• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to remove crabgrass.


    1 Adjust cutting depth of lawnmower to lowest setting and mow lawn; use bag to collect and discard all clippings.
    2 Scrape the soil of all vegetation using a straight-edge shovel. 3 Use power rake to cut grooves into soil.
    4 Spread ½-inch-deep layer of compost over soil; smooth with garden rake.
    5 Apply starter fertilizer to compost using a drop spreader.
    6 Use drop spreader to dispense grass seed onto compost.
    7 Gently work grass seed into the compost with a plastic rake turned upside down.
    8 Water the area lightly once or twice a day.
    9 Next spring apply pre-emergent crabgrass control to the new lawn using drop spreader.
    10 If some crabgrass returns, pull out individual plants by hand.
    11 For larger lawns, use a pump sprayer to apply a post-emergent
    crabgrass control directly to the weeds.
    See products and services from this episode
    • Difficulty: Moderate
      depending on how much crabgrass is present.
Ask TOH users about Lawn Care

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • lawn mower
        Lawnmower with collector bag
      • power rake
        Power rake,
        used to prepare soil for grass seed
      • wheelbarrow
      • pointed shovel
      • walk-behind spreader
        Drop spreader,
        used to dispense fertilizer and grass seed
      • metal garden rake
        Garden rake,
        used to smooth compost
      • plastic rake
        Plastic rake,
        used to work grass seed into compost
      • garden sprayer
        Pump sprayer,
        for applying post-emergent crabgrass control to large lawns

      Shopping List

      1. Compost

      2. Grass seed

      3. Starter fertilizer

      4. Pre-emergent crabgrass control

      5. Post-emergent crabgrass control