Bob Vila Radio: Crabgrass

Left unchecked, crabgrass can run amok and ruin the look of your lawn. Here's how to prevent this pesky interloper—and what to do if it's already competing with your grass.

Crabgrass is a pesky interloper that can really ruin the look of your lawn. Left unchecked, it can spread quickly across wide areas as its seed travels. Here’s how to stop it in its tracks.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON CRABGRASSor read the text below:

Crabgrass

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The best offense, of course, is a good defense, and that means keeping your lawn thick and healthy and mowing it high. That creates deep shade at the roots, which makes it tough for sun-loving crabgrass to get started.

If you do see a small growth of crabgrass, pull it by hand and dispose of it. Don’t use a mulching mower on a lawn that has patches of crabgrass, as that only spreads the seeds over a wider area.

If your crabgrass is widespread, you’ll need to remove the affected areas of your lawn with a tiller or power rake, then reseed. Keep the newly seeded area lightly watered until the grass comes in, and immediately reseed any bare patches.

If you have persistent problems with crabgrass, come springtime you might want to use a pre-emergent crabgrass preventer on your lawn. That will keep any of the seeds that blow in from your neighbors’ yards from taking root in yours.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.