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Ahead, read our guide to understanding weed-and-feed products, as well as the details on our top-favorite picks among the best weed-and-feed options available.
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!
To find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs can be determined by conducting a soil test. You can either purchase a test to use at home or take a soil sample to your local cooperative extension testing office.
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.
Fertilizers can also contain secondary elements and micronutrients needed for healthy growth such as sulfur, calcium, magnesium, boron, iron, molybdenum, zinc, copper, chloride, nickel, and manganese.
It is important to cover new grass seed with mulch to hold in moisture and nutrients. If the grass seed dries out, it takes longer to grow or might not root at all. You can use clean straw or Penn mulch.
Another important step is to start with a quality Starter Fertilizer. A starter fertilizer provides the essential nutrients that will help with germination and growth.
Once you have put down the grass seed and covered it with a protective layer of straw or Penn Mulch, keep the soil moist but not soggy by watering lightly every day.
Fall Turf Restoration
Get your lawn in shape now for next spring. August through October is the best time to treat for weeds. You get great “translocation” into the root system when applying a weed control in fall, resulting in a better and more complete kill.
Penn Mulch is a great option when planting new grass from seed. Covering your newly planted grass seed with straw will help with germination and growth.
Begin by creating good seed-to-soil contact. Seed that is on actual soil stands a better chance of developing a strong root system. Core aeration or a hard raking will help with this.
Newly renovated lawns are lawns that have been seeded and the seeds have begun to germinate.Even newly renovated lawns enjoy a late feeding going into winter to help with establishing and maintaining turf health. Definitely plan on applying a good quality Winterizer fertilizer between mid-October and early November.
Before applying any fertilizer or herbicide product, put on a mask, safety goggles, gloves, long sleeves, long pants and closed toe shoes. After applying the weed and feed and cleaning the spreader, wash your clothing in hot water and detergent to remove any dust or residue.
If you are unable to find Super Turf Builder Weed and Feed, Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action provides similar results. It kills weeds, prevents the new weeds from sprouting and feeds the grass.
Wait for a calm day when temperatures are not expected to rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and no rainfall is expected for at least 24 hours. Water the lawn first to moisten the grass, or start the application when the grass is moist from dew. The product should be applied while weeds are actively growing in the lawn. A second application may be made, but wait at least 30 days — and do not use the product more than twice each year.
The Nitty Gritty
A well-kept, healthy lawn should be plush, free of weeds and diseases, and as green as the neighbors’ envious hearts. Weed and feed products are designed to provide needed nutrients to the grass while poisoning weeds that want to steal the lawn’s food. Scotts Super Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control works on several species of lawn grasses. While the company’s website recommends waiting four weeks to put down grass seed after applying the weed and feed, seeding first means waiting a different length of time before you use the product.
This turf builder weed and feed should be applied with a mechanical spreader for even distribution. When using a spreader, Scotts Turf Builder Plus 2 spreader settings vary depending on the device. Set broadcast and rotary spreaders at 3.5, hand-held spreaders on 3 and drop spreaders on 5. Even if you’ve used the turf builder products for years, always check the package directions to ensure that the instructions haven’t changed.
The Scotts website question-and-answer section states that grass seeds should be allowed to germinate and grow tall and strong enough to be mowed four times before you apply weed and feed. No entirely specific time period is provided, because different grass species grow at different rates, and growth is affected by many variables, including soil quality, temperature and rainfall or manual irrigation.
If you have a very small lawn, an alternative to the granular Scotts weed and feed products is the Scotts Liquid Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control. This liquid fertilizer provides a quick boost of nitrogen as well as killing clover, dandelions and other weeds. Simply attach the garden hose and spray the lawn when the weeds are actively growing.