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7 Tips to Get Rid of Crabgrass at Your Home in Wisconsin or Minnesota


Crabby about crabgrass?

Join the club. Does anybody like it? Maybe goats.

The king of lawn weeds, crabgrass is stubborn, prolific, and has the sinister ability to pop up right before you host the neighborhood cookout.

It looks bad. It makes you look bad.

How to get rid of crabgrass in Wisconsin and Minnesota?

Let’s do this.

First, Understand Crabgrass 

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual with an impressive claim to fame: each crabgrass plant produces as many as 150,000 seeds in one growing season.

Those pesky seeds stay behind, ready to germinate the following spring and start the evil cycle all over again.

Crabgrass with seedheads

Even seeds that don't germinate right away can hang around to sprout in future years.

No wonder it’s so tough to get rid of crabgrass.

How to tell if it’s crabgrass?

Crabgrass growing in lawn in Wisconsin

The leaves of crabgrass are broader than grass blades and it grows in clumps close to the ground. The stems grow outward rather than up, and look like the legs of a crab.


The Best Crabgrass Preventer: A Thick, Healthy Lawn

Soon, it’ll be barefoot season. Lounge chair season. Backyard entertaining season.

All great reasons to have a thick, healthy lawn.

Thick grass with no crabgrassGuess what? That same lush lawn that feels so good on your bare toes does a good job of preventing crabgrass from sneaking in.

All weeds, including crabgrass, hate healthy lawns.

Get a thick, healthy lawn and get rid of crabgrass with these tips:

1. Mow High to Control Crabgrass

We know, it’s tempting to mow even lower than usual to mow down that annoying crabgrass. 

But it doesn’t work that way. 

Taller grass helps a lawn grow thicker. Mow too short, and the soil heats up, helping those pesky weed seeds to germinate.


2. Crabgrass Control: Proper Watering 

A lawn that’s too wet or too dry encourages weeds, including crabgrass.

You can invest in a professionally-installed irrigation system to help water your lawn correctly and efficiently.

lawn team irrigation

Not in the budget right now? At least grab some hoses, timers, and sprinklers. It’s more time consuming and cumbersome than a professional system, but it’s better to water your lawn properly on your own than to invite crabgrass by neglecting to water.

Read Our Guide to Lawn Care in Minnesota & Wisconsin

3. When to Apply Crabgrass Preventer?

Your mission: prevent those stubborn seeds from becoming more seed-producing plants.

Pre-emergent treatment is crucial — targeting those seeds as they germinate and take root in the soil. 

You may be wondering when to apply crabgrass preventer in Wisconsin and Minnesota. While most lawn care companies do one crabgrass application in the spring, here at RainMaster (servicing Eau Claire, WI and the Twin Cities), we do two, one in early spring and another in late spring. 

Crabgrass control application

Double protection. Longer-lasting results.

4. Spot Spray With Crabgrass Killer 

You’ve made a valiant effort. But crabgrass is stubborn and can sneak through, even if you applied pre-emergent.

Spot spraying for crabgrass in lawn in Wisconsin

It’s especially good at popping up in thinner areas of your lawn or along the edges. Spot treat these invaders with post-emergent crabgrass killer. 


5. Use Quality Crabgrass Control Products

All lawn care products are not the same. There are a lot of products on the market labeled as crabgrass preventer. They don't all deliver the same results.

Conscientious professionals follow the latest research and trends and know which products actually get rid of crabgrass. It often means spending more money for an improved product vs. the 20-year old standby that competitors and DIY lawn care programs utilize to keep costs down.

The same thing goes for low-quality fertilizer and grass seed. They won’t get you that thick, healthy lawn as well as the high-quality granular fertilizer and premium grass seed RainMaster uses. 

Lawn technician pouring lawn seed

Remember, the thicker and healthier your lawn, the harder it will be for crabgrass to take hold.


6. Have a Proactive Plan to Control Crabgrass

Plan ahead for a healthy lawn. We’ll say this again: It’s easier to prevent crabgrass than to get rid of it.

Choose a complete, proactive lawn care program that includes both preventative and curative treatments to target crabgrass.

In the Midwest, crabgrass emerges from early spring through summer. Once fall rolls around, treating crabgrass won't do much good. The plants are too established. However, the frost will kill it off.

Spring preventative treatments are based on soil temperature. Here in Wisconsin, that means our start time can range from March to May. Curative crabgrass treatments to spot-spray edges or thin spots with breakthrough typically happens in June through August. 

If your lawn looks healthy, can’t you skip crabgrass preventer?

Crabgrass would love that. So, no. Remember, those crabgrass seeds are hanging out, sometimes for years, just waiting to sprout and annoy you.


7. Hire a Lawn Care Company You Can Trust 

Your goal? Hire a lawn care company you can trust to show up, deliver great results, and remove stress and worry from your life. 

Banishing crabgrass will be part of a great company’s plan for your lawn.

RainMaster lawn care van and nice lawn

At RainMaster, we believe the best lawn care services focus on your lawn’s total health, with programs that start deep below the soil’s surface.

Healthy soil. Healthy roots. Beautiful, healthy green grass. Less crabgrass.


Ready to Get Rid of Crabgrass? Trust RainMaster in Eau Claire, WI and Minneapolis

You want a healthy lawn with less crabgrass. That’s what we want, too. You have better things to do than worry about your lawn.

Consider it a team effort. Let’s create a custom nutrition plan for your lawn, so the roots will be nourished, the soil packed with nutrients, and your grass so thick and healthy, crabgrass will have a tough fight ahead. Then you just make sure your lawn gets mowed properly and enjoy your life. Sound like a good plan?

Are you ready to stop battling crabgrass? Request a quote today! We’ll review your options together so you can make a great choice. Then, you can finally enjoy your lawn and stop worrying about it.

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Topics: Lawn Care

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