green lawn at home. On a Sunny summer day.

History’s Ted Steinberg discussed the benefits of crabgrass

Why you should leave your crabgrass alone

Headshot of Ted Steinberg

The Hour: Ted Steinberg, the Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History and author of American Green: the Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn, discussed the history of crabgrass, and why it’s probably a good idea to leave it alone. “In the 1950s, there were newspaper articles calling crabgrass the No. 1 enemy,” he said. “During a political campaign, John F. Kennedy was asked what his position on crabgrass was—the idea being that if he was against it, he’d get the suburban vote.’’