Lawns are the pride of many homes throughout America, but people often underestimate their ability to take care of them. Around 74% of Americans who own lawns or landscaping say that they’re confident about their lawn maintenance, but 69% of these same respondents admit that their lawns could use some improvement.
An excellent way to remedy this oversight is by using the best weed and feed products for your lawn. Not only do they remove weeds, but they also enrich the soil and your plants for better and hardier growth. This allows you to focus on making bigger improvements to your lawn instead of being tied up in weeding and maintenance.
In this guide, we’ve collected the best weed and feed for lawn and landscape projects that you can use. We take a detailed look at the top brands you can buy, how to apply their products to your lawn, a section on safety regulations when using them, and other frequently asked questions.
Scotts Turf Builder
- The Best 10 Weed And Feed Products For A Better Lawn
- Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed
- GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed + Crabgrass Preventer
- Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S Southern Weed And Feed
- BioAdvanced All-In-One Weed & Feed With Microfeed Action
- Spectracide Weed & Feed 20-0-0, Ready-To-Spray
- Scotts Snap Pac Fertilizer With Crabgrass Preventer
- Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action
- Espoma Organic Weed Preventer
- Preen Garden Weed Preventer + Plant Food
- Preen One LawnCare Weed & Feed-Covers
- What To Consider When Choosing The Best Weed And Feed For Lawns
- How To Apply Weed And Feed To Your Lawn
- When To Feed And Weed Lawns
- Safety Precautions For Weed And Feed Application
- Frequently Asked Questions
Weed And Feed Comparison
|Name & Brand||Coverage||Size||Our Rating||Price|
|Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed||5,000 sq. ft||14.27 Pounds||4.8|
|GreenView 2129268 Fairway||10,000 sq. ft||36 lb.||4.7|
|Scotts Turf Builder S Southern||5,000 sq. ft||17.34 lb.||4.7|
|BioAdvanced All-In-One||5,000 sq. ft||12-Pounds||4.5|
|Spectracide Weed & Feed||Up to 7,500 sq ft||32-Ounce||4.6|
|Scotts Snap Pac Fertilizer||4,000 sq. ft||11.82 pounds||4.4|
|Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action||4,000 sq. ft||20 lb||4.4|
|Espoma Organic Weed Preventer||Covers 1,250 sq. ft||25 lb||4.2|
|Preen Garden Weed Preventer||2,560 sq. ft.||16 lb||4.3|
|Preen One LawnCare||5,000 sq. ft||18 lb||4.1|
The Best 10 Weed And Feed Products For A Better Lawn
These weed and feed formulas can deal with a variety of weeds, but keep in mind that they work in distinct ways to get rid of growths. Keeping these differences in mind is the key to getting the most out of your product.
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed is a post-emergent weed and feed that works great on lawns that see a lot of rain or wet conditions. It can kill almost any kind of grassy weeds and even works on more stubborn growths like dandelions.
The active ingredient in Scotts Turf Builder is 2,4-D, a powerful herbicide with a short half-life and rapid mode of action. It’s a fast-acting chemical agent that can kill most kinds of weeds and avoids lingering on your lawn after application. This reduces the risk that you’ll harm any other people or pets that may pass through the area.
What’s great about this product is that you can use it on wet lawns and soil. This is useful for some varieties for turf that need constant watering to grow and for landscape installations built in areas that experience frequent rains.
Scotts Turf Builder has a powerful one-two combination for getting a better lawn. Since it’s granulated, there’s less chance of it being washed away by the rain. Its active ingredient is also effective at destroying weeds from the inside without harming the plants you want to keep alive, or affecting the nutritional content of the soil.
The herbicide works by settling in the ground and on the leaves of the weeds, being absorbed after being dissolved by the rain. It causes the passageways in the plant that carry nutrients to grow, which make the plant break down.
The fertilizer is a special Scotts blend that thickens your lawn by increasing the root systems of your turf. Because of the denser root network, it’ll be harder for any future weeds to make incursions and compete with your actual plants for the nutrients in the soil.
Use this product on recently watered lawns, landscapes, and other patches of greenery. While you can use the formula on summery days, it’ll take much longer for the granules to break down and go into the weeds. This can decrease the effectiveness of the formula and may cause you to over-apply to compensate.
As a post-germinating herbicide, Scotts Turf Builder is best used on weeds that have already grown like clover and dandelions. With its fast method of action, Scotts Turf Builder is one of the best weed and feed formulas you can ever use.
A powerful pre-emergent weed and feed, GreenView Fairway is an effective way to prevent annual grasses such as crabgrass from invading your lawn. It also has one of the most effective fertilizer formulas on the market, ensuring that your lawn stays weed-free and healthy for seasons.
GreenView Fairway uses a proprietary blend of nitrogen and sulfur for a fast-acting solution to kill crabgrass and enrich your turf. Both the nitrogen-based fertilizer and sulfur are composed of several compounds that increase their effectiveness and contain zero phosphates for areas that restrict phosphate use.
This product excels when used on stubborn and difficult to remove grasses like crabgrass, ryegrass, foxtail, and goosegrass. It’s also effective to use on several broadleaf weeds like thistles, milkweeds, dandelions, and buttercups. These weeds quickly absorb this formula, which kills them faster compared to other brands.
GreenView Fairway’s fertilizer blend is a slow-release nitrogen compound which has two major benefits. First, it ensures that the feeding period for your lawn lasts longer. Second, it ensures that no fertilizer gets wasted since the nitrogen has time to permeate the soil before it gets released into the air.
GreenView Fairway works by helping your turf develop a more robust root system so it can better compete with weeds for nutrients. It also disrupts grassy weeds by applying a barrier at the surface of the soil, which prevents crabgrass growth and stops seedlings from taking root.
Combined with the slow-release nitrogen formula, this makes this product effective at keeping your lawn weed-free for a long time. Since you can apply it in wet conditions, it also makes it compatible with more sensitive grass types like Bermuda grass (but not St. Augustine).
The best time to apply GreenView Fairway would be during the spring or fall after a light rain or shower. It’s important to apply it when the grass is damp so that the formula sticks to the leaves for better absorption. You can use either a drop or broadcast spreader, though you can also try spot application on weedy areas.
GreenView Fairway is just the thing if you’re looking for an effective and simple way to get rid of grassy weeds before they grow. It can make your lawn clean and green for a long time while giving it all the nutrients it needs to keep it that way.
An excellent way to weed and feed your southern grass, Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S is a powerful post-emergent product that can help clear your lawn of dollar weed and clover. It’s also an effective fertilizer that’s capable of making your grass more resilient against heat and drought.
Bonus S has a similar formula to most Scotts Turf products, but they tweaked it to work better on Florida grass. The granulated form allows for better dispersion on dense turfs like St. Augustine and carpet grass, with the fertilizer helping them establish a stronger and more robust root network.
Weeding and feeding Florida grass can be tricky due to the hot conditions and resilient nature of grassy weeds in the south. Bonus S works on southern grass types and their associated weeds, even with the extremely hot weather. Since the fertilizer is slow-acting, you get a lot from the formula with each application.
Because the active ingredient of Bonus S is like 2,4-D, it has a quicker action time compared to other herbicides on the market. This leaves weeds with less time to grow since the formula goes to the nutrient pathways to kill it from the inside.
The nitrogen-rich fertilizer is effective on southern grass because of its slow-release action. In hot conditions where turf needs constant nutrients to stand up to the heat, a slow-release feed can help make it more hardy and vibrant.
Spread Bonus S around your lawn (we advise blanket application) and water after application. After two to three weeks, broadleaves like clover will yellow and dry up. Rake the dead weeds out of your grass and reapply when growths reappear.
It’s best to apply Bonus S at the start of spring, as that’s when most grassy southern weeds grow rapidly. You can still reap similar effects when you apply Bonus S later on, but it’ll take more product and a longer time to remove the weeds from your turf. It’s best to head them off early so you get the best value out of a single application.
Scotts Turf Builder Bonus S is the best weed and feed product for keeping your lawn hale and hearty, even in hot conditions.
BioAdvanced All-in-One is a slow-release weed and feed for lawn and landscapes that need consistent feeding between applications. With a long-lasting feeding formula and a unique micro-feed mechanism of action, it’s an excellent way to keep northern turf clean and green.
The active ingredients in this weed and feed is 2,4-D and the proprietary blend of fertilizer and micro-feed compounds. The short half-life of the herbicide means that you don’t have to worry about most flora and fauna being affected by the application, though you should still take caution with applications in areas that see a lot of foot traffic.
BioAdvanced is great to use on northern lawns because of their constant need for upkeep. Unlike southern lawns that can last for a long time between feedings, northern grasses like Bermuda and or buffalo grass need a near-constant stream of nutrients to grow well. They’re also extremely sensitive to hot weather, which this product helps them cope with.
BioAdvanced works similar to most weed and feed products as a post-emergent herbicide and a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. You can have most people or pets pass by the area the day after application, since the active ingredients don’t stay long on the surface.
However, It’s in the micro-feed formula where this product shines. This proprietary blend unlocks trapped nutrients in the soil to create a nutrient-rich zone for your turf, which can help improve their root systems and make them more durable against changing weather. This improves the rate at which grass absorbs nutrients between feedings, which can help you stretch out this product for several seasons.
Use either a drop or broadcast spreader to apply BioAdvanced on your lawn. Ensure complete coverage by either overlapping strips or wheel marks so that the product can adhere to your turf. Check the included application rates on the packaging for the best results.
BioAdvanced is an effective weed and feed formula that can make your lawn more resilient while keeping broadleaf and grassy weeds away from your garden. Combined with the unique micro-feeding mechanism of action, it’s a potent tool that any lawn owner can rely on to keep their northern turf healthy.
For an easy-to-apply and targeted method to deal with growing weeds while feeding your lawn, use Spectracide. It’s a simple yet effective product that can help get rid of broadleaves and even some varieties of grassy weeds, with a unique method of application that can get the job done fast.
Spectracide uses the same base formula of 2,4-D that you see in other weed and feed formulas, but it’s stronger because of its liquid form. Combined with a 20% nitrogen-rich fertilizer compound, it’s a marvellous way to treat small-to-medium-sized gardens.
What’s great about Spectracide is that it’s something almost any lawn owner can use: all you need is a hose and the bottle itself. There’s no need for any mixing or diluting when using this formula, which can be a significant help for people who don’t have a lot of experience with lawn maintenance.
Spectracide works by affecting the tissues in the weed that help it absorb nutrients from the soil. It cuts off the ability of broadleaves like dandelions, clovers, and thistles to steal nutrients from the surrounding turf. This makes the weed dissolve from the inside for easier detection and removal.
The 20% nitrogen fertilizer is compatible with many ornamental plants and even some vegetable gardens. It helps your existing turf recover faster from the nutrients drained by the weeds, allowing applied areas to catch up with unaffected ones within weeks. This gives your lawn a nice and even coating of green that’ll last for seasons.
To use Spectracide, attach the bottle to the end of your garden hose, point at the desired area, and begin the application. The formula will mix with the water pressure so you don’t have to mix anything before attachment, and applying it via garden hose allows you to blanket or spot spray as you like.
As a post-emergent weed and feed, only spot-spray Spectracide on already-growing weeds. For the best results, soak your lawn one to two days before and 24 hours after application.
Scotts Snap Pac Fertilizer is a pre-emergent weed and feed formula that targets crabgrass. It prevents it from growing for an entire season and has a generous helping of fertilizer to help your turf recover after winter.
Like most Scotts products, the active herbicide in Snap Pac is derived from 2,4-D. With a short half-life of 14 days, it’s an excellent product to apply to areas where you can expect a lot of people and animals to pass by, though you should still be careful since it can be toxic with enough exposure.
The fertilizer in this product is a proprietary blend that can help your grass grow better after the long winter months. This is useful for certain types of turf that can take some time to regrow after winter, since it gives weeds less time to set up to compete for nutrients.
Scotts Snap Pac is great to use on lawns that suffer a lot during cold conditions. Using a pre-emergent weed and feed for lawns can give your turf a fighting chance against grassy weeds, since growths like crabgrass can have a faster germination process than turf.
Crabgrass is notoriously hardy and difficult to remove, but this product uses a direct way of halting its spread. It stops crabgrass growth by blanketing the surface with a barrier that prevents it from gaining access to nutrients and sunlight, which also chokes any other potential growths that can push up during the spring.
To apply Scotts Snap Pac, use the Scotts Snap Spreader system (sold separately) for a blanket application on your lawn. For the best results, apply this product in the early spring. Crabgrass grows fast in the middle of spring up to late fall, so an early application of this product is more than enough to keep it at bay until winter comes around.
For an effective way to prevent crabgrass from growing on your lawn all season, Scotts Snap Pac should be your go-to product.
For an all-around product that can kill existing weeds, prevent the growth of fresh ones, and feed your lawn for an entire season, look no further than Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action. A potent blend of ingredients that can help make your lawn more resilient and weed-free, it’s a premium choice for many lawn owners over the country.
With a healthy dose of 2,4-D and nitrogen-infused fertilizer, Triple Action is one of the most robust weed and feed formulas that you can find. It has a quick method of action and long-lasting effects, so you get your money out of every pack and application.
Triple Action is the nuclear option in springtime lawn care and weed control. It’s a powerful formula that can get rid of stubborn weeds like crabgrass and dandelions, yet it’s gentle enough on turfs like fine fescue and ryegrass. You can expect to see results within two weeks on a single treatment.
We’ll break down the three ways this product works. First, the 2,4-D penetrates the outer tissues of growing weeds like dandelions and clovers. It then overloads the nutrient pathways in the plant, preventing it from getting any more nutrients and water from the soil. This causes the plant to dry up and die, which you can rake or sweep for easy removal.
It then produces a barrier on the surface of the soil, which prevents crabgrass and other seedlings from taking root. This cuts off their access to sunlight and air, which stunts their growth. This prevents them from establishing a root network of their own so they don’t end up competing with your turf.
Finally, the fertilizer content thickens the existing root networks of your grass, allowing them to gain more access to nutrients and water in the soil. This helps them become more resistant to increased heat and periods of drought and prevents broadleaf seedlings from taking root.
Use during the springtime for best results, as later applications may end up burning your lawn. When used well, Scotts Turf Triple Action is an effective lawn maintenance and weed control product that any gardener will appreciate.
One of the few organic-based weed and feed products, Espoma is a pre-emergent herbicide that’s best used on unseeded and worked ground. It helps prevent the growth of broadleaf seedlings, and jumpstart the growth of your actual turf or other plants.
The active ingredient in Espoma is cornmeal gluten, a by-product of the corn milling process. Farmers have used it as an agricultural herbicide for years and is accessible to both commercial and residential plots. As a natural ingredient, it also has zero to minimal effect on the surrounding ground and wildlife.
Espoma is a superb choice for lawn owners concerned about the side effects of most weed and feed formulas on pets and children. It’s also ideal to use on plots like herb and vegetable gardens since the granulated form can stick around for much longer and won’t be washed away by the rain.
This weed and feed works by removing a seedling’s ability to make a root network, keeping it confined to its seed, and preventing it from growing. This is effective in hotter areas where most weeds need a wide-branching root network to survive since this approach starves them to death.
As a pre-emergent product, only use Espoma on areas that haven’t been planted yet. This allows the corn gluten to choke any potential weeds or broadleaf seeds that you haven’t removed while feeding the soil with all the nitrogen it needs to boost the growth of your plants.
Make sure the soil is dry while applying Espoma, and use a broadcast or drop spreader for even application. For best results, water the top layer to make sure that the formula sinks into the soil. Wait for about two to three weeks before planting or seeding the soil to benefit the most from the additional nitrogen content.
An organic, family-friendly, and environmentally safe way to keep your lawn healthy and weed-free, Espoma is a great natural alternative to synthetic weed and feed formulas.
Preen Garden is a pre- and post-emergent weed and feed that’s designed for use on vegetable and flower gardens. Effective at keeping weeds away from mulch, it’s also a powerful fertilizer that can increase yield and thicken root systems.
The active ingredient in Preen Garden is trifluralin, an effective broadleaf herbicide that works best when applied during the germination season. It can work well in dry conditions to the topsoil of mulches to prevent nutrient and sunlight access to any growing weeds.
Preen Garden works well for vegetable patches and flower beds because it’s effective at weed control in mulch beds. Mulch is an essential part to grow beautiful blooms and abundant fruits and vegetables, but it’s also a favorite spot for weeds to grow. With proper application and consistent monitoring, Preen Garden prevents this problem from coming up at all.
As a pre-emergent herbicide, it works by settling into the mulch bed after application and forming a disruptive barrier on the surface of the soil. This prevents weeds from spreading their root networks and interrupting how they grow, which stops their growth or stunts it long enough for manual removal.
The fertilizer is an all-purpose proprietary blend that can help your plants bloom better, take root faster, and resist disease. You can use it on over 200 unique kinds of vegetables, flowers, and shrubs, making this a versatile pick for anyone with a greenhouse or an ornamental garden.
However, one thing that any potential buyer should note is that trifluralin is toxic to any aquatic life, so you should take special care if the application area is near a river or other water features. Some states may also have regulations that forbid or control the use of trifluralin based products, so consult your local guidelines.
It’s also not ideal for use on earthworm beds, as the product is toxic to small organisms. Barring these exceptions, Preen Garden is a great tool for keeping small-to-medium-sized plots and gardens healthy and weed free with minimal effort.
Preen One is a powerful pre-emergent weed and feed which can kill most grassy and broadleaf weeds within a single application. Easy to use with a fast method of activation, it’s the one-shot solution for anyone looking to get rid of unwanted growths on their lawn.
Preen One’s active ingredient is a derivation of 2,4-D, which ensures it has a short half-life and fast action once applied. You don’t have to worry about keeping people or pets away from your lawn for too long after application, though you should still use caution when during and after applying this product.
The great thing about Preen One is that it’s a simple product to use compared to other weed and feed formulas. It requires no mixing, no dilution, and only needs one application whenever you need it. The slow-release nitrogen fertilizer ensures that your lawn will enjoy increased growth for up to eight weeks, which is one of the longer feed periods on the market.
Like most pre-emergent herbicides, Preen One works by disrupting the nutrient and water pathways in weeds and other unwanted growths. This cuts off their access from nutrients and water from the surrounding soil, which causes them to wither and die. It also creates a barrier in the soil that prevents broadleaf seedlings from establishing a root network, stunting their growth.
To use Preen One blanket-spray with a drop or broadcast spreader over your lawn until it’s well-covered. Wet the top layer with a light shower or wait for the rain to help sink the product into the soil. After the product has been absorbed or washed off, expect to see results within two to three weeks.
Keep in mind that Preen One works better with turf like bluegrass, Bermuda grass, and buffalo grass. It will damage Colonial bentgrass or St. Augustine grass, and will outright kill Floratam St. Augustine grass. Always check what kind of turf you have before application.
What To Consider When Choosing The Best Weed And Feed For Lawns
To get the most out of the best weed and feed for lawn and landscaping projects, you should play to each product’s distinct strengths. Knowing what they can do and how they interact with your turf is the best way to get the most out of your product.
Herbicide And Fertilizer Ratio
Weed and feed formulas will sometimes differ on the exact proportions of their active ingredients. Some products will contain a higher concentration or a more potent helping of herbicides to get rid of weeds, while others will have more fertilizer to make your plants more resilient.
Here, it’s important to pay attention to the turf that you have and the weeds that you’re trying to control. Balancing these two factors can help you in choosing the best weed and feed formula for your lawn. It also reduces the chance that you’ll over-or-under compensate for the effects of the product in the long run.
Post-emergent vs Pre-emergent Brands
Since they contain herbicides, weed and feed products will fall under two categories:
Pre-emergent, where the herbicide acts by preventing the growth of weeds
Post-emergent, where the herbicide acts by targeting and killing already growing weeds
You should choose pre-emergent weed and feed formulas when you’re dealing with weeds that haven’t germinated yet, like crabgrass in the early spring. For weeds like dandelions, thistles, and clovers, a post-emergent herbicide makes them easier to spot and remove after application.
Rain is a double-edged sword for many weed and feed formulas: it’s essential to make sure that the soil absorbs them properly, but it can also wash them away before they’ve had the chance to work. For the weather, timing your application is essential.
Some weed and feed brands are specifically formulated to work in either dry or wet conditions, so check your product before purchase if it’s compatible with your area. Otherwise, you could spend a lot of time and effort in applying a formula that can give you subpar results.
Spot-spray vs Blanket Application
You can apply weed and feed formulas by either spot-spraying select areas or using a broadcast spreader over your lawn. Knowing the best time to use which method can be crucial to the success of your product.
Spot-spray works best when you’re dealing with dense broadleaf growths that haven’t spread to other areas of your lawn, such as dandelions. This method ensures that you use the most amount of herbicide on the area that needs it the most. It also helps the plants in that area recover quicker after you have removed the weed.
Blanket spray works best if you’re trying to remove grassy weeds that spread out quickly, like crabgrass. This makes sure that you don’t miss any growths and prevent the uneven application of the fertilizer. It also ensures that it protects your entire lawn against future incursions.
Proximity To Water And Other Kinds Of Soil
Some weed and feed brands are toxic to marine life or other microorganisms, so always check if your application area is near flowing water or wild patches of land. It’s possible for ground or water contamination to happen (especially if you use weed and feed products often) in areas that aren’t your own, so make sure that you’re aware of your lawn’s boundaries and follow all zoning regulations.
Foot Traffic In The Area
Lawns can attract a lot of foot traffic, so applying a weed and feed formula should always keep pedestrians and pets in mind. Try using an organic formula or a synthetic product that has a short half-life if you’re maintaining a lawn where children and animals like to play. Alternatively, you can also look for a brand that’s sensitive to water runoff so you can control how soon it washes off.
How To Apply Weed And Feed To Your Lawn
The specific way to apply each weed and feed product to your lawn can differ depending on the product, but there is a process that you can follow to make it more efficient.
Step 1: Decide Whether You Will Blanket Or Spot Spray
This is important since some weed and feed products need a specific attachment to either blanket or spot spray. Aside from that, it’ll also determine how much of the product you need to use since it affects how much lawn you’ll have to cover. You can apply some products either way, which gives you a little more elbow room for application.
Step 2: Check The Weather Forecast
Immediate rains can wash away most of your weed and feed before the plants absorb it, which can be disastrous if you’re dealing with grassy weeds like crabgrass or resilient broadleaves like dandelions. As much as possible, try to time your application two to three days before the rains fall to avoid this from happening.
Step 3: Mix Or Dilute The Concentration As Needed
You can skip this step if your product doesn’t need either mixing or diluting. Most weed and feed products will generally have a set of guidelines on the packaging so you can have a good estimate of how much formula you’ll need. But it’s fine to mix or dilute the concentrate if you’re an experienced gardener or have other expert advice to follow.
Step 4: Apply The Formula Evenly
Whether you spot spray or use a broadcast spreader, it’s crucial that you apply your product evenly to avoid bald patches or missed weeds. For broadcast spreaders, apply the product in overlapping, even strips to prevent striping. For spot-sprayed applications, cover the entire area so the product can saturate the soil. These methods can help you get the most out of each application.
Step 5: Rake And Sweep Any Excess Product Back Into Your Yard
Sweep or rake back any excess weed and feed into your lawn if you’ve overshot the boundaries of your property during application. Aside from making sure that no product gets wasted, this also prevents it from flowing into storm drains or other areas where it isn’t needed and avoids staining sidewalks or pathways.
Step 6: Keep Children, Pets, And Other People Away From The Applied Area For At Least 24 Hours
After application, rope off or close off the area until the product has been absorbed or dried off. The exact time will depend on the active ingredients in your weed and feed formula, but the recommended period for most brands is around 24 hours. Otherwise, wait until the first rainy day comes along to make sure that the entire application sinks into the soil.
Step 7: Give The Area Time To Aerate Before Reseeding
Wait at least 4 weeks before reseeding or planting new turf if you’ve applied weed and feed to your lawn. Weed and feed formulas only feed the pre-existing grass and turf, so any new plants won’t enjoy the effects of the fertilizer at all. Some brands may even prevent them from taking root.
When To Feed And Weed Lawns
Before applying weed and feed to any lawn, you need to have done two things beforehand:
Mowing: applying weed and feed to mown grass gives it more time to settle in. This also decreases the chance of you removing any unsettled particulates by accident.
Moisture: weed and feed formulas cannot permeate hard, unwatered soil. Always makes sure that there’s enough moisture in the ground for the product to permeate through.
Once you’ve done these two things, then you can move on to when you can weed and feed lawns. You can apply most products year-round, with most of them around the spring and summer. But here are some general rules you can follow for each season if you live in a different area or mistimed your application.
Weed and feed formulas generally do poorly in winter since the conditions aren’t great for adhering to broadleaves and turf. However, you can apply the formula around September till November, depending on how far up north you are.
Spring is the best time to apply most weed and feed formulas since all plants (including weeds) are in full swing. Applying your product in early April is key to shutting down germinating weeds and gives your turf a much-needed boost after winter.
Summer is a bit tricker since the frequent sweltering days can evaporate the weed and feed formulas before they settle in, which means you need to water your applications more. You should apply the product between 10 to 14 weeks after your last spring treatment, just to make sure you don’t oversaturate your lawn.
The increased amount of rainfall during this season means that you have to be extremely careful with your timing when applying weed and feed so it doesn’t get washed away by the rain. Late June till the middle of August is the best time to apply weed and feed formulas, since the rainy days will often be interspersed with some sunshine.
Some weed and feed work better in a certain season or under certain conditions, so it’s best to check the specific brand you’re going to buy.
Safety Precautions For Weed And Feed Application
You should always apply weed and feed with care. Even if they’re not as powerful as your conventional herbicide or weed killers, they’re still potent chemicals that can have a drastic effect on your lawn and its surroundings.
Here are some safety tips and considerations that you can follow.
- Keep all pets, children, and other people away from the area after application.
- You should only blanket spray on areas that show thick growths or have bald patches.
- Whenever possible, spot-spray a formula that has high herbicide content.
- Dilute or reduce the concentration of the product if there are sensitive flora or fauna in the area.
- Keep the product away from natural water features that may pass through your property.
- Follow your area’s local regulations about the ingredients you can use for weed and feed products.
- Apply weed and feed as instructed on the manual. Do not deviate without expert or the manufacturer’s advice.
- Be aware of the proper response if the product makes skin contact or splashes into your eye.
- Put up notices, signs, or barriers when using weed and feed in public areas.
Following these guidelines can reduce the risk of harming yourself, others, and the environment. It also adheres to the very strict guidelines about applying lawn care products as per the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are other questions about weed and feed for lawn and landscape projects that were too short to make their own section on.
How often should you apply weed and feed between seasons?
Most weed and feed formulas will only need one or two applications per season. Depending on the brand, some of them can last for two-and-a-half seasons before needing reapplication.
Keep in mind that other factors like the turf you have, the weather, and the weeds you’re targeting can affect how often you need to apply the product. Getting the right balance between all these is the key to making the most out of a single application.
How early can you see results from using weed and feed products?
Since they’re not dedicated weed killers, you can expect to see results in two to four weeks. Depending on the weed and turf, you can remove weeds within two. This will also differ between post-emergent and pre-emergent brands.
Keep in mind that this only goes for the herbicidal aspect of weed and feed products. Fertilizer can often take an entire season to be absorbed by your lawn, so it’s best to monitor your applied areas for a few months.
When should you let pets back on the lawn after applying weed and feed?
This depends on the active ingredients of your weed and feed. For organic-based formulas, you can let pets on the lawn about 6 to 12 hours after application. Synthetic products that use 2,4-D may take up to two days, perhaps a little longer if the formula hasn’t been absorbed by your plants yet.
When in doubt, consult your vet about the effects that a weed and feed formula can have on your pet. Depending on the species, age, and environment, your pet may have a mild or extreme reaction to any unfamiliar thing you put in your lawn.
Can you grow new grass using weed and feed?
Absolutely. Some products are targeted to help the grass grow or regrow after winter or summer months. Check the label on the packaging to see which one your product can help you with and apply as instructed.
Always remember that weed and feed formulas are not universal: some formulas will work better with specific types of grass than others. Applying an incompatible formula with your grass will not help it grow, since it can either stunt or destroy entire patches.
Can weed and feed formulas boost tree growth?
No. Trees are extremely sensitive to weed and feed formulas since they have bigger roots and leaves than turf. Using weed and feed in their vicinity should always be handled with care since it’s possible that the active ingredients can end up hindering their growth.
Some newer weed and feed formulas can help diminish the effects, but it’s best practice to keep these products away from trees. Even an accidental application can take a long time for the tree to recover from, and may even end up killing it outright.
Can weed and feed kill crabgrass and Bermuda grass?
Yes. There are some brands of weed and feed that are targeted to kill either or both grasses. But since these turfs are so different, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to kill one as well as the other.
What you can do in this situation is to ascertain the weed that would be a bigger issue and use a brand made to kill it. You can then use a dedicated weed killer for the other weed so you avoid over-fertilizing the soil.
How big of an area can a weed and feed formula treat?
The average coverage area for most weed killers is between 1000 to 5000 sq. ft, though the method of application is the biggest factor that can affect this number. Some weed and feed brands can be spot sprayed, while others are blanket sprayed via drop or broadcast spreaders.
This is apparent in weed and feed brands that have a higher herbicide-to-fertilizer ratio (like post-emergent brands), so plan accordingly when applying your product.
Can weed and feed products get rid of ground ivy?
It can, but very few brands can expunge a ground ivy infestation. Most experts would recommend that you use a dedicated weed killer to get rid of ground ivy instead of a weed and feed formula.
The problem with using weed and feed formulas to remove ground ivy is that the weed itself is extremely resilient and adaptable. Because all weed and feed products come with nutrients that can enrich plant growth, the rapid growth rate of ground ivy means that it’ll benefit more from the fertilizer than the actual herbicide.
What happens if you apply too much weed and feed to your lawn?
It depends on the amount of fertilizer, and how fast it releases.
Nothing much will happen if you end up using too much of a nitrogen-rich slow-acting weed and feed formula. The slow-release rate of the fertilizer combined with the weak herbicidal active component won’t do anything drastic to your plants.
You can expect smaller shrubs and patches of turf to suffer if you use too much of a herbicide-based weed and feed formula. Too much quick-release nitrogen can also overload and stunt your plant’s growth.
Weed and feed formulas are the best way for gardeners to keep their lawns well-maintained and weed-free without a lot of effort. This way, you can focus on improving your garden instead of trying to make sure it doesn’t succumb to weather, weeds, or other factors.
For the best blanket-application weed and feed formula, choose Scotts Turf Builder. GreenView Fairway is an excellent choice if you want to remove grassy weeds before they grow, while Scotts Turf Bonus S is a great pairing for southern grasses that need additional care.
Just remember that the best weed and feed for lawns work best when paired with taking initiative on lawn care and weed control. It’s important to be aware of the factors that can affect your lawn’s health and act appropriately. With the proper application of the product and a close eye on your plants, you can keep your lawn healthy and weed-free no matter the conditions.