Crabgrass Vs Bluegrass: Which Grass Wins?

Are you tired of battling those pesky weeds in your lawn? Look no further! Crabgrass vs bluegrass, the ultimate showdown between two common grass varieties, has been the topic of much debate among homeowners. But fret not, because in this article, we will provide you with the information you need to know to conquer this dilemma and maintain a lush, green lawn. So, let’s dive right in and explore the key differences, growth habits, and strategies for eradicating crabgrass and nurturing a beautiful bluegrass lawn. Get ready to take control of your lawn and bid farewell to those unwanted invaders once and for all!

Crabgrass vs Bluegrass: Which Grass Wins?

Crabgrass vs Bluegrass: A Comprehensive Comparison


When it comes to maintaining a lush and healthy lawn, understanding the difference between crabgrass and bluegrass is crucial. These common grass varieties can have a significant impact on the appearance and overall health of your yard. In this article, we will delve into the characteristics, growth habits, pros and cons, and effective control methods for both crabgrass and bluegrass. By the end, you’ll have a better understanding of these grasses and be well-equipped to make informed decisions for your lawn.


Crabgrass (scientifically known as Digitaria) is an annual grass that crowds out desirable lawn grasses, making it a common and frustrating lawn weed. Here are some key features of crabgrass:


  • Crabgrass has coarse, light green leaves that spread out from a central crown, forming a crab-like appearance.
  • It grows low to the ground, with stems that can root at the nodes, enabling it to spread rapidly.
  • Crabgrass produces a large number of seeds, ensuring its survival and reinfestation year after year.

Growth Habits

Crabgrass thrives in warm-season conditions and can quickly take over a lawn if left uncontrolled. Here’s how it grows:

  • Germination: Crabgrass seeds germinate in late spring or early summer when soil temperatures reach around 55 to 60°F (12 to 16°C).
  • Growth Spurt: It grows rapidly during the summer, flourishing in areas where the lawn is thin or bare.
  • Life Cycle: Crabgrass completes its life cycle within one year, with new seeds produced in late summer or early fall.
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Pros and Cons

While crabgrass is generally considered a weed, it does have some positive attributes that can be advantageous in certain situations:

  • Pros:
    • Crabgrass can help prevent soil erosion in bare areas of the lawn.
    • It can handle hot and dry conditions better than some cool-season grasses.
  • Cons:
    • Crabgrass competes with desirable lawn grasses for nutrients, water, and sunlight, resulting in a patchy and unsightly lawn.
    • It dies off in the winter, leaving bare spots that require reseeding or overseeding.
    • Crabgrass can be challenging to control once it establishes itself in your lawn.

Control Methods

Preventing crabgrass is more effective than trying to eradicate it once it invades your lawn. Here are some control methods to consider:

  • Maintain a thick and healthy lawn by properly watering, fertilizing, and mowing at the recommended heights for your grass type.
  • Apply pre-emergent herbicides in early spring before crabgrass seeds germinate. Timing is critical for effectiveness.
  • Remove crabgrass plants manually or with a selective post-emergent herbicide if they have already sprouted.
  • Improve soil quality and fertility to discourage crabgrass growth.


Bluegrass (scientifically known as Poa) is a well-known cool-season grass that is widely used in lawns and sports fields due to its attractive appearance and durability. Here’s what you need to know about bluegrass:


Bluegrass varieties differ slightly in appearance, but they share some common traits:

  • Bluegrass has fine-textured, narrow leaf blades that form dense and compact tufts.
  • It exhibits a vibrant green color, contributing to its aesthetic appeal.
  • Bluegrass has an extensive root system that helps it resist drought and recover quickly from stress.

Growth Habits

Understanding how bluegrass grows can aid in its proper maintenance and care:

  • Germination: Bluegrass seeds germinate in early fall when soil temperatures cool down, making it suitable for overseeding or establishing a new lawn.
  • Growth Spurt: It establishes quickly and develops into a thick, lush lawn during the cool seasons.
  • Life Cycle: Bluegrass is a perennial grass and will continue to grow and spread each year.
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Pros and Cons

Bluegrass is a popular choice for lawns, but it has its own set of advantages and disadvantages:

  • Pros:
    • Bluegrass has a fine texture and attractive appearance, providing a visually appealing lawn.
    • It can withstand heavy foot traffic and recover well from damage.
    • Bluegrass adapts to a range of soil types and climates, making it versatile.
  • Cons:
    • Bluegrass requires regular watering and is not as drought-tolerant as some other grass varieties.
    • It may struggle in hot summer months without sufficient irrigation.
    • Bluegrass is susceptible to certain diseases and may require additional maintenance to keep it healthy.

Control Methods

Proper care and maintenance play a crucial role in ensuring a healthy bluegrass lawn. Here are some control methods to keep in mind:

  • Regularly mow your bluegrass lawn at the recommended height, typically around 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6 to 9 cm).
  • Water deeply and infrequently to encourage deep root growth and reduce the risk of disease.
  • Apply a balanced fertilizer according to your region’s recommendations to promote healthy growth.
  • Address any pest or disease issues promptly to prevent them from spreading and damaging your bluegrass lawn.

Understanding the differences between crabgrass and bluegrass is essential for maintaining a beautiful and healthy lawn. Crabgrass, although a persistent weed, can be prevented and controlled through proper lawn care practices. On the other hand, bluegrass offers an aesthetically pleasing and durable option for cool-season lawns but requires regular maintenance. By implementing the appropriate control methods and considering your specific lawn needs, you can achieve a lawn that thrives and enhances the overall appeal of your outdoor space. Remember to explore our FAQ section for more in-depth answers to commonly asked questions about crabgrass and bluegrass.

Crabgrass vs Quackgrass or Tall Fescue – Weedy Grasses

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between crabgrass and bluegrass?

Crabgrass and bluegrass are both types of grass commonly found in lawns, but they have distinct characteristics that set them apart.

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How can I identify crabgrass and bluegrass?

Crabgrass is a low-growing annual weed with wider leaves, while bluegrass is a perennial grass with narrow leaves. Crabgrass tends to have a lighter green color compared to the darker green shade of bluegrass.

Which grass is more invasive, crabgrass, or bluegrass?

Crabgrass is considered more invasive as it spreads quickly and aggressively, overtaking desirable turf grasses. Bluegrass, on the other hand, is less invasive and forms a dense, uniform lawn when properly maintained.

How do I control crabgrass and bluegrass in my lawn?

To control crabgrass, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy lawn through proper mowing, watering, and fertilization. Pre-emergent herbicides can also be applied before crabgrass germination. Bluegrass, being a desirable grass, requires regular mowing at an appropriate height and adequate watering to discourage crabgrass invasion.

Which grass is more suitable for a well-maintained lawn, crabgrass, or bluegrass?

Bluegrass is more suitable for a well-maintained lawn due to its desirable qualities, including a dense growth habit, ability to repair itself, and better tolerance to environmental stress. Crabgrass, being a weed, can detract from the overall appearance of a lawn when present in large quantities.

Can crabgrass and bluegrass coexist in a lawn?

While crabgrass and bluegrass can coexist, it is generally not desirable. Crabgrass can compete with bluegrass for resources such as water, sunlight, and nutrients, potentially weakening the overall health and appearance of the lawn.

Final Thoughts

Crabgrass and bluegrass are two contrasting types of grass commonly found in lawns. While crabgrass is regarded as a pesky weed, bluegrass is a desired turfgrass. Crabgrass spreads rapidly and competes with bluegrass for nutrients and space, ultimately hindering its growth. Bluegrass, on the other hand, forms a dense, lush carpet that is visually appealing. Considering their differences, it’s evident that bluegrass surpasses crabgrass in terms of appearance, resilience, and overall lawn health. To maintain a beautiful and thriving lawn, it is essential to prioritize bluegrass over crabgrass.