Slow-release granules break down slowly, imparting their nutrients on the soil over time. If they are coated with sulfur they’ll take two months to break down, while if they are coated with a polymer, their slow-releasing formula may take as long as four months to fully break down.
Just like you should keep your plant and grass type in mind when buying a fertilizer, you should also make sure that the weed and feed fertilizer you buy is capable of combatting your specific type of weeds. Some are geared more towards clovers and dandelions, while others are crabgrass preventers or work best on broadleaf weeds.
If you’re worried about fertilizer safety, then organic fertilizers are an excellent choice since they are gentler than synthetic fertilizers, and therefore much better for households with children and pets. They are also way more eco-friendly than synthetic fertilizers because they don’t release harmful chemicals into water runoff.
Who Should Buy It: This is the perfect weed and feed fertilizer for people who want to protect their gardens from annoying weeds.
When you use a fertilizer that not only provides your plants with nutrients but also kills off and prevents weed growth around them, you are aiding their health in two ways. Weeds can strangle plants and encroach on their space, stunting and inhibiting their growth.
Why We Like It: While this weed and feed fertilizer has a low cost, it reaps big results.
However, they are way less safe than organic fertilizers, especially if you have children and pets, so you have to be much more careful with them. Also, many of them are environmentally hazardous.
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Warm-season turfgrasses grow best with average soil temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm-season grasses thrive in warmer climates found in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States and include Bahia grass, Bermuda grass, carpet grass, Saint Augustine grass, and zoysia grass (Japanese lawn grass).
The right weed-and-product can improve the health and appearance of your lawn. Ahead, get our top tips and recommendations for navigating the available options—and don’t miss our top picks!
Weed preventers, or preemergent weed killers, block weed seeds that are already in the soil, like crabgrass, poa annua, chickweed, and henbit, from germinating. Identify the type of weeds that are infesting your lawn and then make sure you choose a product that’s made to take care of it.
To grow a lush lawn, your soil needs to have essential nutrients. Fertilizers temporarily add nutrients to the soil. Fertilizers denote their nutrient ratios as NPK. This denotation represents the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the product. This is how the nutrients help grass:
In general, grass species are divided into two categories: warm season and cool season. The seasons do not refer to the time of year, but the climate and average soil temperature range.
Perennials grow for two or more years. They reproduce from vegetative parts such as tubers, bulbs, rhizomes, or stolons, though some also produce seed. Examples are dallisgrass, wild garlic, and clover.
Yellow nutsedge and purple nutsedge are difficult to control perennials. Halosulfuron is effective against both and is safe to use on fescue, but will need to be repeated in 3 to 4 weeks for complete control. Some products require the addition of a nonionic surfactant at 2 teaspoons per gallon of water. Sulfentrazone is faster acting on nutsedges, but will also require a second application. See Table 2 for examples of herbicides and products to control broadleaf weeds, grasses and sedges.
Types of Weeds
In fescue lawns, grassy weeds such as crabgrass, goosegrass, and dallisgrass can also be controlled with postemergence herbicides. Products containing fenoxaprop and quinclorac are recommended.
When fescue shows signs of drought stress, water the lawn deeply so that the entire root zone is wet. This is typically 1 inch of irrigation water per week. During hot, dry periods, this may be every five to seven days. One inch of irrigation water will wet the soil to 6 inches deep, and encourage a healthy, extensive root system. Watering lawns three or more times per week will create moist surface soil conditions and promote weed seed germination and growth. Look for areas that stay excessively wet and make corrections so that water drains or is directed elsewhere. For more information, refer to HGIC 1207, Watering Lawns.
There are few herbicides that will suppress bermudagrass without harming fescue. For home lawns, the active ingredient fenoxaprop is available. This should be applied as soon as the bermudagrass turns green in the spring and repeated monthly. Stop treatments when temperatures consistently reach 90 °F, and do not apply to drought stressed fescue. The addition of a non-ionic surfactant at 2 teaspoons per gallon of water will improve control.