Home Gardening 10 best multi-weed crabgrass killers: Detailed guide

10 best multi-weed crabgrass killers: Detailed guide

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Those who have a garden, a lawn, a vegetable garden, or flower beds will certainly have had to deal with the problem of weeds. In fact, the beauty of the garden and the external environment of the house largely depends on the level of care and maintenance, and the presence of weeds gives the green area an extremely unpleasant aspect.

The defense against weeds of various kinds will, therefore, be one of the most important operations to keep the external environment clean, cared, and free from spontaneous flora. This operation can be done either manually or by the use of herbicides, that easily kill lawn weeds and grass and prevent weed growth.

Manually removing the weeds is in fact very tiring and does not solve the problem permanently: the best solution to the enemies of green areas is high-quality crabgrass killers.

Choosing the best crabgrass killer to be sure of ridding the garden or driveway of weeds is not easy. Weeds can in fact be of different varieties:  there may be more than 10 specimens per square meter. In addition to that, some lawn weed killers can kill your grass alongside weeds.

Therefore, in order to help you choose the right tools to preserve the beauty of your meadows, here is a complete and detailed list of the 10 best-performing crabgrass killers sold anywhere.


1. Tenacity Turf Herbicide

Tenacity Turf Herbicide - 8 ounces


This selective, systemic herbicide causes the inhibition of a plant enzyme that is essential to photosynthesis in susceptible plant species. Tenacity’s active ingredient, mesotrione (40%), is absorbed by plants from the soil through the roots, shoots, and leaves and distributed throughout the plant. In the beginning, this process evolves in bleaching of leaves and goes along with the necrosis and death of the plant.

Tenacity is one the best crabgrass preventers thanks to its pre and post-emergent control of troublesome weeds. It provides guaranteed effectiveness on more than 46 broadleaf weed and grass species including crabgrass, ground ivy, yellow foxtail, yellow nutsedge, and nimble will.

Once absorbed, it only occurs from two to three weeks and everything that is undesirable will start to turn white and then slowly die. Thanks to its specific directions, Tenacity Turf Herbicide eliminates weeds during planting so that new grass can thrive and flourish. It can also be applied to established or newly seeded turf.


2. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer | Natural and Organic Weed & Grass Killer |1 Gallon


When it comes with high-quality crabgrass killers, Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer surely is one of the top 10 products. Its powerful formula is four times stronger than traditional table vinegar (5%), which makes the process of desiccation of broadleaf weeds last less than 24 hours.

Green Gobbler’s contact weed killer is also approved for organic use by OMRI. It is in fact a glyphosate-free herbicide derived from corn, which makes it perfect for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural use (perfect along fences, near foundations, and between pavers in walkways).

20% Vinegar Weed Killer is an eco-friendly solution among the best-concentrated crabgrass killers because it entirely eliminates and desiccates weeds and grasses with no risk of pollution and no cancer-causing chemicals. In addition to that, Green Gobbler’s is easy to use because it comes with a trigger sprayer included.


3. Gordon’s Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer

PBI/Gordon 652400 Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer, 20-Ounce - Brown/A


If you’re looking for superior cool-wheatear performances Gordon’s Speed Zone Lawn Weed Killer is one of the most efficient crabgrass killers reviewed. After the first treatment, it only needs a few hours for the first results of injury to be visible and 7-14 days for the plants to be dead; once done, the field can be reseeded in just two weeks.

This type of herbicide is suitable for large properties since its effect covers from 14.000 to 18.000 square feet. It can be used on established cool and warm-season grasses for common and tough-to-control weeds in turf-grass such as spurge, pennywort, dandelion, and white clover.

Speedzone is intended to be effective on most ornamental lawns including Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, red or fine leaf fescue, and mixtures of cool-season species in noncropland. As direction instructed for best results, spray when broadleaf weeds are young and actively growing, preferring spring and fall treatments to summer ones.

4. Quinclorac 75 DF Weed Herbicide

Quinclorac 75 DF Selective Herbicide Equivalent to Drive quali-1014


Quinclorac 75 DF Herbicide is a dependable selective herbicide, working on the toughest post-emergent weeds like crabgrass. This product is useable on a variety of sites, from residential and commercial as well as golf courses and sport fields, and it absolutely kills even the mature crabgrass without harming the ornamental plants.

The treatment comes in the form of a powder, that has to be dissolved in water in order to create a spray solution to be applied on lawns and turfs.

The solution is transferred to the weed through the foliage and the active formula interferes with plant growth and cellulose production. It only takes a few days for the first results to be seen: through a process called chlorosis the grass curls up and changes color from green to white, before turning red and then dying.

Its active ingredient Quinclorac 75% makes the Quinclorac 75 DF one of the best-concentrated crabgrass killers as it guarantees a long-lasting control of weeds and grasses from one month to 90 days.


5. Trimec Broadleaf Classic Herbicide

PBI Gordon Trimec Broadleaf Classic Herbicide, Gallon

 


When it comes to experience and reliability, Trimec Classic is really one of the best performing crabgrass killers sold anywhere. Introduced over 40 years ago, Trimec Classic’s active ingredients are mixed in a way that causes a synergistic action, which makes it a cheap yet effective product to use.

Delivers dependable control of more than 90 broadleaf weeds, including clover, dandelion, plantain, and chickweed without damaging or harming other turfgrass species when using as directed. Also effective to use for hard-to-kill weeds, without the need for a second application. This product is as low profile as possible thanks to its low odor formulation that makes this herbicide environmentally sensitive.

The Gordons Trimec Classic Broadleaf Herbicide is an effective professional post-emergence herbicide that combines years of experience and a low-cost solution in a powerful and efficient formula for every weed control program.


6. Crossbow Specialty Herbicide

Southern Ag CROSSBOW32 Weed & Brush Killer, 32oz-1 Quart Crossbow Specialty Herbicide 2 4 D & Triclopyr Weed & Brus, (s) (32 oz)


Crossbow Specialty Herbicide is an excellent non-selective herbicide ideal for killing many undesired trees, brush and vines.  This post-emergent herbicide controls most unwanted woody plants as well as many annual and perennial broad-leaf weeds and grasses growing on rangeland, permanent grass pastures, fence rows, non-irrigation ditch banks, roadsides, other non-crop areas, and industrial sites.

Application types and rates vary: for best results, apply Crossbow during warm weather and when the foliage is actively growing, spray to thoroughly wet all foliage. It can be applied both in season or during dormancy.

Because Crossbow is non-selective it might harm desirable plants by spray drift. For this reason it is better to apply the product in a manner to avoid contacting nearby susceptible crops or other desirable plants.


7. Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 Vegetation Killer

Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 Vegetation Killer, 32 oz. (Not Sold in NY)


When looking for a simple way to keep the driveways, sidewalks and patio looking good, Roundup Concentrate Max Control 365 is the best overall crabgrass killer that kills weeds to the root so they won’t come back.

A great pro about this formula is that the mix gets absorbed through the leaves, this guarantees weeds prevention for up to 12 months by creating an invisible barrier in the soil. 

Roundup tank sprayer is available in various sizes which makes it perfect for treating both small and larger areas. The treatment is easy and effective to apply: just follow the instructions on the label by simply adding water to the required amount of concentrate and it will kill unwanted weeds with visible results in 12 hours.

Moreover Roundup comes with a refund service in case the customer is not satisfied with the results of the product; you just need to send the original proof of purchase and you will get your money back.


8. Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer With Extended Control Concentrate

Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer With Extended Control Concentrate, 40-Ounce


The exceptional formula of Spectracide Weed & Grass Killer With Extended Control Concentrate has been designed to be a weed killer and to prevent the growth of unwanted weeds for up to 5 months.

This quick-kill solution is fast effective against all types of weeds and grass by acting and penetrating down to the root, guaranteeing the first visible results as fast as 3 hours. In a couple of days, all the weeds and grass will be decimated to nothing. As soon as the herbicide is absorbed and begins to work, leaves will start yellowing/browning, then curling, twisting, wilting and then die.

This crabgrass killer’s best value is that it is also formulated to be rainproof: after the first 15 minutes rainfall or watering will not affect the treatment nor wash away it’s effectiveness. As most of the best crabgrass killers, it gives its best result when applied in warm, sunny weather when the temperature is over 60 degrees. 


9. Bayer Celsius WG Herbicide

Bayer Celsius WG 10 oz


Celsius WG herbicide is a post-emergent herbicide that provides a control for one of the largest varieties of weeds on the market. This product is formulated to be efficient against more than 150 weeds, including many of the most hard-to-control weeds and grasses. Celsius WG Herbicide is ideal and extremely safe on St. Augustine grass and centipede grass types, with no high-temperature limitations.

Even if it contains 25-75% less active ingredients than most of the various herbicides in the same class, Bayer Celsius WG desiccates and kills unwanted weeds with high-performance results, and that’s what makes this product being also less dangerous for the surrounding ornamental plants.

Don’t be discouraged by the price, this may not be one of the cheapest crabgrass killers but the cost is well worth the effectiveness. It only needs a tiny bit of product per usage in order to get satisfying results and since it’s extremely efficient the bottle will last a very long time.


10. Monterey LG5190 Remuda Full Strength, Non-Selective Post Emergence Herbicide

Monterey LG5190 Remuda Full Strength, Non-Selective Post Emergence Herbicide, 1 Gal


The Monterey Remuda Full Strength is great for postemergence weed control. This is the most efficient and quick weapon during the active growth of unplanted areas, including brush and tree species. It is a non-selective herbicide that kills both annual and perennial grass-like crabgrass and many broadleaf weeds in lawns like thistle, clover, creeping charlie, and poison ivy.

It works great for vegetation management, ornamental weed control, and non-planted lawn areas.

Using Remuda is very easy as it can simply be applied as a spray. To prepare the mixture, just mix the herbicide with the appropriate amount of water for the desired strength level and apply on emerged weeds.

Once the spray solution has completely dried, Monterey LG5190 Remuda Full Strength becomes safe for people and pets as well. It is always recommended to consult the label for more detailed information.


What is the best way to get rid of crabgrass?

If crabgrass is a problem in your yard, luckily, there’s more than one tool to tackle unwanted weeds. If you’re keen on using natural options, you may cultivate a healthy lawn by manually pulling the weeds out. Early in the spring, the roots of crabgrass are still small and you will be able to get rid of them successfully. However, this method takes a lot of time and energy to get the job done especially if there are extended areas invaded with crabgrass.

Surely one of the most efficient methods is prevention. Make sure you use your best preventive crabgrass killer in early spring in order to prevent the germination of new weeds in the soil. Pre-emergent herbicides kill crabgrass before seedlings grow, making it a more effective way to remove unwanted weeds and allowing you time in the season to cultivate a new lawn.

For a tenacious crabgrass infestation, you can use post-emergent herbicides that kill crabgrass well after it has germinated without hurting your lawn grass. However, post-emergent crabgrass killers tend to be effective only on young plants so timing is the key for detecting them and then act promptly.

What time of year is the best to kill crabgrass?

Timing is critical when it comes to controlling and preventing crabgrass in your yard. The more you wait the more the root will get stronger and harder to control. Spring – February through April – is mostly when the annual ritual of removing crabgrass begins.

This though-to-control weed is persistent due to the volume of seeds it produces annually, and because crabgrass is most active in spring, acting during this time will make you get ahead of the germination cycle and prevent the growth of the seeds and roots.

The best method of prevention for crabgrass is applying a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring before seeds germinate. Keep in mind that the time of application may vary depending on the climatic region.

Post-emergent, on the other hand, is a herbicide you apply when the weeds have already grown in the yard. Even though pre-emergent herbicides are preferred, applying some post-emergent herbicides while plants are still young is very effective too. 

Should you pull crabgrass?

Crabgrass takes root and spreads in warm weather months and will die on its own in the fall. But if the seeds don’t get removed before germination, they will stay viable in the soil and grow again the following year.

The best way to get rid of crabgrass is to remove the weedy clumps as you spot them: pulling at this early stage is a very effective way to get rid of crabgrass. Young plants leave in fact only a small hole in your lawn, which will be quickly refilled by desirable grass.

There is no doubt that pulling weeds before they germinate reduces the number of seeds for the following year. The actual result depends on the size of the plants when pulled out: if the plants are still young probably the seeds haven’t set yet, big plants are probably already seeding instead.

Pulling or digging crabgrass is likely the least desirable method because it involves a great deal of manual labor and time. In the end, the most efficient and quick weapon against future weeds is using a high-quality crabgrass killer, aka pre-emergent herbicide, before the crabgrass seeds sprout.

When should I put a crabgrass preventer down? 

Crabgrass is an annual weed and as such, it spreads by seed. For this reason, the right temporal applications are essential in the fight against one of the most invasive weeds. In fact, crabgrass preventers successfully kill the plants by the roots only if applied before crabgrass seedlings emerge through the soil, so time is the key when it comes to controlling crabgrass by preventing its germination.

So how do we know when to start the prevention process? Here are three useful tips:

  • Season – early spring: Crabgrass seeds germinate from early spring until late summer.
  • Soil temperature rising to about 55 °F : In spring, crabgrass starts germinating when soil temperatures warm to 55 degrees Fahrenheit for four to five days in a row.
  • When the weather forecast shows it’s about to rain.

What’s so bad about crabgrass?

Crabgrass and other unwanted weeds are dangerous to your lawn’s health because they steal precious moisture and nutrients from the soil, taking them away from plants you value like lawn grasses, flowers, and vegetables. Crabgrass can also make a lawn look unkempt because, as an annual herb, the plants die in autumn, leaving holes throughout the lawn.

It is the nemesis of homeowners wanting to cultivate a manicured lawn, perennial flower beds, and meticulous walkways. Even if it apparently dies in the fall, the plant will keep producing thousands of seeds that can germinate the following spring if it’s not eradicated first. A lawn that’s invaded with crabgrass can in fact soon be damaged if you do not take the necessary precautions to fix it.

What’s bad about Crabgrass is its resilience: it not only is very hard to kill but also very quick at establishing and dominating your lawn. In addition to that, it grows on thin or bare areas of the lawn, but it can also crowd-out and spread all over good grasses.

How do I get rid of large amounts of crabgrass?

Crabgrass grows more easily in stressed and neglected lawns. For this reason, the best way to get rid of crabgrass is prevention. The first step in controlling Crabgrass is to maintain a healthy, vigorous lawn with proper fertilizing, watering, mowing, and, as said, applying the best crabgrass preventer.

To take back the control of your lawn from the crabgrass invaders, you have to first identify the intruder. Once done, existing crabgrass plants can be controlled with the best performing crabgrass killer. Pre-emergent herbicide no longer works once the seeds have sprouted and the plants have grown. It is, therefore, necessary to use the post-emergent one, which also targets existing and actively growing plants before they can produce more seeds.

When using crabgrass killers or any herbicides, it’s important to understand whether the product is a selective herbicide, that only kills specific weeds or plant categories or a non-selective one, that might also affect other plants you want to keep, so make sure to check the label and act as indicated.

Can I apply a crabgrass preventer twice?

Since most herbicides for weed prevention last up to 6 months, it is highly recommended to apply them twice a year. In order to avoid harmful consequences for your ornamental lawn, do not apply the crabgrass preventer more than twice a year.

Furthermore, it is advisable to wait two to six months between applications and make sure not to apply the treatment on newly seeded lawns because the natural growth process of the new grass could be interrupted. In fact, some pre-emergents could make poor or slow the germination process of some plant species.

Do not rake or aerate the soil after application, as it will disturb the soil that the crabgrass preventer is using as a barrier. It is not necessary to re-apply the herbicide to your whole yard. It is better to focus the treatment on areas where the crabgrass is most prosperous such as the edges of driveways and walking paths.

These spots tend to absorb more heat, warming the soil and creating comfort zones for the growth of crabgrass.

Can you put down a crabgrass preventer too early?

Once applied, almost all crabgrass preventers are effective for about 8 weeks. In the case of a year when spring and early summer are particularly cool and humid, the crabgrass seeds can keep going with the sprouting process even after the effectiveness of the preventer has ended.

In these cases, timing is the key to successful prevention. It can often happen that not even the full 8 weeks of protection can be obtained due to the incorrect calculation of treatment times.

If you intervene by applying the crabgrass preventer too early, the back end of your protection is shortened and the effectiveness of action can end before the seeds start to germinate. If you apply too late, the crabgrass grows and sprouts before you stop it and it will soon begin to take over your lawn. When this happens, you might want to try post-emergent weed killing options.

Can you put down too much crabgrass preventer?

Crabgrass preventer is a non-selective product that prevents everything (including grass seeds) from sprouting. For this reason, it is advisable to always follow the instructions on the product’s label that indicate the maximum dose that can be used in order to avoid undesired effects on your desired plants.

To protect your lawn from the risk of too much crabgrass preventer killing your grass seeds as well, be sure not to use any pre-emergent-treated grass residue as mulch, as chemicals traces will remain. Also, make sure you avoid chemicals coming into contact with your garden or flower beds.

One solution to avoiding using too much herbicide could be a way that not only prevents the crab from germinating but also kills it in its early stages: the first application in early May kills the young crabgrass that has already sprouted and prevents the plants from germinating from mid-May to the end of June. So done, you’re beyond the worst threat and there’s no need to put down more preventer that needed.

What does crabgrass look like on the lawn?

Crabgrass is tough, has many legs (or stems), and it spreads low to the ground, making it difficult to mow or remove.

In the beginning, small plants are difficult to see because they are light green in color but become darker as they grow. If ignored, it will continue to sprout, spread, and grow thick patches. Once mature, crabgrass will turn a reddish/purple color near the base, making it easier to distinguish this between other weeds and grasses. There are different types of crabgrass: smooth crabgrass and hairy crabgrass.

The hairy type is named after the small hairs you will find all over the plant if you take a closer look at the leaves and stems. The difference between the two types is a manner of where those hairs can be found: on smooth crabgrass, the hairs are located only at the plant’s auricles: small and ear-like projections on the interior side at the base of the leaves.

Get Rid Of Crabgrass By Using Pre-Emergence Weed Killer

Early May is the time up north to divide overgrown clumps of daylilies, Shasta daisies, garden chrysanthemums, hardy perennial asters, perennial phlox, physostegia, plantain lilies (funkia), lythrum, garden heliotrope and speedwell (veronica).

It is especially important to divide garden mums that have survived the winter. Small divisions of the clump containing a stout sprout and a good piece of root produce better plants and more abundant blooms.

Garden chrysanthemums are not hardy perennials in the North. They do not come through the rugged winters like peonies, iris, and other hardy garden perennials. Some winters they survive almost 100% and other winters only a small percent come through alive.

New plants should be secured and planted early in May in order to get maximum growth and flowering. Later plantings result in smaller plants and fewer flowers.

This also is a good time to plant regal lilies and all of the summer and fall flowering varieties of hardy garden perennials. Spring flowering varieties are better planted in late summer or early fall. Gladiolus corms and dahlia tubers are planted in early May.

Toward the end of the month, window boxes and planters in sunny locations are stocked with appropriate plants such as petunias, geraniums, lobelia, sweet alyssum, and verbena. Those located in shady places are planted with tuberous begonias, caladiums, ivy and patience plants (impatiens).

For best results use new soil each year in window boxes and planters. The soil should be a porous, loamy type enriched with a complete fertilizer. There should be a drainage zone beneath the soil consisting of coarse gravel and or broken pieces of flower pots, also drainage holes in the bottom to allow moisture from rains and watchmaking to escape.

Water-logging of the soil would be sure death to the plants.

Ready for Crabgrass

Pre-emergence crabgrass and bug killers are applied to lawns infested with this most difficult to combat weed just like also with the indoor plant pests like the plant bugs.

Also, along toward the end of the month set the lawnmower to cut at two inches and mow the lawn more frequently, at least once a week or every five or six days. The higher grass will shade the crabgrass seed and cut down on its germination.

Leave the grass clippings on the lawn where they will disintegrate and supply a small but significant amount of protection for the turf and eventually contribute humus or organic matter.

As soon as the days get warmer, and the dandelions are making rapid growth, they should be sprayed with an approved weed killer.

Be sure to choose a calm day for application because the slightest amount of mist from the spray could damage garden flowers, trees, and shrubs.

If possible, do spot spraying of dandelions, plantain, and chickweed, and repeat applications within 10 days for control of the latter two weeds. If necessary, spray a third time.

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