The Best Crabgrass And Weed Killer In 2020
Lawn Care

Finding The Best Crabgrass And Weed Killer In 2020

No matter how careful you are, weed growth around your lawn is one most likely problem. Weed-like crabgrass grows quickly in hot, dry conditions and makes your garden look the direct opposite of attractive. This is exactly why you need the best crabgrass killer for your lawns.

Let us guess—you have tried all you can to prevent this annoying weed from ravaging your lawn, and you’re probably tired of trying. Relax, we’ve got you.

Read through this review for our top recommendations for the best weed killer for crabgrass and be glad you did.

What is Crabgrass, and Why is It a Problem for Your Lawn?

crabgrass on lawn

Many people have this grass on their lawn, but they don’t even know what it is called. Well, it’s no big deal.

If you’ve ever seen a grass that looks like crab legs and grows in ‘clumps’ low to the ground with leaves quite broader than grass blades, you’ve seen crabgrass.

Crabgrass does nothing better than frustrate homeowners all the time. It is one of the toughest weeds to get rid of. Once it takes over your lawn, you’re in for some serious stress. More reason why you should be proactive about preventing it. 

Types of Crabgrass Killers

Crabgrass killers come in two major types—the pre-emergent and the post-emergent herbicides. Curious about what these mean or the difference between both? Keep scrolling!

Pre-emergent Herbicides

Otherwise known as Weed Preventers, Pre-emergent herbicides are the crabgrass weed killers that stop weeds from growing. They control annual weeds and pre-emerging grass, but you can’t use them to kill weeds that already exist. They won’t work. 

The time you apply the pre-emergent crabgrass preventer on your lawn is as important as using the herbicide itself. You need to apply just before the weed seed starts germinating – not earlier or later.

Post-emergent Herbicides

Post-emergent crabgrass killer deals with actual weeds—the ones that have grown fully out of the seed. It kills even the toughest of weeds, like pre-emergents, the time of application is very important. You should use it when the weed is young and tender.

If your lawn is quite weedy, you can combine both pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides for full effect. While the pre-emergent herbicide prevents the germination that is yet to occur, the post-emergent herbicide kills existing weeds.

Choosing the Best Crabgrass and Weed Killer

Whether you’re looking to get the best crabgrass killer for lawns or the most effective weed killer for your garden, there are a couple of things to consider. First, are you looking for a product to kill crabgrass particularly or one to deal with all kinds of weeds? Second, will you use the herbicide when it is dormant or when it is already growing? Third, do you want to kill crabgrass in a lawn that’s already established or one that’s recently seeded? And finally, how wide is the lawn you wish to treat?

Check out the options below to choose the best crabgrass preventer and weed killer that serves your exact purpose. 

Selective or Non-selective

crabgrass and weed killer preparation

You can find weed killers in selective or non-selective formulas. While selective herbicides control particular categories of weed (such as ‘grassy weeds,’ ‘broadleaf weeds,’ etc.), non-selective herbicides kill all types of plants.

If you’re choosing selective herbicides, it is best to read their labels on them, so you don’t pick what doesn’t work for you. A product labeled ‘broadleaf weed killer’ is not likely to work as a crabgrass killer.

Warm or Cold Climate

The best time to apply herbicides on weeds is when they are actively growing. This is when they are most susceptible. Temperature goes a long way in determining how effective the weed killer will be.

According to crabgrass killer reviews, Crabgrass seeds germinate when the soil warms to about 55-degrees in the spring. The crabgrass plant matures in summer and produces more seed until it dies when cold weather arrives.

With a single spring application of pre-emergent, you can get rid of crabgrass in a cold climate area. But in a warm climate area, you might need to apply pre-emergent again and again throughout the growing season, sometimes with post-emergent herbicides.

Application Method

Herbicides come in either liquid sprays or dry granules. You can easily apply granules using a properly calibrated lawn spreader. Liquid sprays, on the other hand, are best applied over large areas with a horse-end sprayer and a trigger bottle or tank sprayer if you’re spot treating small areas.

Wind speed and direction are important factors to consider for applying spraying liquids. Plan your route and decide the direction to face to not keep walking through already treated areas.

Using Best Crabgrass and Weed Killer Properly

When to Use Crabgrass Killer?

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual grass. It thrives in full sunlight, and high temperatures grow vigorously in poor, dry soil conditions, and germinates yearly in the early spring when the soil temperature rises above 50 degrees.

To keep your lawn free from this virile plant, you should apply pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides properly in the early spring and summer, just when the weed starts growing.

How to Apply Crabgrass Killer?

applying crabgrass killer on lawn

Most of the crabgrass killer for lawns you’ll find on the market are either in liquid or powder (also small pellets).  It would help if you had a spreader to apply the pallet or powder form, but the liquid, which is much better for homeowners, is different. 

Other versions usually come with spray wands attaching to the container, and they are mostly ready to use.

How Do I Know if the Crabgrass Killer is Working?

After application, if you find small strips of violet to purple-striped spots on the stems of the crabgrass in your lawn, then the crabgrass killer is working.

With most herbicides, it takes just about two weeks for weeds to begin to die. Though others may require some more time, say about four weeks or five.

Using Crabgrass and Weed Killers: Main Dos and Don’ts

If you’re using the best weed and crabgrass killer for the first time, you should know some basic things: 

  • Applying herbicides after cutting your lawn will limit the grass and weeds’ ability to absorb them. So, please don’t do it. 
  • Use product as indicated on the label—nothing more, nothing less.
  • Do not water or seed your lawn after applying a treatment.

Crabgrass Killers Toxicity Concerns

Some weed killers contain dangerous chemicals like glyphosate, and they can be harmful to plants. According to the U.S National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) examination of herbicide formulations made with the active ingredient, glyphosate-based formulations are often more toxic than glyphosate alone. This is why you shouldn’t use the solution around pets or even kids. You should also avoid breathing in the solution while spraying.

Glyphosate and its formulations decrease cell viability and induce cell death at concentrations of 10mM or more (but they do not induce DNA damage and oxidative stress).

Are There Organic Non-chemical Treatments for Crabgrass?

Yes, there are. Though most homeowners find chemical treatments to be best for treating crabgrass, you can try out other natural, non-chemical methods. It is either you pluck out to eat a bit of crabgrass by hand, or you apply corn gluten meal on your lawn to prevent them from germinating.

How to Keep Crabgrass Away?

Getting crabgrass off your lawns is one struggle; keeping it away is another.  There are a few more things to do to prevent crabgrass from ever coming back to your lawns. First, remove any new weeds emerging from the moment you notice it. Then, mulch the soil where you found it growing.

Most importantly, maintain a healthy lawn and keep your grass green.

Final Word

The days of crabgrass on your lawns are numbered. Our review will surely help you choose the best crabgrass killer 2020. You don’t have to buy multiple herbicides over a few days or weeks. Whatever your choice of crabgrass killer, you now know which is the best fit for your lawn.

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