How to kill crabgrass without putting your kids and pets at risk
by Dollar Stretcher Contributors
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Our yard is being overrun by crabgrass. I need to do something, but I'm afraid to use heavy doses of deadly chemicals. We have two kids and a dog that love to play outside. Is there anything that will kill crabgrass that's reasonably safe for kids? Or at least does its work quickly so they don't have to avoid the yard for many days?
Use Boiling Water
Pour boiling water on your crabgrass. It's safe and it works! Use leftover water from making your pasta or vegetables, so you save on the water bill too!
Baking Soda for Killing Crabgrass
I have used baking soda for years. Just sprinkle on crabgrass. Unless it rains, it should kill crabgrass.
Online Recipe Works Well
I recently tried a weed killer recipe that a friend found online, and it worked well. Take a gallon of white vinegar and pour out two cups for other uses. Then add one cup of salt and six to eight drops of dishwashing liquid. Mix well.
Cover Crabgrass with Newspaper
One of the safest things in the world you can use to kill weeds is plain old boiling water. It kills just about any type of weed and is as safe as can be. Put the kettle on, boil the water, remove the kettle from the stove, and carefully carry it over to the weed you want to kill. Pour the entire kettle of boiling water on the weed at ground level (closer to the roots) and repeat this process three times a day for as many days as it takes. It's time-consuming but it works and is totally safe for kids and pets.
Another method is to cover the weeds with newspaper. Don't use the comic section. You need the black ink for this. Place about eight pages' worth over the weeds/crabgrass and weigh the papers down with a brick or some other weight. After about a week, the weeds/crabgrass should be dead. Again, this is a very safe method for killing weeds and crabgrass!
The Baroness in Oregon
Healthy, Dense Lawn Is Best Protection
The safest solution is always weeding by hand, making sure to pull the roots. With no chemicals, there's no problem. However, if you can't do that and assuming the crabgrass is concentrated in one area, you might consider pouring boiling water on the crabgrass, right from your kettle. It may take two or three tries, but it should kill it roots and all. This method will probably also kill the grass you want to save. There are "green" weed killers on the market and also companies that claim to be green. It is worth checking the yellow pages and online for them.
Be sure to re-seed bare areas using the grass you want. The best protection against weeds is a healthy, dense lawn.
Barbara in CT
Take the Next Step:
- For more on lawn care, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Library .
- Gardening on the cheap is simple. Just visit the TDS Frugal Gardening Guide and we'll show you the many ways frugal gardeners maintain beautiful, bountiful gardens for less.
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