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Get rid of 'Crabgrass' on the lawn in the USA, identification, causes, types of crabgrass, and crabgrass removing from lawn

Weed management is a very difficult task for every lawn owner. It is annoying sometimes and sometimes it costs your entire lawn grass.

Crabgrass is one of the most common weeds in the lawns of the USA. Some people can't distinguish between crabgrass, Clover, and quackgrass. 

Here, you can understand the identification of crabgrass, its types, and its weeding by following the easiest methods.  

Get rid of 'Crabgrass' on the lawn in the USA

Let's understand crabgrass by following the identification first-

Crabgrass identification   

Although there are various varieties of crabgrass that are different in shape and size.

Crabgrass removing from the lawn in USA

In the USA, very common crabgrass grows on the lawn that you can identify by following- 

  • Leaves- Initially thick and later thinner and bigger.
  • Stem- Purple as grows with age.
  • Height- From 2 inches to 5 inches 
  • Shape- Initially like a plant and later like a star shape
  • Color- Dark green in summer and brown in winter
  • Nature- Invading by spreading seeds and automatic germination 
You can also read September (fall) lawn care

Causes of crabgrass in the lawn

Most of the time, crabgrass grows with hot climate lawn grasses without your intentions. It is different from Clover weed. Following are some major reasons for crabgrass on the lawn- 

  • Neighboring seeds

It is a very common cause for any weed in the lawn that weed seeds come in the lawn with an unintentional wind.

From the roadside, empty places, and other lawns, lightweight crabgrass seeds contact with air and randomly fall on other lawns. As they get ideal conditions, seeds appear as a weed on the lawns.

A couple of crabgrass seeds are enough to invite a bunch of crabgrass to the entire lawn. 

  • Land history

When you buy land, you should know the history of the land at least. There are possible chances of crabgrass on that land in the past. Though you can admit that they are vanished but still, they can grow again in ideal conditions.

Also read 

So before making lawn there, you should aware of it.  

  • Ideal soil condition

It is seen that crabgrass doesn't appear as a weed in cold climate conditions, especially in winter. A higher temperature of soil above 60 degrees Fahrenheit, is ideal for the germination of crabgrass seeds.

Lower soil and atmospheric temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit lawns don't have crabgrass.

Apart from soil temperatures, crabgrass grows better and faster in acidic soil. 

Types of crabgrass

Although the nature of every species of crabgrass is almost the same there are differences in their shape, size, geography, and color. Following are some popular known types of crabgrass- 

  • Dwarf(blanket) crabgrass

Dwarf or rabbit or blanket crabgrass is native American grass. It spread through its seeds and germinates in warm weather.

Dwarf or rabbit crabgrass spread like a blanket on the soil. It contains small and shiny leaves. 

  • Asian crabgrass

Asian crabgrass can survive in tropical and sub-tropical climates with their local temperatures. Some people consider this as a pasture for animals but still for lawn owners, it is a weed. 

  • Long and hairy crabgrass 

Long and hairy crabgrass is quite a Maverick and can grow in any tiny space it gets in the ideal conditions. It is found on roadsides and old untouched areas. It contains hairy leaves towards the base and can be tall up to 1 to 1.2 meters.

  • Southern crabgrass 

Initially, an Asian grass, spread all over the world later, southern crabgrass is very different than ordinary crabgrass. It can grow up to 80 cm long and its leaf blades are not hairy towards its base.

  • Short and broad 

It is a very popular North American crabgrass variety. You can identify it by its short height broad spreading shape, and smooth stem. 

Grasses that look like crabgrass

Although crabgrass looks very unique and distinct from lawn grass still some grasses are similar looking like crabgrass more than 50%. Following are the names of those similar grasses as crabgrass- 

  • Tall fescue
  • Quackgrass
  • Johnsongrass
  • Nimblewill

Why crabgrass is bad for the lawn

A very common thing about crabgrass is very familiar to every lawn owner. crabgrass is bad for the lawn or not, it is not as simple as people think it is. Many reasons tell us to clean or remove crabgrass from the lawn permanently. Crabgrass on the lawn in the USA

Following are some points that clear the query of why crabgrass is bad for lawns- 

  • Crabgrass germinates slowly but once it gets higher temperature and essential components in the soil, it grows rapidly. 
  • A single weed plant of crabgrass can spread crabgrass on the entire lawn. 
  • Crabgrass grass gets dormant after the end of summer as the temperature starts to lower. Even in winter, it turns into brown spots and dies automatically from the lawn. The after-effect of dried crabgrass looks very bad for lawn look. It makes multiple random brown spots on the lawn.
  • It is wrong to think that once crabgrass gets dormant it will not return in next summer. 
  • Crabgrass doesn't invade the principal lawn grass but absorbs essential elements from the soil that grass needs. It affects the overall growth of the lawn grass.
  • In bigger lawns, you can't handle crabgrass without using a proper weed controller. 
  • Crabgrass looks mismatched with the lawn grass and sometimes it becomes annoying to handle. 

How to get rid of crabgrass?

Honestly, it is very difficult to deal with crabgrass by following organic or natural ways. 

By following natural principle 

A general option that You have is to slow down the process of spreading the crabgrass. For that, we can use organic materials that decrease the soil temperature. But if the decreased temperature doesn't match with the requirement of lawn grass then it can be blunderous for your lawn.  

Pulling crabgrass by hands 

Pulling crabgrass by hand is effective on any size of the lawn but it is very challenging and time-consuming.  

Pulling crabgrass by hand is a more effective and faster way to deal with crabgrass on small lawns. But, if you don't pull out the grass with the roots, they can appear again. 

  • Pulling crabgrass in a new lawn

The best time for pulling crabgrass is the initial stage of crabgrass germination because once it starts producing seeds, you can't control it. After this, you have to pull out all the crabgrass one by one regularly and it will not stop the growth. 

You can use a weed puller that is available in the market at cheaper prices. These long-handle tools give support to your back and make things slightly easier for you. 

So first, you should identify all the areas of crabgrass on the lawn. Mark them, and pull out every single plant before their seeds. 

  • Pulling crabgrass from an older lawn 

It is very difficult to deal with crabgrass on an older lawn. On the older lawn, crabgrass already invades the entire lawn. They have already done the process of their next seed germination and spread in the entire lawn no matter whether it is a bigger or shorter lawn. 

In that case, maybe you can pull out all the grass manually but it is less effective. In summer, you can't handle crabgrass on the older lawn just by pulling them out. So it is better to go with the natural weed controller liquid spray method. 

Crabgrass removal(weed killer)

Using natural weed controller herbicides is effective in crabgrass removal. But most of the time people do mistakes regarding their ratio with water. Over or less weed controller may be harmful or ineffective to deal with crabgrass. 

Before using any crabgrass removal, you should aware of the method of using it. Mostly, the spraying method is very common. For that, we use all the safety measures like gloves, masks, safety goggles, and a long-handle sprayer. 

You should read all the descriptions and precautions of every weed killer you use. It will be better if you choose organic weed killers that contain salt and citrus oil. Many weed killers strongly impact weeds but they badly affect the growth of the rest of the lawn grass(even after being organic). Each container of the liquid weed killer has instructions on how to use it.  

Mostly, we use concentrated weed killer as a water solution. If weed killer is quite ordinary then we take 2 oz in 1 gallon of water.  

Following are some popular crabgrass weed killers in the market according to their brands- 

  • AgraLawn Organic Crabgrass Killer 
  • Drive XLR8 Herbicide Crabgrass Killer
  • Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer 
  • BioAdvanced All in One Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer

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