Wait until early spring or fall to apply when broadleaf weeds are growing. Apply on days with little wind to assist with even coverage and prevent over-spray on surrounding landscaping. Do not apply after temperatures consistently remain at 90 degrees F.
Measure the width and length of your lawn in feet. Multiply the width by the length. This is the square footage of your lawn. Measure the square footage of any non-lawn areas including your garden, deck, patio, garage, driveway and the home. Subtract those square footage totals from your lawn’s total square footage for an accurate number to use in determining how much weed and feed to purchase and use.
Mow your lawn two days before weed and feed application to stimulate weed growth. Mow the lawn at normal height, not lower or higher. Do not mow immediately before application or you will suppress weeds, which prevents the weed and feed product from having direct access to the weeds.
Keep everyone except the applicator, especially children and pets, off the treated area during application. Continue to keep pets and children off of the treated area until the weed and feed product has been watered in and the grass has dried. Store weed and feed out of the reach of children and pets as it is harmful if swallowed.
Vigoro, a manufacturer of weed and feed products, recommends watering the lawn before application to assist the product in sticking to the grass. Wait to water again for 24 to 48 hours after application. The exception to this rule is when using weed and feed products for certain Southern, grasses such as zoysia, St. Augustine, centipede and carpetgrass. Products specifically formulated for these grasses, which typically contain atrazine, require that you water the grass immediately after application.
A fertilizer and herbicide combination better known as “weed and feed” is applied to the entire lawn, regardless of the number of weeds and where they are located. While fertilizer contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the herbicide is a toxic substance designed to kill the existing weeds while preventing new ones from growing. This combination is available in pellets, powder and liquid form. It is most often applied any time weeds are visible and generally lasts for up to six weeks.
Weed and feed formulas is applied to a wet lawn and the lawn is not mowed or watered for at least 24 hours. Application is best in spring or fall when the weeds are actively growing. It is not applied to lawns that are near water supplies, storm drains or drainage ditches. Most weed and feed combos actively kill dandelions and other major weeds that have strong, deep root systems. Each weed and feed package provides a list of exactly what plants it kills, along with application and frequency instructions.
Details and Usage
Weed control products are available in several forms: selective, non-selective, contact and systemic. Selective herbicides knock down certain weed species without affecting the growth of other plants and most weed and feed combinations contain selective herbicides. Non-selective herbicides wipe out everything it touches. Contact herbicides will also kill plants on contact, but often leave the rhizomes intact to re-grow later. Systemic herbicides are absorbed and spread throughout the plant, killing it completely. Knowing what weeds you have is helpful when selecting the correct herbicides in your weed and feed product.
Fertilizers are vitamins for your lawn and when properly applied, will enhance the look and growth of your grass or plants. Slow-release fertilizers feed plants gradually over a certain period. The essential elements of fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, or N-P-K. Nitrogen promotes the green color and can be fast-acting, slow release or both. Phosphorus promotes root growth, while potassium helps the grass survive temperature extremes. Knowing your soil condition is helpful when selecting the correct fertilizer needed. A soil test kit, available at most large garden centers, can give you this information.
Weed and Feed products contain slow-release water soluble mixtures of dry lawn fertilizer and selective slow-release weed control formulas. Weed and feed is most often used on established lawns, as this mixture can easily overwhelm young grass. Weed and feed products should only be used when you actually have a weed problem, otherwise a fertilizer is all you need.