Is It Possible to Kill Crabgrass With Baking Soda?

Crabgrass is a common weed that can quickly take over a lawn, ruining its appearance and health. Effective control methods are essential to maintaining a lush and green lawn. In recent years, baking soda has emerged as a potential solution for crabgrass control. In this guide, we will explore the use of baking soda as a method for controlling crabgrass and its advantages and potential side effects.

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a white, crystalline powder that is commonly used in baking, cleaning, and deodorizing. It is a naturally occurring substance found in minerals like nahcolite and trona. Baking soda has a variety of uses due to its chemical composition, which makes it an effective cleaning and deodorizing agent.

How Baking Soda Works to Kill Crabgrass

Baking soda works by raising the pH levels of the soil and dehydrating the leaves of the crabgrass plant. This causes the plant to wilt and die off. Baking soda is most effective when applied to young crabgrass plants before they have had a chance to fully establish themselves.

A. The Effect of Baking Soda on Crabgrass

  • The high pH of baking soda disrupts the balance of nutrients and minerals in the soil that crabgrass needs to thrive.
  • When applied directly to the leaves of crabgrass, baking soda absorbs moisture and causes the plant to dehydrate, leading to its death.

B. Application Methods

There are two primary methods for applying baking soda to crabgrass:

1. Dry Method

  • Sprinkle baking soda directly onto the leaves of young crabgrass plants.
  • Apply baking soda on a calm day to avoid the wind carrying it onto other plants or surfaces.
  • Repeat the process every few days until the crabgrass dies off.

2. Wet Method (Diluted Solution)

  • Mix baking soda with water to create a diluted solution.
  • Apply the solution to the leaves of the crabgrass plant using a spray bottle or garden sprayer.
  • Repeat the process every few days until the crabgrass dies off.

Advantages of Using Baking Soda

There are several advantages to using baking soda as a natural solution for crabgrass control:

A. Cost-Effective Solution

Baking soda is an inexpensive product that is widely available at grocery stores and home improvement stores.

B. Eco-Friendly and Non-Toxic

Baking soda is a natural, non-toxic substance that does not harm the environment or wildlife.

C. Easy to Apply

Baking soda can be easily applied to crabgrass using either the dry or wet method.

Potential Side Effects of Using Baking Soda

While baking soda is generally considered safe for use in the garden, there are a few potential side effects to keep in mind:

A. Impact on Soil pH

Baking soda can raise the pH of the soil, making it more alkaline. This can be harmful to some plants that prefer more acidic soil.

B. Effects on Surrounding Plants

Baking soda can also harm surrounding plants if it is not applied carefully. It is important to avoid getting baking soda on other plants, as it can cause damage or even kill them.

C. Possible Harm to Beneficial Soil Organisms

Baking soda can potentially harm beneficial soil organisms, such as earthworms if used excessively.

Tips for Effective Crabgrass Control with Baking Soda

To ensure the most effective use of baking soda for crabgrass control, consider the following tips:

A. Proper Timing and Application

  • Apply baking soda to young crabgrass plants before they have fully established themselves.
  • Apply baking soda on a calm day to avoid it being carried onto other plants or surfaces.

B. Monitoring and Reapplication

  • Check regularly for signs of new growth from the crabgrass and reapply baking soda as needed.

C. Combining with Other Crabgrass Control Methods

  • For severe infestations, consider combining baking soda with other crabgrass control methods, such as manual removal or chemical herbicides.

Alternatives to Baking Soda for Crabgrass Control

While baking soda can be an effective natural solution for crabgrass control, there are also other options available:

A. Chemical Herbicides

  • Chemical herbicides, such as glyphosate or quinclorac, can be effective in killing crabgrass but are not environmentally friendly.
  • Always follow the instructions carefully and wear protective gear when using chemical herbicides.

B. Organic Solutions

  • Organic herbicides made from natural ingredients such as vinegar, clove oil, or citrus oil can be effective in killing crabgrass.
  • These herbicides are safe for the environment and human health but may require multiple applications for full control.

C. Cultural Practices

  • Cultural practices such as mowing, watering, and fertilizing can prevent crabgrass from growing.
  • Mow the lawn regularly to prevent crabgrass from seeding and spreading.
  • Water the lawn deeply but infrequently to encourage deep root growth and prevent shallow-rooted crabgrass from thriving.
  • Fertilize the lawn according to the specific needs of the grass type to prevent nutrient imbalances that favor crabgrass growth.


Baking soda is a safe and cost-effective solution for controlling crabgrass in the lawn. By following the tips outlined in this guide, homeowners can effectively use baking soda as a natural herbicide while minimizing its potential side effects. However, it’s important to remember that baking soda is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are other alternatives available depending on individual needs and preferences. With the right approach and a little bit of patience, homeowners can achieve a healthy and weed-free lawn.


  • Nathan Collins

    Having spent years working in the landscaping industry, Nathan Collins has cultivated a wealth of knowledge about the natural world. He is committed to helping others appreciate the beauty in their backyards, whether it's through identifying rare rocks and minerals or crafting the perfect landscape.

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