Your turf is a delicate balance of soil, air, water, minerals, nutrients, and life. This unique balance of chemistry and biology (both below and above the ground) is the scenario where weeds infiltrate. Next, they create imbalances to suit their needs, like changing the soil pH. In particular, crabgrass makes the soil more acidic, making it harder for other plants to survive.
Does baking soda get rid of crabgrass? Technically, baking soda will take care of crabgrass. But it will also hurt your good grass. In fact, baking soda contains salt (sodium), which is detrimental to most plants. Sadly, baking soda only kills the top part and leaves the crabgrass plant’s roots untouched. So, it could promote its growth if you do not know how to kill crabgrass using backing soda properly.
This is true for all the other natural remedies you might have heard of. Let’s take stock of the available options for organic gardeners.
Before Using Baking Soda
Although baking soda can kill crabgrass, this does not mean you should use it at will. Instead, it should remain a quick-fix solution for small crabgrass patches—the type of natural remedy you use when you spot a weed on a perfect turf. In other words, learning how to kill crabgrass using backing soda properly means sticking to a better overall lawn maintenance plan.
The first step of a better maintenance plan is to apply pre-emergents. A pre-emergent is a product you use to prevent several weeds. Notably, not every pre-emergent is the same, so be sure to choose products that can control crabgrass. You will find a list on the packaging or the instruction sheet.
Crabgrass is an invasive weed and can take over your yard in less than three years if left unattended—crabgrass seeds’ germination rate is almost 50%! Once this weed spreads enough, baking soda will not be able to help you. On the contrary, it will only do more harm than good, killing the good grass and paving the way for more weed infestation.
How to Kill Crabgrass Using Backing Soda
- Wear gloves.
- Mix a couple of teaspoons of baking soda in 1/2 gallon of warm water.
- Add a couple of teaspoons of dish soap which acts as a surfactant.
- Spray the crabgrass with this solution. Above all, try not to spray the good grass around it.
Alternatively, spray the crabgrass plant with just the water mixed with dish soap. Next, fill a pantyhose with baking soda and sprinkle the weed.
Never use baking soda on your turf carelessly. You will kill your lawn if you apply baking soda directly. Even if you sprinkle some!
What About The Other Natural Ways To Eliminate Crabgrass?
The mentioned suggestions on how to kill crabgrass using backing soda somehow apply to most other DIY remedies.
You should also note that soil temperatures play a critical role. For one thing, soil temperature lets gardeners target a specific time frame for applying a pre-emergent. Once the soil reaches 55F, crabgrass starts germinating. So, putting out the pre-emergent before this happens will rapidly reduce or stop its germination.
You can use a soil thermometer or search the average soil temperatures for your area online.
Once you correctly apply the pre-emergent, feel free to test the other natural remedies on the crabgrass plants that manage to sprout. More importantly, wear protective gloves and remove the roots after the treatment.
Crabgrass plants produce thousands of seeds every year. And most likely, an infested garden is ridden with dormant and buried seeds from the previous years. So, keep an eye on your turf whenever the soil temperature reaches the crabgrass germination temperature.
Other Remedies To Get Rid Of Crabgrass Naturally
- Boil water and apply it directly to crabgrass.
- Cover the weedy and uncultivated spaces with mulch. Alternatively, you can use a tarp, but you will have to reseed the entire area.
- Drop salt on your driveways—or anywhere you do not need any plant to grow.
- Eradicate crabgrass roots by hand. In short, pull them out with a gardening tool such as a garden trowel or a shovel.
- Spray vinegar on the crabgrass plant base.
- Use Isopropyl alcohol on the weed’s leaves and pour a few drops on the central stems.
Related Article: The Best Crabgrass Removal Tools for Any Situation