Having a good-looking, healthy green luscious lawn is a dream of every gardener. But the weeds such as crabgrass, dandelions, clovers, and several others hinder the growth of flowers and vegetables planted in the garden.
Among all those, the crabgrass is worse as it gives the nasty overgrown appearance in your garden. Armed with the best crabgrass killer, you will be able to control it without destroying your lawn and bring your yard back to life.
In this review guide, we’ll share some of our top crabgrass killers, followed by our buying guide to help you choose the right product.
11 Top Crabgrass Killer in Market
Our Top Pick
Our top pick for the best crabgrass killer is the BASF Drive XLR8 herbicide.
We highly recommend this as it’s very effective in controlling crabgrass growth in the yard. We find this to be better than an all-in-one weed solution as it gives you a faster result on crabgrass.
It also offers you complete weed control over other alternatives. It’s useful in other weeds types such as bindweed, clover, dandelions, foxtail, and several others.
What is crabgrass, and how to identify it?
Crabgrass is a seasoned weed that grows on the lawn and spreads vigorously. Although it’s an annual weed that grows in the warm season, it’s a prolific seeder. Each crabgrass plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds that germinate the next season and continue the cycle.
It’s difficult to remove these seeds as these are very hard and stick around the lawn to germinate in the following years. The mowing doesn’t help control seed production.
It can produce seeds even when mowed up to 1.5 inches tall, way below the recommended height of mowing lawn grass.
Another challenge in treating crabgrass is difficulty in identifying it accurately. A small size crabgrass has about ¼ inch wide leaf blades. The blades are skinny during sprouting and angle out as it continues the growth.
The side shooting of the blades and the growth of different branches make it easy to identify from other grasses. Regular grass has a very uniform growth pattern, whereas, in the crabgrass, the leaf blades are very distinguishable.
What to consider when buying Crabgrass Killer
The herbicides are toxic to plants and may cause damage to edible plants. Check for ingredients inside herbicide to take precautions.
Some herbicides are more potent than others. Consider whether you need to further dilute it or if it’s ready to spray directly on the crabgrass.
Choosing an environment-friendly herbicide that keeps the soil remain healthy and won’t harm other plants growing in your lawn.
Have a question about buying a crabgrass killer? Contact us
Best Crabgrass killer review
1. Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
Best Weed & Crabgrass Control
Compare-N-Save concentrate grass and weed killer contain 41 percent glyphosate that can kill crabgrass and other weeds. It’s a concentrated formula that can cover any small to medium size lawn care. You can mix it with water and prepare solutions to see visible results in 2 to 4 days.
You can apply it in the following areas:
- Driveways and walkways: Maintain your pathways and driveways free from weeds and grass.
- Garden fence: Spray the weed killer along the fence to keep a healthy appearance.
- Flower beds and shrubs: It’s safe to use around flower beds and shrubs.
- Edible plants: Safely use it around fruit and vegetable gardens.
The application of herbicide is very straightforward. The kill-all solution gets rid of even the toughest and stubborn weeds and crabgrass effectively.
You have to be careful when applying it in your yard as it kills everything it touches. So be selective when using. If you have any leftover solution, you can tighten the bottle and place it in the shade away from direct sunlight to use it next season.
See More Information about Compare-N-Save Concentrate Grass and Weed Killer
2. BASF Drive XLR8 Herbicide Crabgrass Killer
Best Concentrated Crabgrass Killer
BASF Drive herbicide crabgrass killer is a water-based liquid formula that can effectively kill crabgrass and other weeds. A bottle of BASF allows you to treat an acre of land.
It’s great for spot treatment of crabgrass and takes very little time to produce a visible result. Most of the time, you just need a single treatment to control crabgrass. You can spray it directly on the crabgrass, and within days the leaves turn yellow and become dead.
You will like the fact that it doesn’t just kill crabgrass, but some other common weeds type as well. The quick-dry formula means you don’t have to keep your pets and kids away from the lawn for long or worry about the weather.
If you’re looking for a post-emergent herbicide specifically designed to control crabgrass, you should give it a try.
See More Information about BASF Drive XLR8 Herbicide Crabgrass Killer
3. Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
Best Crabgrass Killer For All Seasons
Scotts Halts crabgrass & grassy weed preventer is a single applicator preventer that controls crabgrass all season long. It’s a preemergent herbicide that stops crabgrass before it even starts.
You can apply it in early spring or fall to stop the germination of crabgrass seeds. Apply it in spring when the lawn is dry and sprinkle over the areas where crabgrass usually grows. It prevents the crabgrass seed from germinating further and stops the spread.
You also have the option to apply it in the fall. It helps stop the germination of crabgrass and other weeds such as poa, annua, chickweed, and other common lawn weeds. Unlike other weed preventers, this prevents crabgrass and other problem weeds from growing all season long.
To be most effective toward crabgrass, apply it a couple of weeks before the temperature is warm enough for the crabgrass seeds to start germinating. In most places, this should be between mid to late April.
It’s one of the best crabgrass herbicides available in the market. The resilient weed controlling formula remains effective in rain or cold weather.
See More Information about Scotts Halts Crabgrass & Grassy Weed Preventer
4. Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed and Crabgrass Killer
Best Ready To Use Crabgrass Killer
Ortho Weedclear lawn weed killer is impactful on crabgrass and several other lawn weeds. Its fast-acting formula kills dandelion, chickweeds, clover, and crabgrass.
You need to apply it once to see the results of weed wither and die. It kills weeds to the roots without harming the lawn. You can use it on the grass that contains Bermuda grass, fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Zoysiagrass.
The weeder comes packed in a ready-to-spray applicator. It’s easy to use as you just need to connect the sprayer to the garden hose and turn on the water.
To get the optimum results, you should apply in the spring and fall while the weeds are still young and growing.
The quick-dry formula makes it safe for pets and kids to play in the yard after application. But it’s recommended to wait for around 24 hours after applying any weed killer to remain safe.
The main ingredients are 2, 4 -D, and Quinclorac that are effective on different types of weeds.
See More Information about Ortho WeedClear Lawn Weed and Crabgrass
5. Syngenta Tenacity 8 oz Herbicide
Syngenta tenacity herbicide is a highly effective crabgrass herbicide that also kills other weeds without harming the lawn.
It’s a professional-grade herbicide that has up to two times more powerful weed control formula. You can apply it on your lawn, and in a couple of days, you will see crabgrass turn gray and die.
It’s one of the most effective herbicides that gives you fast-acting results on even the toughest crabgrass.
If you don’t like using harsh chemicals that may affect the grass and other plants in the lawn, you should consider using Syngenta Tenacity herbicide.
It also controls actively growing dandelions, ground ivy, clover, and other common weeds in the garden. The application is straight as you just need to dilute the herbicide with water and apply it using a spray tank.
It contains 40% Mesotrione as an active ingredient. Make sure that you follow all the safety precautions while spraying it on your lawn.
Due to its high potency, avoid over spraying and apply it when there is little to no wind and no chance of rain for a few days. After you have applied, wait for a couple of days to see crabgrass wither, turn white and die.
A small bottle of herbicide makes approximately 15 gallons of solution. You only need to spray a single pass to see the results.
See More Information about Syngenta Tenacity 8 oz Herbicide
6. PBI Gordon Ornamec Over The Top Grass Herbicide
Best Multiweed Crabgrass Killer
If crabgrass is taking over your lawn, use PBI Gordon Ornamec top grass herbicide to rein the weed’s unhindered growth.
This powerful lawn care herbicide provides outstanding post-emergent control of unwanted grass in ground covers, shrubs, and trees. The specially formulated solution is effective on crabgrass and other weeds and nuisance grass.
You can use it to apply on driveways, walkways, around fences, trees, and flower beds. It’s a selective weed control that can help stop the growth of emerging annual grasses such as Panicum, goosegrass, foxtail, sandbur, and crabgrass.
You can use it over the top grass. It’s active on nearly 500 species and varieties of weeds that you can use around newly emerging weeds or transplants. The treated areas cease the weed growth in 48 hours and total death in 1 to 3 weeks.
For the best result, you can apply it during warm sunny days during the spring, and when the temperature is above 60 degrees. Don’t use it over edible plants such as vegetables and fruits. You can directly spray around the base of plants to control the weeds surrounding it.
See More Information about PBI Gordon Ornamec Over The Top Grass Herbicide
7. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
Best Organic Crabgrass Killer
With a single application of Green Gobbler Vinegar weed and grass killer, you can control crabgrass and several other weeds in a matter of hours.
The secret behind its fast-acting solution is 20% acetic acid is an active ingredient. It’s organic and safe to use anywhere. So, if you’re planning to remove crabgrass from residential, commercial, or industrial lawns, feel free to do so.
The herbicide is organic use certified. It controls the growth and spread of weeds and grasses without needing to use any toxic chemicals. It’s made from corn and is OMRI listed weed killer with a certification of organic use.
You can use it to apply around fences, near foundations, and between pathways. The easy-to-use sprayer is included. To apply, you just need to fill a pump sprayer with 20% vinegar or attach it directly to the bottle.
You don’t need to dilute it, and that is a huge time-saving. The easy-to-use applicator allows you to spray it where you want them and saves you from pulling weeds out by hand.
See More Information about Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
8. Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns
Best Crabgrass Killers For Sensitive Lawn
A more natural approach to target crabgrass is to use Spectracide weed stops that contain crabgrass preventer granules. It will help you to remove annoying weeds fast.
Spectracide is a preemergent crabgrass herbicide for lawn care. It’s specially designed for turfs and over 200 types of broadleaf weeds.
If you don’t want to deal with harsh toxic herbicides, this is suitable for your lawn. It effectively kills crabgrass and other weeds while being safe to use in your yard.
After you have applied, it provides up to 5 months of control. You can use the crabgrass preventer granules between spring and fall when the weeds are actively growing.
If you’re applying in the spring, the suitable time is to use it just before the weeds start growing. You can then make a second application in six to eight weeks for better control of crabgrass and other weeds’ growth.
You usually start seeing the results within 24 hours of application. After application, don’t water the lawn for the next three days or wait if there is a chance of rain. It’s a contact herbicide, and it needs to stick to the weed to remain active.
It’s highly economical and saves you money as a single bottle lets you cover most small to medium-sized lawns. This product isn’t available to use in Texas due to local restrictions.
See More Information about Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns
9. Primesource Quinclorac Crabgrass & Weed Killer
Best Post-Emergent Crabgrass Killers
Extremely versatile, Primesource Quinclorac liquid crabgrass killer is a selective, post-emergent herbicide to control crabgrass and broadleaf weeds.
You can use it to control not only crabgrass but also foxtail, kikuyu grass, signal grass, dandelion, and several others. It has 18.92% Quinclorac as an active ingredient.
You can also mix it with other herbicides to get the best results. But make sure to use methylated seed oil (MSO) as a surfactant when using Quinclorac to get the best results. It’s safe to use in your lawn as it won’t kill most grasses but selectively kill weeds.
Usually, you just need a single application to see the result of crabgrass wither and die. But sometimes, you have to spray it the second time to control any leftover weed. You can start seeding 7 to 10 days after application.
Wait at least 24 hours before you start watering your lawn to allow it to work on the weeds.
See More Information about Primesource Quinclorac Liquid Crabgrass Control Killer
10. Roundup for Lawns Crabgrass Destroyer
Best Multi-Use Crabgrass Killers
When crabgrass starts taking control over your lawn, take control back with the Roundup for Lawns crabgrass destroyer.
It’s an amazingly versatile herbicide that you can mix with other herbicides and fertilizers. It’s a potent premixed concentrate specially formulated for crabgrass. You can use it to apply on driveways, walkways, fences, and around flower beds.
It’s a very potent crabgrass killer that acts fast on the toughest crabgrass and grassy weeds without harming lawns. It’s designed for use on the Northern lawns. You can apply it on Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue.
The one-touch applicator requires no repetitive squeezing, pumping, or pulling. You can attach it directly to the bottle and do a continuous spray on the weeds.
The herbicide kills the toughest weeds down to its root and stops the crabgrass from further growing. Once applied, the crabgrass turns white within 4 to 7 days and kills it in a few days.
Keep it away from spraying near the edible plants as it won’t be safe to consume the fruit. The sprayer can be folded and attached to the bottle for more accessible storage.
See More Information about Roundup for Lawns Crabgrass Destroyer
11. GREENLIGHT Wipe-Out Crabgrass Killer
Allrounder Crabgrass Killer
You can take full control over crabgrass with GreenLight Crabgrass Wipe-Out concentrate.
It contains several active ingredients such as 2, 4-d, dimethylamine salt, quinclorac, and dicamba that are effective on even the toughest crabgrass and over 250 different weeds.
You can mix the concentrate with water and use it to apply with a spray hose-end sprayer. It’s fast-acting and get working immediately. Don’t spray it near edible plants or flower bulbs as it can damage those.
After application, you can see the visible results within 24 hours, where the crabgrass turns yellow and stops growing. Within 48 hours, the crabgrass withers and dies, leaving a patch of brown spots that you can replant.
You may have to occasional respray to treat any leftover spot or control tough crabgrass. For best results, spray anytime when you see the crabgrass and weeds actively growing.
See More Information about GREENLIGHT Wipe-Out Crabgrass Killer PLUS Concentrate
What is the best crabgrass killer for lawns?
Most general-purpose weed killers are non-effective on crabgrass. It’s due to a selective formula in the general weedkiller intended to kill broadleaf weeds while not destroying narrow-leaved turf grass.
Unfortunately, crabgrass has properties similar to narrow-leaved grass. Due to this, the general-purpose weed killer remains ineffective on crabgrass unless it also contains a specific crabgrass killer solution.
What are the crabgrass killer categories?
There are four types of crabgrass killer categories, depending on how they interact with crabgrass to control growth.
Selective Crabgrass herbicide: It’s a chemical-based solution that attaches and destroys only crabgrass but doesn’t affect other grass and weeds.
It’s a great way to remove crabgrass without worrying about damaging your yard. If you’re using a general-purpose weed killer, check out the ingredients and make sure it contains either Quinclorac, Dithiopyr, or DSMA as one of the main compositions.
Non-selective herbicide: The non-selective herbicide kills any plant that it comes in contact with. You should use it in an extreme situation where you have an uncontrollable overrun of weeds in the yard and want to start from scratch.
The non-selective herbicides are available in two forms, contact herbicide and systemic herbicide. The contact herbicide only kills part of the plant that it comes in contact with. In contrast, systemic herbicide destroys the whole plant.
Preemergent crabgrass herbicide (Preventive): These are used before crabgrass starts to germinate. It stops the seed from germinating and works best when applied in spring before other plants start growing.
Post-emergent crabgrass herbicide: The post-emergent herbicide is applied when the crabgrass has already established itself on the lawn. You have to use it when you can identify crabgrass taking its root in your yard.
How to buy the best crabgrass killer?
There are many different types of products in the market when it comes to buying the crabgrass killer. To help you make the buying decision, consider the following factors.
Safe to use near edible plants
The herbicides are toxic chemicals, and indiscriminate use may damage other edible plants such as vegetables and fruits.
You can reduce the exposure to edible plants by spraying it away from it. Some herbicides are specially formulated that minimize the impact on edible plants.
A less toxic crabgrass herbicide makes it easy to apply without getting it exposed to other plants or animals. Also, use proper protective clothing, so you don’t accidentally inhale when spraying.
Minimum usage rate for crabgrass prevention
The crabgrass killer has a different usage rating depending on the potency. You may have to apply it multiple times before you see the result.
A highly potent crabgrass killer may need less frequent use but may damage other grasses. On the other hand, the low potency herbicide may need repeated application.
Shouldn’t kill other grasses
Usually, the crabgrass killer shouldn’t damage other grass types on the lawn. But if you’re using general herbicide, it may also possibly damage other grass types and plants.
If you have a large quantity of crabgrass on your lawn, then buying herbicide specially designed for crabgrass may be the best option.
Know the usage restriction
Depending on the brand, you may get herbicide in granular and liquid form. There may be different usage restrictions where you can apply. The spray gives a better homogenous distribution.
For granular herbicides, the smaller the granular, the better results you can get. The fine size granules are far superior to the more prominent large-sized pellets.
Should you use the preemergent or post-emergent herbicide for crabgrass?
Preemergent crabgrass herbicide is most effective in controlling as it stops the seeds from germinating. This reduces the chance of it producing further seeds.
Using a preemergent crabgrass herbicide, you can control up to 80% of the crabgrass population.
The post-emergent herbicide is a reactive solution, as you’re trying to control the growth of crabgrass. Most often, at this stage, the crabgrass blends with other grasses that make it difficult to distinguish and target.
You also run the risk of destroying nearby grasses. But using post-emergent herbicide helps control future seed germination and break the cycle of crabgrass growth.
What is the best time to spray the crabgrass killer?
The best time to spray the crabgrass killer is in the spring and using a pre-emergent herbicide solution. It prevents the seed from germinating that may become a problem in the summer.
Apply it when the temperature is a bit warm above 55°F as it helps the chemical to act faster. After spraying the crabgrass killer, water it for around ½ inches to allow the herbicide to filter through the soil and reach to the crabgrass seed to destroy it.
You may have to apply it a couple of times in four to six-week gaps to get the most result. If the crabgrass has already grown, then use a post-emergent herbicide.
You have to check the label as some post-emergent herbicide is useful when the crabgrass is still young. In the case of massive crabgrass growth, you can hire a professional to use a dithiopyr-based solution that is very potent.
You also have the option to use over-the-counter post-emergent crabgrass herbicide. These contain quinclorac, and you can apply it when you identify crabgrass growing the yard.
However, the quinclorac isn’t as effective as dithiopyr; you may have to apply heavily or use it multiple times to get good results.
What is the best crabgrass killer that is safe for dogs or pets?
I found the Tenacity herbicide control to be the safest for dogs or pets. It’s one of the only herbicides listed for cold/warm-season grass that it won’t harm.
You can also use herbicides that contain 2, 4-D, or Trimec as active ingredients that are relatively safe to use. Its main application is toward broadleaf grass, but some brands have a crabgrass killer solution added that makes it safe to apply.
The 2, 4-D is a plant-based hormone that affects the growth of broadleaf plants and destroys it internally.
However, no herbicide is 100% safe for pets. You should take the necessary precautions and keep your dogs or pets away from the treated lawn for at least 24 hours.
What is the best pre emergent crabgrass killer?
The preemergent crabgrass killer can be divided into two types.
Specially formulated preemergent herbicide: It contains Isoaxben, Trifluralin, and Prodiamine as the main ingredient.
It works very well, and you can buy a solution that has either of those as the main ingredient. You can use Prodiamine for clay and sandy soils to get the best result.
General preemergent with post-emergent control additive: In this, the main ingredient is dithiopyr that provides post-emergent control of grass up to the three-leaf stage and is very porous into the soil.
It’s great for clay and loam-based soil. You shouldn’t overwater as it causes it to permeate deep in the ground. It doesn’t work very effectively on sandy soil or snow-prone areas.
However, it’s excellent for post-emergence as you can apply it a little later into the post-emergence stage.
If you missed applying the preemergence crabgrass herbicide at the right time, you could use a post-emergence herbicide containing Pendimethelin as the main ingredient.
It attacks the roots and stems of crabgrass and helps you maintain your yard free from crabgrass.
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