85F (18C- 29C).
For the best results, always read labels carefully for guidelines on proper usage for particular scenarios.
What Types of Weeds Are You Dealing With?
Many products contain non-selective herbicides that will kill any vegetation they come in contact with. Others contain ingredients to target specific types of weeds or grasses.
A selective weed killer may be more suitable if you’re looking to combat specific weeds.
Additionally, if flower beds require treatment with a weed killer, the best time to do it is in late summer or fall.
This timing is optimal because many wildflower varieties will begin blooming in mid to late spring if left unchecked by active ingredients later in their lifecycle.
Natural Remedies for Lawn Weeds
If you prefer not to use chemical products in your garden, Luckily, there are also some natural but effective ways to keep weeds off your lawn.
Pulling Weeds by Hand
This method is not everyone’s favorite because it takes a long time and can be a lot of work.
However, it is one of the most effective and environmentally friendly ways to treat lawn weeds. While doing so, you can also remove slugs and snails wandering in your lawn.
Get on your knees and simply pull all the weeds by hand! Ensure to remove the entire root system of the weeds while pulling.
This method is best used in lawns that are not crowded with weeds but rather have a few little plants pop up here and there.
DIY Vinegar Spray
Vinegar can kill weeds by dehydrating them upon application. Vinegar works as a weed killer because vinegar is an acid that plants cannot tolerate.
It’s a great option for people who want to avoid chemicals in their garden!
To make a vinegar weed killer, you’ll need a spray bottle, 1 gallon of vinegar, 1 cup of salt, and 1 tbsp of dishwashing soap.
Combine the ingredients thoroughly and pour them into a spray bottle of choice.
To use, simply spray the mixture directly onto the weeds. Ensure to cover the entire plant.
Please note that this vinegar mixture will kill any plant it comes in contact with.
I do not recommend using this on a lawn or vegetable gardens. It can work wonderfully on patios and clear soil.
Keep Your Lawn in Good Health
A healthy lawn is a strong lawn, and a strong lawn will be able to withstand and prevent weeds better!
The best method of weed control is to keep your grass well-fed, watered, and mowed. Apply a lawn fertilizer every 6-8 weeks during the growing season.
You can use any granular fertilizer spread across the lawn with the help of a lawn spreader or liquid lawn fertilizer available in garden centers or big box stores. Use the product according to package instructions for the best results.
Although regular mowing is required for vital lawns, consider mowing your grass slightly taller than before.
If your grass is longer, it casts a shade down on the soil, which helps to prevent weeds from growing as it blocks their access to sunlight.
Weeds tend to grow in acidic soils. You can add lime to your lawn to maintain the pH of your lawn soil, which will also prevent weeds from appearing.
Promote deep, strong roots by watering deeply when needed.
During hot summer months, keep your lawn hydrated to prevent dead and brown patches!
The best way to water your lawn is by using a garden hose. Sprinklers can be an easier and more laid-back option.
Create A Wildflower Garden
Instead of a perfectly green lawn, consider embracing natural vegetation and allowing native plants to grow freely.
Planting native plants will help promote biodiversity, inviting all insects and critters to feed on their natural food sources.
Apart from looking stunning, it is also a great way to prevent weeds from growing in your garden. The denser your vegetation is, the less chance of weed development.
Ornamental plants and wildflowers like Blue Vervain, Black-Eyed Susan, Wild Marigold, or Western Clematis will create a shaded canopy that can help prevent weeds from germinating.
10 Best Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer Products in 2023
1. Roundup QuilkPro Weed Killer
Roundup QuickPro Weed Killer is an effective and reliable solution for those looking to rid their home lawns of weeds like Wild Carrot, Redroot Pigweed, Broadleaf Dock, and Crabgrass.
This product shows visible results in as little as 24 hours with complete weed control.
This herbicide comes in a granular form. It’s conveniently packaged in a 6.8 lb jug with a measuring cup, making 72 gallons for easy application.
Its convenient packaging ensures enough supply for your entire lawn without worrying about running out or frequently refilling.
2. Natural Armor Grass and Weed Killer
Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer utilizes a natural, concentrated formula that stops 250+ types of weeds and grass.
It makes them look like you took a torch to them and burnt them to a crisp!
Moreover, it’s easy to use; no mixing or diluting is required – just spray and go! Plus, it’s perfectly safe for people and pets.
And you can use Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer anywhere! It’s great for flower beds, shrubs, trees, barns, driveways, edging, fence lines, foundations, gravel areas, mulch beds, and more.
You’ll see results within hours, with even greater effects shortly after.
3. Ortho Nutsedge Killer & BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer
Get the best of both worlds with Ortho Nutsedge Killer & BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer!
This combo pack delivers optimal weed and crabgrass control for Northern and Southern turf grasses.
Ortho Nutsedge Killer covers yellow and purple Nutsedge, Kyllinga, and over fifty other tough weeds.
The BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer cut down on the more common broad-leaf weeds like dandelions and clovers.
Moreover, these two products won’t harm your lawn when used as directed. They are safe for all types of lawn grasses, including Perennial Ryegrass, Bermuda Grass, or Bentgrass.
These solutions are rainproof in just two hours for Ortho Nutsedge Killer and one hour for BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer.
Both products can be applied through tank sprayers, dial-n-spray, or a hose-end sprayer.
4. Spectracide Weed Stop & Crabgrass Killer Concentrate
Spectracide Weed Stop & Crabgrass Killer Concentrate keeps your lawn safe from harm, as it only targets weeds and not the grass itself when used as directed.
It’s designed to kill 470+ weeds, including tough ones like Crabgrass, Dandelion, Chickweed, White Clover, and yellow Nutsedge.
And you don’t have to worry about heavy rainfall washing away its effectiveness. It is rainproof 3 hours after application.
Each 32-ounce bottle will cover up to 5,000 square footage of lawn – making this product the right choice for large-scale weed-fighting projects.
5. Green Gobbler Vinegar Grass and Weed Killer
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is certified for organic use with OMRI-listed, non-toxic, glyphosate-free ingredients.
This powerful formula contains 20% acetic acid, eliminating any weed in just a few hours.
Not only is it safe to use anywhere, but it’s four times stronger than traditional table vinegar. So, you know you’re getting a powerful solution that gets the job done quickly and effectively.
This product is safe to use on residential, commercial, industrial, or agricultural land, and it’s perfect for driveways, sidewalks, concrete, mulch beds, pavers, flower beds, and parking lots.
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer provides fast results while ensuring the product’s safe and environmentally conscious application.
6. Scotts Turf Builder Feed and Weed Control
Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed with Plus 2 Weed Control is an effective lawn care product that helps nourish and protect your grass.
With 32 oz. of ready-to-spray application, it can cover up to 5000 square feet of lawn.
Its analysis of 25-0-2 provides your lawn with a quick boost of nitrogen while simultaneously controlling weeds such as dandelions, clover, and other major lawn nuisances.
The weed control quickly kills the existing weeds while preventing new ones from sprouting.
7. BioAdvanced Crabgrass and Lawn Weed Killer
BioAdvanced All-in-One Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer kills common lawn weeds and crabgrass without harming the lawn, making it safe and effective.
The SMARTTRACK Marker non-staining red marker shows treated weeds.
This way, it is easy to know what areas have been treated with this crabgrass preventer which fades with sunlight.
Best of all, its rainproof protection ensures that your treatment will still be effective even if it rains within an hour of application.
8. Hi-Yield Killzall Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate
Hi-Yield Killzall Weed & Grass Killer Super Concentrate’s double-surfactant formulation quickly dries on plants, allowing for quick action and results.
One gallon of this weed killer can cover up to 25,600 square feet so you can treat large areas with a single bottle.
Additionally, its easy-to-follow label instructions make it simple to apply. Dilute 1oz of the product into a gallon of water, grab your spraying accessory, and you’re ready to go!
9. KleenUp Grass and Weed Killer Concentrate
KleenUp Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate contains 41% glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States, making it highly effective at attacking broadleaf and grassy weeds.
Moreover, this systemic herbicide ensures total control by killing the plant’s roots.
KleenUp Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate also offers rainproof coverage after just 6 hours from application. No need to worry about rainfall washing away your hard work!
For large areas of land (over 6,300 square feet), you can use one quart of this product to cover the entire area efficiently.
Hard-to-control weeds may require additional spraying in 10 to 14 days.
10. BioSafe Systems Weed and Grass Killer
BioSafe Systems Weed and Grass Killer is a fast-acting, EPA-registered non-selective herbicide perfect for lawn and garden maintenance.
It leaves no harmful residues behind and is safe around desirable plants.
The formula kills a broad range of undesirable weeds and grasses, including Bittercress, Prostrate Pigweed, Cudweed, Lambs quarters, Liverwort, and Blue Lettuce, among others.
Gardeners of all levels can rely on BioSafe Systems Weed and Grass Killer for effective control with visible results within 24 hours.
Moreover, it’s ideal for edging and spot weed control around ornamental trees, bushes, and flowers and general weed prevention.
With BioSafe Systems Weed and Grass Killer, you can keep your lawn or garden looking its best while ensuring your beloved plants remain unharmed.
No matter the size of your lawn and garden, you will surely find the best weed killer for your needs. Whether you’re looking for a ready-to-use spray solution or an easy-to-use concentrate, plenty of options exist.
Consider your needs, read labels carefully, and select the right type of weed killer. Consistent use lets you keep the pesky weeds and crabgrass at bay to enjoy a beautiful, lush lawn. Good luck!
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