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Is Crabgrass A Broadleaf Weed

Crabgrass is a common and troublesome weed that plagues lawn grass and gardens during the spring and summer months. As a weedy grass, it is part of the family of grasses, which includes both grassy and broadleaf weeds. Broadleaf weeds, like dandelions, clover, and chickweed, are known for their distinctive broad leaves, as opposed to the narrow leaves of grassy weeds.

Crabgrass, however, is unique because it falls into the category of both grassy and broadleaf weeds that take over your lawn grass. Crabgrass is a warm-season annual weed that thrives in warm soil temperatures. The crabgrass plant produces many seeds, typically germinating and emerging in early spring. The crabgrass plants’ seeds can remain dormant in the soil for years, waiting for the right conditions to germinate.

Once the temperatures rise, crabgrass seeds germinate and quickly grow into seedlings where the weedy grasses’ wide, flat leaves resemble those of broadleaf weeds. Controlling crabgrass can be challenging because of its dual characteristics as both a grassy and broadleaf weed. Crabgrass preventers, also known as pre-emergent herbicides, are commonly used in late winter or early spring to create a barrier that prevents crabgrass seeds from germinating.


In our guide, you can learn more about crabgrass and broadleaf weed killer. By the end, you’ll better understand what is broadleaf and grassy weeds, does weed and feed kill crabgrass, and what is the best defense for your yard to combat grasses and the most common weeds you get. (Read Does Sevin Kill Spider Mites)

What is Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is an annual grass to cause a lot of problems for homeowners and their lawn grasses. Plants emerge from the crabgrass seed, then spread quickly to take over lawns, gardens, and flower beds. These lawn weeds are typically found in areas with warm climates and grow best when soil temperatures are between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. This invasive weed gets its name from the crab-like appearance of its stems.

Crabgrass is not classified as a broadleaf weed because it does not have leaves like other weeds, like dandelions or clovers. Instead, it has flat blades that resemble those of regular grass but are wider and lighter. Crabgrass thrives in thin or bare areas of turf where sunlight can quickly reach the soil surface.

What Are The Types Of Broadleaf Weed?

Most broadleaf weeds are a common problem in lawns and gardens. They can infiltrate the grass and flowers, becoming an eyesore and competing with lawn grasses and desirable plants for nutrients. Some of the most common types of broadleaf weeds include dandelion, clover, thistle, chickweed, and plantain. Identifying these weeds is important as it allows you to select the herbicide to kill them.

However, one type of weed may cause confusion among homeowners is crabgrass. Crabgrass is not considered a broadleaf weed, but a grassy weed. This means that a traditional broadleaf weed killer like “weed and feed” products will not be effective for crabgrass weed control. Instead, specific herbicides designed to target grassy weeds must be used for weed control. (Read Fern Like Weeds Guide)


Chickweed is a common broadleaf weed that is found in gardens, lawns, and farmlands. Its scientific name is Stellaria media, and it belongs to the Caryophyllaceae family of plants. Chickweed has oval-shaped leaves that are light green and grow opposite each other on thin green stems. It produces small white flowers that bloom from early spring to late fall.



Clover (Trifolium) is a common lawn weed that is often mistaken for a broadleaf weed like crabgrass. But unlike the crabgrass plant, which is an annual grassy weed, clover is a perennial plant that has three leaflets and can grow up to 24 inches tall. Clover is often considered a beneficial plant in lawns because it fixes nitrogen in the soil and provides food for bees.

It’s important to note that while clover may resemble broadleaf weeds like crabgrass or dandelions, it should not be treated with the same herbicides as these plants, as they have different chemical compositions and require different treatments. Proper identification of lawn weeds is crucial in determining the course of action for effective weed control.

What Is The Best Weed Killer For Crabgrass?

Crabgrass is a common weed to be found in most lawns during summer. It is an invasive weed to quickly take over your lawn and ruin its appearance. There are several ways to control crabgrass, but using the best broadleaf weed killer for crabgrass is often the most effective solution.

One of the best ways to kill crabgrass is by using a selective herbicide specifically designed to target this type of weed. Crabgrass is not a broadleaf weed, so it requires a different type of herbicide than other types of weeds, like dandelions or clover. A selective herbicide will target only the crabgrass and leave your grass unharmed.

Will Weed And Feed Kill Crabgrass

If you have already noticed some crabgrass on your lawn, you may wonder if a weed and feed product will take care of it. Weed and feed products kill broadleaf weeds while providing nutrients to the grass at the same time. Using a selective herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds like dandelions and clover can be an effective way to control crabgrass, since these types of weeds often grow in the same areas. (Learn How Long Does Weed Killer Need Before Rain)

Can I Apply Crabgrass Preventer, Weed, And Feed At The Same Time?

Applying crabgrass preventer, weed, and feed at the same time may seem like a good idea to save time and effort. Crabgrass preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide that targets crabgrass seeds before they germinate. However, weed and feed products are post-emergent weed killer that kills existing weeds while providing nutrients to your yard grassroots.

Crabgrass is not a broadleaf weed as it belongs to the grass family. Broadleaf weeds have leaves with veins branching out from a central vein, while grasses have parallel veins running along the length of their leaves. A post-emergent herbicide may make an effective broadleaf weed killer in most cases, yet a post-emergent does nothing to control the onslaught of crabgrass in your home lawns.

How To Kill Crabgrass And Prevent It From Returning?

lawn mower

To kill crabgrass, you need to use a selective herbicide specifically designed for this type of weed. Some herbicides also prevent the growth of future plants by killing the seeds before they germinate (post-emergent weed killer).

However, not all weed killers are created equal, so it’s crucial to choose one that targets crabgrass effectively. Applying a “weed and feed” product may not be enough because these products only target broadleaf weeds and do little to affect crabgrass.

Preventing the return of crabgrass requires regular maintenance practices, like mowing your lawn at the correct height (no shorter than three inches), watering deeply but infrequently, and fertilizing regularly with nitrogen-rich fertilizer during peak growing season. By ensuring your lawn stays healthy year-round, you’ll be able to keep lawn grass and keep pesky weeds like crabgrass at bay while enjoying a lush green lawn all summer long.

1. Use Pre-Emergent Control:

Pre-emergent control works by forming a barrier on the soil surface that prevents the seeds of weeds like crabgrass from growing roots and developing into mature plants. By applying pre-emergent herbicide before the weed seeds germinate, you can effectively stop them in their tracks and keep your lawn free of unsightly weeds.

Post-emergent tackles the weeds once they have gone to root from seed, and their roots are established. It’s important to note that pre-emergent control should be applied at just the right time for maximum effectiveness.

Timing may vary depending on your location, but it should be applied in early spring or late summer when soil temperatures reach 55°F or higher for several days in a row. If you wait too long or apply it too early, it may not be effective against many weeds, including crabgrass.

Many suitable products, you can fit into your garden hose. As you water your yard, it dispenses the ideal amount of post-emergent solution, and thus quickly gets rid of these pesky weeds taking root.

2. Feed Your Lawn:

Crabgrass is a type of grass that grows in patches and is known for its ability to survive in harsh conditions. Although it may look like other broadleaf weeds, crabgrass is a type of grass. It can be controlled by the right lawn care practices.

One way to prevent crabgrass from taking over your lawn is to feed it properly. Regular fertilization will help your grass grow thick and healthy, making it more challenging for weeds to take root. (Read Stihl Fs 55R Weed Eater Guide)

3. Maintain The Health Of Your Lawn:

Crabgrass is an undesirable weed that takes over your lawn grasses. Crabgrass technically falls under the category of narrow-leaf weeds because of its thin leaves. However, it does not fit the typical definition of narrow-leaf as other narrow-leaf grass weeds do.

The best way to prevent crabgrass growth is by maintaining overall lawn health through proper watering and fertilization techniques. Applying your pre-emergent weed killer, regular mowing, and keeping healthy lawn grasses can put an end to this crabgrass, and also stop the intrusion of the dreaded dandelion.

Is Crabgrass A Broadleaf Weed