Many weed and feed products contain 2,4-D, which has been linked with decreased fertility and congenital disabilities in children, prompting some homeowners to avoid using such products altogether. This may be one reason why so many opt out.
Weed and Feed for lawns products can come either in the form of granules or liquid, so always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when applying these products for maximum effectiveness.
Time of Year
Timing your weed and feed applications correctly will have an enormous effect on its effectiveness. Applying too early could only kill some existing weeds while any that have yet to sprout may avoid being treated at all; while applying it too late could prevent your grass from receiving essential nutrients that it requires to get off to a good start in spring.
Earth Works, a lawn treatment provider serving Hot Springs area homeowners, recommends waiting until after February 15th or March 1st before applying pre-emergent weed and feed, in order to kill existing spring weeds while also preventing their further spread. Mowing is also key as wet grass helps stick better to granules when applying pre-emergent treatments.
Weed and feed products contain both fertilizer for grass growth and systemic or non-systemic herbicides to control weeds. They come in either granular or liquid form and should be applied according to the label instructions, using either a broadcast spreader for even application, or by mow-then-leave cutting your lawn 1-2 days before treating; leaving clippings will create an effective barrier that keeps new weeds at bay.
At the height of summer, using chemical fertilizers may not be wise as heat stressors such as heatwaves can debilitate plant life and make them less able to take in fertilizer nutrients. Furthermore, chemicals absorbed through skin contact by children or pets and then eaten when licking their paws after walking in treated yards could harm them as well as humans.
Lawn care experts advise splitting feeding and weed killing processes into two distinct processes, applying fertilizer at the time required by your grass type (fall for cool-season grasses; late spring/early summer for warm-season ones), then separately applying weed killer. This ensures that only weeds are eliminated and not their respective grass counterparts.
Attracting beneficial insects – predatory wasps, praying mantis and ladybugs among others – through natural insect repellant properties is essential in creating an eco-friendly lawn and garden space. Weeds provide valuable moisture and nutrients to the soil as they help break apart compacted earth while providing shelter to many beneficial ones such as predatory wasps, praying mantis and ladybugs that provide us with protection. Finally, they act as natural mosquito repellents keeping harmful bugs out of garden beds and off of vegetables and flowers
Weed and feed products typically include pre-emergent herbicides to stop new weeds from sprouting; some also include post-emergent herbicides to eliminate existing ones. It is essential that you understand the difference between them so you can select an effective product for your lawn.
Not to be forgotten is that weed and feed is ineffective during winter, as doing so could damage your lawn by causing frost heave. Spring or early fall applications would be optimal depending on your lawn’s USDA growth zone and climate conditions.
Many weed and feed products combine herbicides with fertilizers. Their herbicides kill broadleaf weeds like dandelions and dollarweed while their fertilizers nourish grasses – these products come both as granules or liquid spraying options for convenient application.
Ryan Farley of Lawnstarter notes that one reason people may refrain from purchasing 2-in-1 products is because they may not be applied at the proper time. To effectively combat weeds and save time in application costs, fertilizer applications should take place during late fall/winter when lawn growth has stopped competing with weeds for nutrients.
A lack of nutrients in your lawn could result in summer weeds being missed by weed and feed products, or it could leave it prone to disease and insect infestations. Either way, this could make the lawn unhealthy and susceptible to diseases and insect infestations.