What to Know About Weed and Feed Fertilizer
When it comes to lawn care, many homeowners don't know where to start. And weed and feed fertilizers can be one of the most confusing lawn care products. In this article, we answer some of the most common questions our guests have about weed and feed products.
Like all fertilizers, misuse can result in greater damage to your lawn. Weed and feed is a handy product for lawns that have grass that needs added nutrition and weeds that need to be killed. It allows a homeowner to effectively tackle both issues with a single application. If your lawn has weeds throughout, it is important to use a weed and feed product instead of straight fertilizer because fertilizer can contribute to weed growth in the same way it contributes to grass growth. Weed and feed kills the weeds while it fertilizes the grass.
Do I need a Weed & Feed?
The first and most important step to using a weed and feed product correctly is determining whether you need to use it at all. Healthy lawns with a few patches of weeds do not need to be treated with a weed and feed product; they just need the "feed" and can be spot-treated for weeds.
When should I apply a Weed & Feed in relation to the maturity of the weeds?
There are two types of weed and feed products. Pre-emergent products will kill weed seeds before they germinate, but will not kill existing weeds. Post-emergent products will kill weed plants, so you need to wait until the weeds begin to sprout before applying the weed and feed in spring, and apply before the weeds go to seed in the fall.
What types of weeds will this product NOT control and I will need different control methods?
Different weed and feed products will work on different types of weeds. Forever Green® Weed & Feed kills dandelions, chickweed, knotweed, plantains, henbit, spurge, and other broadleaf weeds with the ingredient Trimec®, the leading broadleaf herbicide (260-1548). Menards® Premium Weed & Feed also uses Trimec and comes in 5,000 or 10,000 square foot bags (260-1605, 260-1603).
How do I properly apply Weed & Feed products?
Do not apply a Weed & Feed fertilizer product to any newly seeded lawns until after the second mowing to allow the grass plants time to mature. Once the lawn has been mowed a second time, you can apply according to the directions on the packaging. Mow your lawn to a normal height one to two days prior to application. Also, make sure temperatures are above freezing and below 80 degrees if possible. Extreme temperatures will lower your lawn's ability to withstand treatment.
To apply weed and feed to your lawn:
- Prior to applying the Weed & Feed product, your lawn needs to be damp, either through rainfall within the previous 24-48 hours or through watering the day before application. It is also important that there is no rain predicted for 24-48 hours after application and that you do not water your lawn for 24-48 hours. If you have an automatic watering system, you will need to turn off the system so that the Weed & Feed product has sufficient time to work.
- Set your drop spreader to the correct setting according to the instructions on the bag of weed and feed. You must be very careful not to get weed and feed on surrounding foliage and plants, as the herbicide will quickly kill them off. For this reason, it is better to use a drop spreader than a rotary spreader that might fling the product out onto your precious plants.
- Walking at an even pace, run your spreader around the outside borders of your lawn first, then in straight lines across the lawn.
Make sure children and pets stay off the lawn until it dries completely, as the herbicides can be harmful to humans and animals.
How many times should I apply Weed & Feed products?
Do not apply weed and feed products more than twice a year. If your spring application did not resolve your weed issue, it is okay to use another application in the fall.