A lawn that’s invaded with crabgrass and other unwanted weeds can soon be damaged if you do not take the necessary precautions to fix it. When dealing with crabgrass, you can use some chemical herbicides or home remedies such as baking soda.
It is hard to avoid the use of chemicals to control lawn weeds but for the most part of it, you can employ the use of natural home remedies such as baking soda to kill crabgrass.
How to Get Rid of Crabgrass Using Baking Soda
When it comes to weeds, you want to have them eliminated as early as possible without affecting the grass on your lawn. That’s why you might need to apply a crabgrass preventer or pre-emergent. Here’s how to use baking soda to kill crabgrass lawn weed.
- Wet the patch of crabgrass in your lawn
- Pour a fair amount of baking soda on the weed, covering the surrounding and the leaves.
- Uproot the dead crabgrass from the lawn. You can use a weed remover or simply a shovel.
- Reseed your lawn. Leaving the bare spots will attract new weeds. If you do not want to resend, you can patch up the lawn by planting plugs of your lawn’s grass.
Note that this is a post-emergent natural remedy. If you are trying to prevent the weeds from germinating, use pre-emergent techniques.
Further tips to consider
These tips will come in handy when using this organic weed treatment.
- Remember to spot-treat the areas with crabgrass, otherwise, you might end up harming your lawn if you spread sodium bicarbonate all over it.
- Different lawn grasses have varying resistances. For example, Bermuda grass is fairly resistant. So, if your lawn has crabgrass weeds among Bermudagrass, you can use baking soda to kill it.
How does baking soda kill weeds?
Sodium bicarbonate works as a weed killer because of its phytotoxic properties.
Phytotoxicity is plant damage – a toxic effect – from something the plant was exposed to. Most chemical sprays that are used to control weeds in gardens, pavements, and lawns are phytotoxic.
Baking soda kills crabgrass due to its phytotoxic effect. However, it may show varying results when used on other grasses depending on the concentration and other aspects of the soil in general.
Increased salinity due to the sodium in the bicarbonate compound is highly likely to be the main weed control aspect of this home remedy.
Note that this may come with a few side effects as well. So, let’s look at what to expect.
Other benefits for your lawn
Kitchen baking soda has many uses. When used for lawn care, it is known to kill moss.
The sodium bicarbonate in it is also a good fungicide and will clear any fungal diseases on your grass such as mildew.
Possible side effects
Because it is a salt, baking soda can damage the grass to which it is applied. The phytotoxic property may not be selective on your lawn, meaning that you run the risk of damaging your lawn’s foliage if you apply baking it on large areas.
Resistance may depend on each grass’s resistance level. In some cases, even low concentrations can kill various plants.
According to the Michigan State University:
“Phytotoxicity is even more problematic on foliage, where even a 1 percent SBC solution can cause severe foliar damage, including interveinal chlorosis.” -- Michigan State University
- Michigan State University Extension: Plant phytotoxicity in the greenhouse
- Miracle, Myth or Marketing? Baking Soda – Will Fungi Fail or Roses Rejoice