The Best Crabgrass Preventers for Lawns (2024 Crabgrass Pre-Emergent Herbicides)

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

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There are a number of crabgrass killers on the market, but applying a split application of pre-emergent herbicides as part of your early spring lawn care, you can limit the need for any post-emergent herbicides. That’s why controlling crabgrass is one of the first things we cool-season lawn care nuts do to establish a healthy lawn in the early spring.

I’ve treated hundreds of acres of lawns using many different pre-emergents. Here are my top five herbicides for crabgrass-free lawns.

Our Top Crabgrass Preventer Picks

  1. Best Overall Preventer: 0-0-7 Prodiamine 0.37%
  2. Best Preventer with Fertilizer: The Andersons 21-0-10 with 0.25% Dimension
  3. Best Liquid Preventer: Dimension 2EW
  4. Best Budget Preventer: Prodiamine 65 WDG (Generic Barricade)
  5. Best Fall/Alternative Preventer: Pendulum 2G Granular Herbicide

Here’s everything you need to know about these products, including their pros, cons, and current prices.

1. 0-0-7 Prodiamine 0.37%


Prodiamine is the king of crabgrass prevention. This 50 lb. bag of 0-0-7 Prodiamine 0.37% covers 12,500 sq. ft. at 4 lbs. per 1,000. It doesn’t contain any fertilizer other than 7% Potassium, which is mainly used as a carrier.

I prefer to apply this crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide in the early spring as soil temperatures approach 50 degrees. Water it in with 1/2″ of water immediately for optimum results. I’ve been using this for three seasons now with awesome results. In fact, my lawn was crabgrass-free all season long with a single application that I applied in early April.

I don’t apply a crabgrass preventer with fertilizer (N-P-K) this early on my lawn because the turf isn’t quite ready to be pushed, especially if you prepared your lawn for winter and applied a winter fertilizer app. However, they’re a great choice for your second or third split application (more below).

Lawn Phix Review

Prodiamine 0-0-7 has been integral to my crabgrass prevention program for years. It spreads easily in any fertilizer spreader (I use a Spyker 50# on my lawn and a Lesco 80# commercially) and works awesome as a Round 1 prevention. I saw no noticeable crabgrass growth in the years of using 0-0-7 – even along the hotspot areas of my sidewalks and driveways.

0-0-7 Prodiamine 0.37% Application Rates

Please note there is a maximum annual rate of Prodiamine per calendar year. So, if you plan on using this product in early April to prevent crabgrass and in the fall to control poa annua, keep this chart handy:

Tall Fescue9.3 lbs./1,000 sq. ft
Kentucky Bluegrass
Perennial Ryegrass
6.2 lbs.
Creeping Red Fescue4.6 lbs.
Creeping Bentgrass40. lbs. 

For around $67 shipped, this 50# bag of crabgrass preventer is a great deal.

Per 50 pound bag:

  • Application rates: 4.6 – 9.3 lbs. per 1,000 sq ft
  • Coverage: 12,500 sq. ft.
  • Timing: March – Early April (early spring)
  • Notes: After application, blow off walkways, driveways, and sidewalks.
  • Names: Prodiamine, Barricade

Check the latest prices for 0-0-7 Prodiamine at Do My Own, Yard Mastery, and Amazon.


2. The Andersons 21-0-10 with 0.25% Dimension


For a second split application of crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides, a fertilizer-herbicide combo has been on my calendar – and The Andersons 21-0-10 with 0.25% Dimension is a great choice. About eight weeks after your first Prodiamine application is when your second herbicide application can be applied. At this time, the soil temps are warmer, and the grass is growing like crazy. The best time to apply this in New England would be in early June.

The 21% nitrogen is all urea, which means you will get a very fast release and quick “pop”, and the 10% Soluble Potash (K20) may help with the upcoming summer stress. Secondly, Dimension (Dithiopyr) has post-emergent qualities that can kill younger crabgrass. That makes this product an excellent choice at this time of year.

Lawn Phix Review

I am a big fan of Andersons. The homogenous blend spreads nicely through a broadcast spreader ensures even coverage. Following up 2-3 months after my 0-0-7 application provided full-season coverage. The 21% nitrogen also provided a timely feeding and nice green-up, while the 10% potassium helps with the stresses of summer months. I saw no crabgrass breakthrough. It also did not interfere with my overseeding in September.

Application Rates

To summarize the label:

  • You can use Program One on high turf (like your backyard). Offers three to five months of pre-emergent crabgrass control, but is not recommended for early postemergence crabgrass control.
  • You can use Program Two on low turf (like golf fairways). Offers four to six months of preemergence crabgrass control. Homeowners can use this program for early postemergence control.
  • You can use Program Three for low turf, turf maintenance, or untreated yards (with runaway crabgrass). Offers four to six months of preemergence crabgrass control. Golf courses and other low-cut lawns can use this for early postemergence control.

I’ve put together a table with the specific details below:

PROGRAMProgram 1Program 2Program 3
REGIONPreemergence (high)

Preemergence (low)

Postemergence (high)

Preemergence (low)

Postemergence (low)

Northern1.2 lbs.1.7 lbs.2.3 lbs.
Transitional1.7 lbs.2.3 lbs.3.4 lbs.
South2.3 lbs.3.4 lbs.4.6 lbs.
Coastal South3.4 lbs.4.6 lbs.4.6 lbs.

50-pound bag:

  • Application rates: 74 lbs. product/acre to 200 lbs. product/acre
  • Coverage: 10,800 sq. ft. to 29,400 sq. ft.
  • Timing: May-June (mid-late spring)
  • Notes: An application in the spring should also provide enough nitrogen and potassium for your lawn to withstand the hot summer months.
  • Names: Dithiopyr, Dimension

Check the latest prices for The Andersons 21-0-10  with 0.25% Dimension at Do My Own and Amazon.

3. Dimension 2EW

Dimension 2EW 64oz bottle

Dimension 2EW is a great liquid option, providing excellent pre-emergent control of crabgrass. This product can also control annual grassy weeds such as Poa Annua, Dallisgrass, and Goosegrass, and even broadleaf weeds like Chickweed, Purslane, and Spurge. And like The Andersons with Dimension, 2EW can also kill crabgrass in the early stages.

After spraying Dimension 2EW herbicide, be sure to water in with 1/2″ of irrigation or rainfall within 6 hours of application. Not sure you’re doing things correctly? Use my free Dimension Calculator to get your application right.

Lawn Phix Review

This was used on one of my client’s larger lawns (18,000 square feet) and provided great coverage. I saw no visual crabgrass when I used the maximum rates of Dimension 2EW. This is an excellent product for larger lawns, or those willing to pay a higher upfront price tag for a more long-lasting product. It’s in my rotation for larger lawns and new clients later in the season.

  • This product’s biggest downfall is its smell – it’s pretty intense. I’d suggest finding “No Stanky Smell Reducing Surfactant” to help subdue the stench. I prefer to give my customers a heads-up before spraying and also try to apply when they are not home.

Application Rates

The application rates for Dimension 2EW are 0.28-0.73 oz. per gallon per 1,000 sq. ft. Do not apply more than 0.73 oz. of Dimension 2EW per 1,000 sq. ft. per application, and no more than 6 pints of Dimension 2EW per acre per year (2.2 fl oz per 1000 sq ft).

0.25 acres10,890 sqft3.0492 oz – 7.9497 oz
0.50 acres21,780 sqft6.0984 oz – 15.8994 oz
0.75 acres32,670 sqft9.1476 oz – 23.8491 oz
1.00 acres43,560 sqft12.1968 oz – 31.7988 oz

Per 64 oz container:

  • Application rates: 0.28-0.73 oz. per gallon per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Coverage: 17,920 sq. ft. to 46,720 sq. ft.
  • Timing: Early April (spring)
  • Notes: Water in ½ inches via rain or irrigation
  • Chemical class: Dithiopyr

Check the latest price for Dimension 2EW on Do My Own, DIY Pest, and Amazon.

4. Prodiamine 65 WDG (Generic Barricade)


Prodiamine 65WDG is the top crabgrass preventer for those looking to stop crabgrass and fertilize their lawns. Quali-Pro is a reputable company that makes highly effective products at a very affordable price. Their products are generic versions of the more expensive brand names – this one being generic Barricade. The “65” refers to the 65% active ingredient, prodiamine; the “WDG” means Wettable Dispersible Granule, which is easily mixed and dissolved in water to make a liquid sprayable herbicide.

In addition to controlling large crabgrass and smooth crabgrass, Prodiamine 65WDG is labeled also to control Foxtails, Henbit, Johnsongrass, Woodsorrel, and more.

Lawn Phix Review

The same Active Ingredient (AI) as the 0-0-7 crabgrass preventer, but in dissolvable and sprayable form. The yellow WDG ‘pellets’ need to be accurately measured on a small scale/yield. I was mindful of shaking the sprayer to keep the chemicals suspended in the tank. I tested this product on a smaller section of my lawn and saw no visible crabgrass throughout the growing season. Overall, it is an excellent option for those with a smaller budget who don’t mind weighing out the solid product and mixing.

For more options, the same Sunniland 65WDG product is sold on Yard Mastery in a smaller 5 oz. bottle.

Pro Tip

  • It’s a good idea to lower your height of cut (HOC) a couple of weeks before aeration and overseeding to allow more sunlight to the soil. This can help ensure the pre-emergent is out of the soil.

Application Rates

This 5 lb. container can cover just over an acre at low rates. Below is a table of the Prodiamine 65WDG application rates for cool-season lawns. You can also use my free Prodiamine Calculator to make sure that you get your application right.

Tall Fescue1.0 – 2.30.36 – 0.8322,000 – 9,600
Kentucky Bluegrass Perennial Ryegrass0.5 – 1.50.185 – 0.5544,000 – 14,700
Fine Fescue0.5 – 1.150.185 – 0.4244,000 – 19,100
Creeping Bentgrass0.5 – 1.00.185 – 0.3744,000 – 22,000


5 lb container:

  • Application rates: 0.185 to 0.83 oz. per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Coverage: 14,800 sq. ft. to 66,400 sq. ft.
  • Timing: Early April (spring)
  • Notes: Water in within two weeks or fewer
  • Chemical class: Dinitroaniline

Check the latest price for Dimension 2EW on Do My Own, DIY Pest, Yard Mastery, and Amazon.


5. Pendulum 2G Granular Herbicide


Finishing off this list is Pendulum 2G, my top pick for pre-emergent herbicides for fall applications. This herbicide contains an active ingredient called Pendimethalin, the same chemical found in Scott’s Halts (which makes a fine alternative).

Lawn Phix Review

Pendulum worked as expected on my client’s 8,000-square-foot lawn — an excellent all-around grassy weed preventer. I also applied a Pendulum to my side yard – approximately 3,000 square feet – in the fall of 2022 to help prevent the Poa Annua outbreak, and it was virtually Poa Annua-free!

Application Rates

For 2-4 months of coverage, apply Pendulum 2G at rates of 2.3 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. For longer coverage (6-8 months) apply up to 4.6 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. per application.  At these rates, a 40 lbs. bag will cover between 8,700 – 17,400 sq. ft. of turfgrass. Pendulum 2G also controls the emergence of both grassy weeds and broadleaf weeds such as Oxalis, Poa Annua, Purslane, and many more.

Tall Fescue1.0 – 2.30.36 – 0.8322,000 – 9,600
Kentucky Bluegrass Perennial Ryegrass0.5 – 1.50.185 – 0.5544,000 – 14,700
Fine Fescue0.5 – 1.150.185 – 0.4244,000 – 19,100
Creeping Bentgrass0.5 – 1.00.185 – 0.3744,000 – 22,000

Per 40 lb bag:

  • Application rates: 0.185 to 0.83 oz. per 1,000 sq. ft.
  • Coverage: 14,800 sq. ft. to 66,400 sq. ft.
  • Timing: Early April (spring)
  • Notes: Water in within two weeks or fewer
  • Chemical class: Substituted anilines

Check the latest price for Pendulum on Do My Own, DIY Pest, and Amazon.

It is important to know that these crabgrass preventers will stop grass seeds from germinating, too. Whether you’re overseeding a lawn or filling in some bare spots, applying these products will not just prevent crabgrass and other weeds, but also your good grass.  Instead, consider using Tenacity (Mesotrione) when spring seeding to help prevent emerging crabgrass. When not seeding, apply these and other crabgrass preventers sooner than later – before crabgrass seeds germinate (55 degrees).

Crabgrass Pre-Emergents on Amazon

A Word About Crabgrass Preventer vs. Crabgrass Killer

I’ve seen other websites recommending the Green Gobbler Weed Killer. However,  this is not a crabgrass preventer – it is a crabgrass killer. On top of that, it is non-selective (20% vinegar). This means while it can act as a post-emergent crabgrass killer, it will also eradicate everything else it touches, like your good turfgrass – akin to glyphosate.

Remember: pre-emergents (like the products in this post) are used as a preventative. When a crabgrass preventer is applied at the right time (early spring and early summer), pre-emergent herbicides help prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds from emerging and growing.

Crabgrass killers attack the established plant and kill it post-emergently. Use these selective herbicides to kill visible crabgrass and other grassy weeds.

Crabgrass Pre-Emergent Herbicides FAQ’s

When should I apply a crabgrass preventer?

The first round of crabgrass preventer should be applied in early spring before soil temperatures reach 55 degrees. The second application should be applied six weeks later, in the early summer.

How long does crabgrass preventer last?

Crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides form a vapor barrier in the soil that inhibits the crabgrass rooting from taking place and prevents the crabgrass seedlings from growing and emerging.

Depending on the product and application rates, crabgrass pre-emergent herbicides can last between 2-3 months at low rates, to upwards of 8-9 months at maximum rates. It is important to irrigate these herbicides with 1/2″ of water immediately after applying.

When should I apply Halts crabgrass preventer?

Scott’s Halts contains the active ingredient, Pendimethalin. At max rates, Pendimethalin can last up to 8 months. The best time to apply this pre-emergent in early spring before soil temperatures hit 55 degrees – just as the forsythia bloom.

Can I apply fertilizer with a crabgrass preventer?

Yes. Many pre-emergents also contain fertilizer all-in-one. Many Step 1 fertilizers also contain high rates of Nitrogen and lower Potassium numbers with a crabgrass preventer. If you apply in early spring, you may want to skip the fertilizer until later when the grass begins to actively grow. For applications in late spring and early summer, an all-in-one like 20-0-10 is a great choice.

What are the top crabgrass preventers?

To prevent crabgrass and other grassy weeds, I recommend select herbicides with the following active ingredients:
* Prodiamine (Barricade)
* Dithiopyr (Dimension)
* Pendimethalin (Pendulum, Halts)

Prodiamine (Barricade) Pros

  • Long lasting – up to 9 months efficacy
  • Inexpensive (particularly generic)
  • Best to apply early in the season
  • Great crabgrass control and other lawn weeds

Prodiamine (Barricade) Cons

  • Needs to be watered in quickly
    • Will lose a lot of efficacy if not watered in within 14 days
  • Not a great broadleaf weed control
  • Breaks down with exposed sunlight (photodegradation)
    • Note for aeration and overseed: it’s a good to lower your height of cut (HOC) a couple of weeks prior to allow more sunlight to the soil. This will help ensure the pre-emergent is out of the soil

Dithiopyr (Dimension) Pros

  • Better than Prodiamine at preventing broadleaf weeds
  • Post-emergent qualities that can kill younger crabgrass 
  • Apply later in the season – great option for your second/third of your split application

Dithiopyr (Dimension) Cons

  • Root pruner of good grass (KBG, TTTF, PRG)
    • Ensure roots are well-established before applying
  • More expensive than Prodiamine
  • Less efficacy than Prodiamine (3-4 months)
  • Takes higher rates to control crabgrass
  • Breaks down more so with water and heat

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

12 thoughts on “The Best Crabgrass Preventers for Lawns (2024 Crabgrass Pre-Emergent Herbicides)”

  1. There is SO much great info here. I’m also in New England and will follow the recommended split applications. Thanks!

  2. Great article. Can’t find the The Andersons 21-0-10 Fertilizer with 0.25% Dimension Turf Herbicide anywhere. I ordered on Amazon but my package got lost. Everywhere else seems out of stock. Any recommendations on where to find it or a similar product? Already bought the prodiamine and was about to apply it today just want to make sure I have a post emergent that works well after it

    • Hi Tim – thanks for your comment! If you have Prodiamine, like the 65WDG or one from Yard Mastery, then you do not need anything else. If you wanted to apply a fertilizer on top of that, then that would be OK. But you can hold off on your 20-0-10 with Dimension or other combo mix for your second application in late May/early June.

  3. I applied Lesco dimension with fert in early March on my tall fescue lawn in MD. But, now I have lots of chickweed still in early May. I applied lesco lockup plus last weekend but haven’t seen much impact. Hope you can help with this chickweed issues. Thanks & what a Great web site!

    • Hi Ricky. Thanks for the comment and kind words! You probably have annual chickweed. You can use Tenacity with a non-ionic surfactant and a 3-way herbicide like Speedzone . I use this mix (or with Quinclorac instead of Tenacity) for my yard. I think this will work well for you. Let me know how you make out and if you have any more questions!

  4. I plan to thatch, apply pre-emergent crabgrass killer, and to fertilize. In what order do I do these things? I have nutsedge that I can’t get rid of. Any help there?


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