Midwest natural lawn care companies offer tips for controlling crabgrass during its most active season.


Photo Courtesy of the NY State IPM Program

Many weeds struggle to grow during hot, dry summers like this one. Except for crabgrass, which spreads to any summer stressed area in your lawn. We updated our Natural Lawn Care Providers List and asked each provider to provide one tip for controlling crabgrass organically. Here is what they said:


“We prevent crabgrass organically with early spring applications of corn gluten meal.  Proper timing, rates and persistence (3+ years) will get crabgrass under 85-100% control.” – Shay Lunseth,  Organic Lawns by LUNSETH

“If your lawn has lots of crabgrass the easy, long term way to beat it is to aerate and overseed with lawn seed three times per season.  Early hand pulling of crabgrass, overseeding in spots where you pulled up the grass and aerating three times per season will move any lawn away from crabgrass and thicken the lawn to prevent crabgrass in the next season.” – Russ Henry, Minnehaha Falls Landscaping


“Don’t fertilize mid to late summer. Our cool season grasses will not utilize the fertilizer efficiently, meanwhile, heat-loving crabgrass will soak up excess nutrients that were delivered.” – Darrell Smith, The Green Team of WI

“A thick, healthy lawn is the best defense against crabgrass. Fill in bare patches with grass seed. Spring or fall is the best time for this. Choose hardy grass species that best match your light and moisture conditions onsite.” – John Gishnock III, Formecology, LLC


“Thick and healthy lawns prevents crab grass from germinating.  Tenacity works too (spring to early summer applications) as a reduced risk product.” – Steve Neumann,  Logic Lawn Care

“We have started to offer A.D.I.O.S. as an organic weed control. It’s a nice alternative to the nasty stuff that has been around forever.” – Chris Burisek,  Pure Prairie Organics

“Mow grass on the highest setting in an effort to shade the soil enough to prevent weed seeds from germinating.” – Jeff Swano, Dig Right In Landscaping, Inc.

“We target crab grass by using our corn gluten meal based fertilizer blend. We apply this early in the season to inhibit crabgrass germination. Having said that, our philosophy is that by maintaining healthy, organic soil, you will create a turf where the grass outcompetes the crabgrass before it’s established.” – Robyn McMurray Hurtig, Greenwise Organic Lawn Care

“Conduct a soil test to determine if the soil is favorable for the desired grass and add any needed soil amendments as determined by the soil test.” – Steven Mozley, Earth Friendly Land Care, Inc.


“If you do have an irrigation system, watering deeply and infrequently will create less crabgrass than watering every day.  Daily watering during the summer will just help the crabgrass seeds to sprout.” – Alec McClennan, Good Nature Organic Lawn Care