What Is Weed and Feed and Why Should I Use It?

Weed and feed is a product that combines fertilizer with pre-emergent herbicide. The combination is meant to promote the growth of grass while eliminating weeds from sprouting. Many property owners consider it an easy way of killing the proverbial two birds with one stone when it comes to lawn care.

It is most widely produced in pellet form that allows the fertilizers to break down over time. Weed and feed products contain both fast-acting and slow-release forms of nitrogen fertilizer. The fast-acting quality makes nitrogen and other nutrients immediately available, while slow-release lets them become available over time, providing a steady source of food. 

Using a weed and feed product can help speed up the process to a beautiful, well-kept lawn. In most cases, it also works just as effectively if you were to weed and fertilize separately.

When to Use Weed and Feed Products

For most weed and feed products, their height of effectiveness is usually reached right before the seasons change.

In southern or warmer climates, weed and feed products should be used twice a year, once in the early spring (late February /early March) and once in the late summer (early September).There are two seasons of weeds in warmer climates, winter weeds and summer weeds. You will have to apply weed and feed in before the changing of each season to suppress weed growth before it has a chance to root and sprout.

In northern or cooler climates, weed and feed products should be used in April, which is generally when winter is finally ready to become spring.

How to Use Weed and Feed Products

When spreading weed and feed around your lawn, aim for a dry period where no rain is expected in the days before and after. It is easier to evenly spread the product if the grass is dry.

Weed and feed pellets are typically administered through a rotary or drop spreader. This gives a more even coverage and avoids the odd-looking stripes that occur when some areas of the lawn receive more fertilizer than others. 

You will need to “water in” the weed and feed by watering the lawn with a sprinkler or irrigation system after spreading the fertilizer. You don’t want to apply the product to a wet lawn because the pellets will clump and cause uneven growth. 

You also don’t want to rely on the rain to water your fertilizer, as it will only wash it away. This not only wastes money spent on the product and tools, but also creates runoff pollution in the waterways. 

Other Reasons and Alternatives

By being able to control weeds with a 2-in-1 product, you can save time doing the task of weeding and fertilizing separately. You also don’t have to hand-pull large numbers of weeds, which cause the soil to loosen and erode.

For organic options, you can look into using corn gluten as a form of pre-emergent weed control and natural fertilizer. It will also give your lawn the boost of nitrogen it needs for a healthy green lawn. Organic products also minimize pollution during runoffs.

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