It just snowed here in Maryland, but I’m already thinking about spring and getting my yard back into shape. The time to apply weed & feed is almost here so I’m running an old post with a few updates.

Yesterday was a good day. I took a day off work to relax and knock off a few things from my ever growing to-do list. One of those items was to spread weed & feed on my lawn. I missed the window to spread preemergent crabgrass preventer (even though Fred wrote a great post about it). I’m fortunate that I don’t have a ton of crabgrass to head off. However, I have plenty of dandelions. Here are some details about weed & feed and how to use it effectively.

What is Weed & Feed?

Weed & feed is designed to strengthen existing grass and kill off weeds at the same time.  It improves your lawn’s ability to absorb water and nutrients, and it’s composed of several parts. Weed & feed has a fertilizer to “green up” your lawn. It also has a weed killer that will target broadleaf weeds like dandelions and many others. Vigoro Weed & Feed also includes a timed-release nitrogen for extended feeding.

When to Apply Weed & Feed

It’s important to apply weed & feed in early spring or fall when the weeds are actively growing. Applying weed & feed during the summer will have minimal effect. Spread weed & feed on wet grass (use a sprinkler or after rain) so that the granules adhere to the weeds. Pick a time when no rain is expected and avoid watering your lawn for about 2 days. This allows time for the weed control to work rather than being washed away. Ultimately, the best weed deterrent is a full, thick lawn with no place for weeds to take root.

How to Spread Weed & Feed

There are a few important details to remember when spreading weed & feed. Keep these in mind for best results. These tips are not intended to replace manufacturers instructions.

  • Make sure your lawn is a normal height (not too tall, not too short).
  • Wait a couple days after mowing. This protects your grass and helps ensure the weeds are actively growing.
  • You shouldn’t water your lawn, so don’t apply during a dry / hot spell.
  • Be careful not to apply too much as this will scorch your lawn. Check the manufacturers guidelines.
  • Only apply weed & feed twice per year.
  • Be sure to spread uniformly for best results.
  • Avoid spreading granules onto flowers, vegetables, and ornamental shrubbery.

Planting Grass or Aerating after Weed & Feed

Weed & Feed prevents seed germination so you should avoid planting new grass or aerating your lawn for at least four weeks, but I recommend waiting longer. If you weed & feed in the spring, spread grass seed in the fall. You should also wait at least two weeks before aerating. This allows enough time for the product to work.

Reasons Weed & Feed Didn’t Work

Here are some common reasons that weed & feed was ineffective:

  • Weed & feed targets broadleaf weeds like dandelions, and dollarweeds. It does nothing for crabgrass and other grassy weeds. Make sure your weeds are on the list.
  • Mature weeds are not actively growing, so the product isn’t as effective. Weed & feed should be applied early in the growing season and a couple days after mowing.
  • Rain and sprinklers can wash away the granules. Make sure there is no rain in the forecast and avoid watering for 2 days after applying.

What if You Apply Too Much Weed & Feed

The best way to avoid damaging your lawn is the flush out the weed & feed. Water your lawn with 1 to 2 inches of water for about 4 days. Don’t apply any other weed & feed until the following year.

Professional Lawn Service

Professional lawn care services will provide experienced and knowledgeable staff that will manage every aspect of your lawn. They will address pH imbalances, conduct soil test, proper watering and spur new grass growth. To find a local lawn care expert, follow the link below:

  • Lawn & Tree Maintenance, Landscaping

What do you think? Do you put down weed & feed?

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