Weeds are pretty hardy and fast-growing plants. They can turn any lawn into a real mess in a short time. The same goes for crabgrass, which can displace all other beneficial grasses on your yard over time. If you see an adult plant on your lawn, you should immediately use the best crabgrass killer to stop it from multiplying. It can produce about 150000 seeds in just one season. Once weeds germinate and start to grow, no amount of pre-emergents or preventers will destroy them. That is why you need a killer. Fortunately, crabgrass is annual, so your chances of eradicating it are high.
5 Best Crabgrass Killers Reviewed
- Scotts VB30015 Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer – Best Crabgrass Killer Overall
- Ortho Weed B Gon Plus Crabgrass Control Concentrate2 – Best Crabgrass Control Product for Money
- Southern Ag Atrazine St. Augustine Grass Weed Killer – Best Crabgrass Pre Emergent for St. Augustine Lawn
- GREEN LIGHT 7462 Wipe-Out Crabgrass Killer PLUS Concentrate – Best Crabgrass Preventer for Any Weeds
- Roundup Pro Weed Killer Concentrate – Crabgrass Herbicide for Pros
It is unlikely that you would argue that one of the most time-consuming tasks in a garden is weed control. You can spend a lot of time and energy on destroying them, but they’ll grow again in a while. However, some methods make this work easier. You will find the most effective products on my list.
1. Best Crabgrass Killer Overall: Scotts Weed Preventer
As you know, it is better to protect your lawn in advance than trying to get rid of already adult weeds. In my opinion, Scotts Weed Preventer is perfect for this purpose. It is a versatile remedy effective against crabgrass when applied in the spring and Poa annua, chickweed, moss, and henbit if used in the fall. The set contains two packs of 10 pounds each. This volume is enough to treat a lawn of about 10000 square feet.
Before using, I advise you to read the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully. A special feature of crabgrass is that it germinates from seeds when the soil temperature reaches 55-60°F. As you can imagine, it can be a different month for different regions. Therefore, do not use this pre-emergent crabgrass killer right after the snow melts. Wait until it gets a little warmer outside.
Pendimethalin is used as an active ingredient. It has a dual-action and is applied as both post-emergent and pre-emergent in agriculture and gardening. It disrupts the development of a root system and inhibits internal processes inside plants. During the germination period, weeds die instantly, and young shoots die after 3-4 days. Various studies show different toxicity of Pendimethalin products. But many scientists say that it can be harmful to pets, in particular to dogs. Therefore, use it carefully.
- Highly efficient;
- Kills various types of weeds;
- Gives fast results;
- Large packaging;
- Can be used in the spring and fall.
- Toxic to dogs.
2. Best Crabgrass Control Product for Money: Ortho Crabgrass Control
It is another concentrate herbicide that deserves your attention. This crabgrass control product is suitable for those who do not need to cultivate lawns on an industrial scale. It is effective against many weeds: crabgrass, thistle, dandelion, chickweed, etc. This product will keep beneficial plants on your lawn intact. Its moderate price is something that adds to all the benefits of this quality product.
The liquid is supplied in a small 40-ounce bottle, which will be enough to cover an area over 6000 square feet. It starts its work immediately after application. Since it is a systemic herbicide, it can kill even perennial weeds with an extensive root system. The agent is quickly absorbed into the soil and by plants so that even heavy rain can’t wash it away.
The manufacturer used several active ingredients at once to make this concentrate, which, in my opinion, makes it extremely effective. 2,4-D Dimethylamine salt disrupts the normal development of plants, causing the grass to die. Since liquids that contain this ingredient have been used since the last century, some weeds have developed a stable immunity. Therefore, other herbicides are also used to improve efficiency. For example, here, you will find Quinclorac and Dicamba.
- Kills all common weeds;
- Does not affect beneficial grasses;
- Contains three active ingredients;
- Absorbs quickly.
- Small bottle volume;
- You’ll need a sprayer for even application.
3. Best Crabgrass Pre Emergent for St. Augustine Lawn: Southern Ag Atrazine
Some herbicides are selective and are formulated exclusively for use on certain lawns. This Southern Ag product controls weeds effectively at St. Augustine or centipede lawns as most gardeners choose these grasses for their backyards. One bottle of this concentrate (1 gallon) is enough to treat a yard of about 14800 square feet.
This item contains Atrazine, which has both systemic and contact effects on some types of weeds. If it gets inside a plant, it blocks the process of photosynthesis, which is why the grass withers, dries up, and dies. I noticed the first results within 9-10 days after the application. Depending on the amount of the concentrate applied, Atrazine retains its properties for 2-14 months. It can be used for young seedlings in the spring and to avoid weeds spread next year in the fall.
I think the big plus of this herbicide is that its effectiveness little depends on weather conditions. So you don’t have to worry if you don’t guess the correct temperature for application. This product is safe for beneficial flying insects like bees but has low toxicity to humans and pets. Therefore, when diluting and spraying the concentrate, I recommend wearing protective gloves, goggles, and a respirator to avoid getting the product inside.
- Safe for bees;
- Retains its effectiveness for a long time;
- Covers a large area;
- Results do not depend on the weather.
- Narrow application.
4. Best Crabgrass Preventer for Any Weeds: GREEN LIGHT Crabgrass Killer
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This concentrate has the same tough and effective formula as the Ortho product on my list. It contains 2,4-D Dimethylamine acid, Dicamba, and Quinclorac, which have a complex effect on over 250 types of weeds, including crabgrass. You can apply it on any lawn, as it does not negatively affect beneficial plants.
2,4-D Dimethylamine acid begins to act on plants rather quickly (literally within a few hours after application). I noticed the first results just a couple of days after using it on my lawn. Weeds turned brown and died completely after a few more days. I recommend making sure to dissolve it in water, following the instructions exactly, and use a sprayer to apply this product. Otherwise, too much concentration of the herbicide in one spot can burn your lawn.
The product comes in a 32-ounce plastic bottle. This volume is enough to handle a yard of 6400 square feet. While I do find this remedy effective, in my opinion, it is somewhat overpriced. At least, I expected that this concentrate would be sufficient for a larger area.
- Tough formula;
- Fast results;
- Effective against 250 types of weeds;
- A bit overpriced.
5. Crabgrass Herbicide for Pros: Roundup Pro Concentrate
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If you prefer professional lawn care products, I recommend this concentrate. It is designed for professional use and can handle even huge lawns. It comes as a concentrate in a 2.5-gallon plastic bottle, which lasts for over 400000 square feet.
Glyphosate in its composition is a herbicide that fights both annual and perennial weeds effectively. Absorbed by the roots and leaves of plants, it gets inside and blocks the synthesis of vital compounds, which causes grasses to die. Recent studies have shown that although this ingredient has low toxicity to humans, its concentration can negatively affect health. Also, Glyphosate is toxic to honey bees and other beneficial insects.
I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that this agent is a so-called “non-selective” herbicide. It means that it affects all types of plants. It is recommended for use in gardens with trees to remove weeds around trunks or areas where complete destruction of any vegetation is required (for example, near airstrips or railway tracks).
- Has a systemic effect;
- Large volume;
- Can be used not only in agriculture;
- Excellent value for money.
- Negatively affects beneficial insects;
- Non-selective herbicide.
Crabgrass Killer Buyer’s Guide
So that you can choose the most suitable crabgrass herbicide, I have put together some useful information about which types of products are there and what you should look for when buying.
Types of crabgrass killers
All weed control products can be divided into several groups according to the principle of their action. First of all, you should know that there are selective and non-selective herbicides. If the former acts only on certain types of plants without affecting others’ development, then the latter destroy literally any vegetation. Also, there are two types of non-selective herbicides, contact and systemic. As the name implies, the former acts exclusively on the treated surface. The latter has a greater effect and affects even the perennial weeds’ branched roots, moving along the plant.
Killer vs. preventer
Depending on your goals, you can use crabgrass pre emergent or killer. Products that belong to the first group affect plants when they have not germinated yet. Timing is essential for their most effective use. The ground temperature should warm to 55-60°F. Many of these liquids remain effective for a long time, so some gardeners use them in the fall to avoid weed infestation in the spring.
Weed killers or post-emergents are recommended when the grass has already sprouted. Their active ingredients act on adult plants, slowing down internal processes and gradually killing them. Since crabgrass is considered one of the most difficult weeds to kill, I recommend a holistic approach to control it.
What to consider when buying a crabgrass killer
In addition to these categories, you should pay attention to the following characteristics.
Some top rated crabgrass killer products are so powerful that they can damage not only your lawn and other plants but also harm your health and local ecosystem. Some active ingredients are toxic to humans, pets, fishes, and beneficial insects. I recommend that you familiarize yourself with the local herbicide laws in your state.
The effectiveness of some tools depends directly on the air and ground temperature and precipitation. If you live in an area with warm or hot climate, you may need a stronger herbicide that should be applied several times per season. In regions with cooler temperatures, one fall application of crabgrass preventer can be enough so that this weed does not emerge in the spring.
Herbicides can be presented as a powder and crabgrass killer spray (or concentrate). The effectiveness of the picked product does not depend on the form. To distribute any remedy evenly, you need a spreader or sprayer. So, choose the appropriate form depending on what device you have.
Crabgrass Killer FAQ
In this section, you will find answers to some questions about choosing the right product.
What is the best product to kill crabgrass?
In my opinion, the best tactic in weed control is prevention. It is better to make every effort to prevent the spread and growth of seeds than fight with adult rooted plants. Preventive measures will cost you less anyway. That is why I recommend using the Scotts Weed Preventer, which kills the plants before they even sprout.
What kills crabgrass, not grass?
To prevent the purchased product from destroying your lawn, choose bottles marked “selective.” It means that herbicides affect only certain plant species and are lawn-friendly. These include tools containing ingredients such as Pendimethalin, Dicamba, Quinclorac, and Atrazine.
What is the best post-emergent crabgrass killer?
Some of the items on my list can be used effectively as both pre-emergents and post-emergents. For already adult plants, I recommend Roundup Pro Concentrate and Ortho Crabgrass Control. Both of these products have a fairly wide range of effects and help you get rid of many types of weeds.
Don’t Let Crabgrass Take Root on Your Lawn
From my own experience, I know that crabgrass management can be a tedious task. Scotts Weed Preventer helped me the most with weed control, but other products on my article have proven to be effective as well. Now that you know the answer to what is the best crabgrass killer, you can approach weed control wisely. In addition to using a quality herbicide, remember to maintain your lawn properly.
Tell me, which products did you use to get rid of weeds? If you have any personal tips on destroying crabgrass, please share them with other readers in the comments.
Last update on 2021-10-21. The post includes Affiliate links. Images from Amazon Product Advertising API