When does crabgrass die? What you need to know about the weed's life-span

Has crabgrass overtaken your lawn? This is how much longer you'll have to deal with the pesky perennial

Crabgrass growing on a green lawn
(Image credit: GettyImages)

'When does crabgrass die?' You may be asking yourself this question as the summer continues to slip away, and thoughts turn to how your backyard will look in fall. 

While the drop in temperature may come with its negatives, there is one plus that you may have anticipated since springtime – the end of this notorious weed. 

If you know how to get rid of crabgrass successfully, you may have managed a weed-free summer – but for many – removing crabgrass entirely can be tricky. If you haven't already tried to remove crabgrass, you may be (understandably) waiting for nature to take its course. But how much longer do you need to wait? 

You may be comforted to hear that the wait is neatly over, and your crabgrass should start to die in only a small number of weeks from now. Here's everything you need to know to get back to a lawn that's green and lush.

When does crabgrass die?

Crabgrass is an annual weed that thrives in a hot climate over late spring and early summer. Therefore, frost the most effective way to kill this weed to ensure it stays away for the rest of the year. 'Depending on where you live, this may occur sometime between October and November,' says Josh Tesolin, the co-founder of Rustic Wise.

Crabgrass growing on a green lawn

Southern crabgrass

(Image credit: Alamy)

Melody Estes, a Landscape Design Gardening Supervisor from The Project Girl emphasizes that crabgrass grows well in the spring and summer before dying back in the fall. However, the best time to control crabgrass is when it's actively growing and during late summer when the grass begins to die. Therefore, the best time to act is now

What time of year is best to kill crabgrass?

'It's important to remember that crabgrass is a perennial, which means it will grow back year after year. The best way to prevent it from coming back is to prevent new seedlings from sprouting,' Melody says. 

The expert admits that you can use post-emergent herbicides [such as this one on Amazon] on established weeds (as they would be now) as a way to kill them quickly. However, as she suggests, the best way to kill crabgrass is to discourage its growth where possible. 

Crabgrass growing on a green lawn

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'The best way to keep crabgrass in check is to ensure you maintain healthy turfgrass,' Josh emphasizes. If you know when to plant grass seed, you may be aware that early fall offers the best climate for cool-season seed. But you can also use this time in late summer and early fall to discourage crabgrass from growing on your lawn, too. Here are some of the best ways to keep it at bay.

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.