When Should You Apply Weed and Feed?

Achieving that perfect green carpet requires more than just regular mowing. The key lies in providing your lawn with the right nutrients while keeping pesky weeds at bay. This is where the application of weed and feed products comes into play. 

Weed and feed products are a dynamic duo in lawn care. On the one hand, you have fertilizers designed to nourish your grass with essential nutrients, fostering robust growth and vibrant color. On the other, weed control products are crucial for combating unwanted intruders that can steal these nutrients and mar the beauty of your lawn. 

In this guide, we will explore when and how to apply these essential treatments to ensure your lawn remains healthy and resilient throughout the seasons.

Fertilizers and Their Role in Promoting Plant Growth

Fertilizers and weed control substances are the building blocks of a thriving lawn. Let's break down each component.

Nutrients in fertilizers and their benefits:

  • Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium — the holy trinity of nutrients that fuel plant growth.
  • Nitrogen stimulates leafy, green growth, phosphorus supports root development, and potassium enhances overall plant vigor.

Different types of fertilizers:

Common herbicides and their functions:

Types of weed control:

  • Systemic herbicides: Absorbed by the plant and translocated throughout, providing comprehensive control.
  • Contact herbicides: Kill only the parts of the plant they touch, requiring direct application.



The Importance of Timing Your Weed and Feed Application

Timing is everything when it comes to applying weed and feed treatments to your lawn. Each season brings unique challenges and opportunities, and understanding when to implement these products can significantly impact their effectiveness. 

General Guidelines for Applying Weed and Feed Products

Balancing act: Striking the right balance between feeding the lawn and controlling weeds is crucial.

Ideally, fertilize when the grass is actively growing to maximize nutrient absorption. This guidance also applies to weeds. Herbicides work better when weeds are actively growing.

Avoid extreme conditions: Steer clear of applying products during extreme weather conditions such as excessive heat, drought, or heavy rain. Such extremes can reduce effectiveness and potentially harm your lawn.

Seasonal Considerations

Spring Application: Preparing for the Growing Season

Summer Application: Maintaining a Healthy Lawn

  • Addressing nutrient needs during peak growth: Apply a slow-release fertilizer to sustain nutrient availability throughout the season.

Fall Application: Preparing for Winter and Promoting Root Health

By aligning your weed and feed applications with the specific needs of each season, you ensure that your lawn receives the right care at the right time.

Factors Influencing Application Timing

Determining the optimal time for applying weed and feed products is not a one-size-fits-all task. Several factors, including climate considerations and the specific conditions of your lawn, play pivotal roles in ensuring the success of your lawn care routine.

Climate Considerations

Temperature and weather impact on product effectiveness: Different products have varying temperature requirements for optimal performance. Read product labels to understand temperature restrictions and choose suitable application times.

Adjusting application based on local climate patterns: Consider regional climate patterns when scheduling weed and feed applications. Coastal areas, for instance, may have milder temperatures, influencing the timing of product application.

Grass Type and Specific Lawn Conditions

Different grass species and nutrient requirements: Cool-season grasses may have different nutrient needs than warm-season varieties. Tailor your fertilization schedule based on the specific grass type predominant in your lawn.

Tailoring treatments for specific lawn issues: Assess the overall health of your lawn, addressing issues such as thatch, compaction, or pH imbalance. Adjust weed and feed applications to target specific problems your lawn may be facing.

Understanding these factors allows you to fine-tune your approach, ensuring that the timing of your weed and feed applications is optimized for your lawn's unique characteristics.

Related: Top Tips for Fertilizing Your Lawn: Choosing the Right Lawn Fertilizer


Recommended Weed and Feed Products

Prodiamine .38% Pre-emergent Herbicide with Fertilizer 0-0-7

Prodiamine pouring into spreader

This granular prodiamine pre-emergent weed control product is recognized as one of the best weed killers that won't harm your grass. It targets crabgrass in the spring and Poa annua (annual bluegrass) in the fall, with effectiveness against many other weeds as well.

Key Features:

  • Coverage: One 50 lb bag covers up to 16,500 sq ft at the rate of 3 lb/1,000 sq ft.
  • Active ingredient: .38% Prodiamine.
  • Potassium content: 7%, making it one of the best weed and feed products for your lawn.
  • Weed prevention: Effective against crabgrass and other grassy and broadleaf weeds.
  • Application: Easy to apply using a broadcast spreader. It is a safe weed killer that won't harm your grass when used as directed.
  • Watering: Apply to a dry lawn and water into turf within 48 hours with 1/4" of irrigation or rainfall.

Suitable for various grass types:

  • Cool-season lawns — Kentucky bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue (all fescues), ryegrass.
  • Warm-season lawns — Bermuda, St Augustine, zoysia, centipede, Bahia.

Dithiopyr .15% Pre-emergent Herbicide with Fertilizer 0-0-7

Dithiopyr .15% Pre-emergent Herbicide with Fertilizer 0-0-7

Pre-Emergent with Dithiopyr is a granular pre-emergent herbicide designed to prevent the invasion of weeds and weedy grasses in lawns. It is one of the best weed and feed herbicides that effectively targets undesirable vegetation without harming your grass.

Key Features:

Dithiopyr pre-emergent is particularly effective against annual bluegrass (Poa annua), henbit, hairy bittercress, chickweed, and other annuals, making it an excellent choice for weed prevention, especially in the fall. It is a crucial component of the fall strategy in regions with milder winters, offering extended protection. Dithiopyr is also renowned as one of the best weed killers for crabgrass, preventing its growth and eliminating young crabgrass plants.

  • Application timeframe: The optimal time to apply Dithiopyr is when soil temperatures range below 70F and above 55F. Fall is the ideal time to use this weed and feed.
  • Application: Easy to apply using a broadcast spreader. 
  • Watering: Apply to a dry lawn and water into turf within 48 hours with 1/4" of irrigation or rainfall.
  • Coverage: One 50 lb bag covers up to 12,500 sq ft at the rate of 4 lb/1,000 sq ft. and provides approximately four months of protection.
  • Active ingredient: .15% Dithiopyr.

Grasses suitable for application:

  • Cool-season lawns — Kentucky bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue (all fescues), ryegrass.
  • Warm-season lawns — Common and hybrid Bermuda, St Augustine, zoysia, centipede, Bahia.

Stress 12-0-24 - Lebanon Country Club Fertilizer

Stress 12-0-24 - Lebanon Country Club Fertilizer

Country Club Stress 12-0-24 is a premium golf course quality fertilizer designed to elevate your lawn to the standards of pristine golf course grass. With a 12-0-24 stress formulation, it stands out as one of the best granular fertilizers that is safe for achieving a golf course-like lawn at home.

Key Features:

  • High potassium for stress tolerance: The high potassium content helps your grass withstand the stress of summer heat and winter chill. Supports plant health while adding minimal salinity to the soil.
  • Fast green-up: within five to seven days using only 12% nitrogen. Contains a combination of fast-release nitrogen and Meth-Ex slow-release nitrogen for controlled growth.
  • Micronutrients for deep green color: Iron, magnesium, and manganese micronutrients provide a rich green pop unmatched by competitors. Excellent for all grass types, from long grass to putting greens.
  • Coverage: One bag covers 10,000 sq ft, making it convenient for a wide range of lawn sizes.
  • Watering: Apply to a dry lawn and water into turf within 48 hours with 1/4" of irrigation or rainfall.
  • Application: Meant to be the primary growth stimulator, apply every four to six weeks during your turf's growth mode.
    • For cool-season lawns: Apply during early spring, peak summer, and winter months.
    • For warm-season lawns: Ideal for early spring through fall, supporting your lawn and soil throughout the entire growing season.

Nutrient Composition:

  • 24% of the blend is 100% SOP (sulfate of potash) potassium, non-burning, and immediately available to the grass.
  • Additional plant-available sulfur is a benefit of this type of potassium.
  • Includes a combination of iron, manganese, and magnesium to address micronutrient deficiencies.
  • It contains sea kelp and humic acid to improve fertilizer uptake and overall plant health.

Suitable for various grass types:

  • Cool-season lawns — Kentucky bluegrass, turf-type tall fescue (all fescues), perennial ryegrass
  • Warm-season lawns — Bermuda, St Augustine, zoysia, centipede, Bahia.

Additionally, we recommend using Essential-G granular biostimulant, which can be applied on the same day as all of the above weed and feed products. For best results, apply Essential-G before weed and feed products.. When combining liquids and these weed and feed products, applying granular products before liquids is advised. Therefore, the application sequence should involve applying Essential-G first (optional), then your weed and feed product and other granulars, followed by liquid products. 


Common Mistakes to Avoid

Achieving a healthy and vibrant lawn through weed and feed applications requires precision and care. Unfortunately, several common mistakes can undermine your efforts. By being aware of these pitfalls, you can take proactive measures to ensure the success of your lawn care routine.

Over-Fertilization and Its Consequences

Nutrient burn: Excessive fertilizer application can lead to nutrient burn, causing yellowing and damage to the grass. Follow recommended application rates to prevent overloading your lawn with nutrients.

Environmental impact: Over-fertilization can result in nutrient runoff, negatively impacting water bodies and the surrounding ecosystem. Use fertilizers judiciously to minimize ecological harm.

Incorrect Weed Identification Leading To Ineffective Treatment

Misidentification of weeds: Using the wrong herbicide for specific weeds renders the treatment ineffective. Take time to correctly identify the weeds present in your lawn before selecting weed control products.

Selective vs. non-selective confusion: Applying a non-selective herbicide may unintentionally harm desirable plants. Understand the distinction between selective and non-selective herbicides and use them accordingly.

Ignoring Weather Conditions during Application

Extreme weather impact: Applying weed and feed products during extreme weather conditions, such as high temperatures or heavy rain, can reduce effectiveness.

Check weather forecasts and plan applications during favorable conditions.

Inconsistent application schedule: Irregular application schedules can lead to uneven growth and weed control. Establish a consistent schedule based on seasonal needs for optimal results.

Tips for Successful Application

Tips for Successful Application

Achieving a lush and weed-free lawn requires not only avoiding common mistakes but also implementing a strategic and well-informed approach to weed and feed applications. Here are some tips to ensure the success of your lawn care efforts:

Testing Soil before Application

Soil testing benefits: Conduct a soil test to assess nutrient levels and pH. Tailor your fertilization plan based on the specific needs of your soil.

pH adjustment: If the soil test reveals imbalances in pH, adjust it using lime or sulfur, or with Mag-I-Cal® Plus for lawns in acidic and hard soil to raise the pH or Mag-I-Cal® Plus for lawns in alkaline and hard soil to lower the pH. This will help to create an optimal environment for nutrient absorption.

Following Product Instructions and Recommended Rates

Read labels thoroughly: Carefully read and follow the instructions on fertilizer and herbicide labels. Adhering to recommended rates prevents over-application and minimizes the risk of harm to your lawn.

Calibrate application equipment: Ensure your spreader or backpack sprayer is calibrated correctly to deliver the right amount of product. Calibration enhances accuracy and consistency in application.

Implementing a Consistent and Well-Timed Schedule

Seasonal planning: Develop a seasonal lawn care calendar outlining the timing of weed and feed applications. Consistency ensures your lawn receives the necessary care throughout the year.

Monitor lawn health: Regularly assess your lawn for signs of stress, disease, or weed infestations. Adjust your application schedule based on the specific needs of your yard.



Plan Your Weed and Feed Schedule Now

Weed and feed products are integral tools in your arsenal, offering the means to nourish your grass and combat invasive weeds effectively. By understanding the unique needs of your lawn, following best practices, and staying proactive, you can create an outdoor space that not only enhances your property's aesthetics but also contributes to the overall health of your environment.

Here's to a thriving green lawn that becomes the envy of the neighborhood, a testament to your dedication to the art and science of lawn care.

Use our Lawn Fertilization Program Calculator to determine the right fertilizer needed for your lawn based on its size and nutrient requirements. It considers the N-P-K ratio found on fertilizer bags and the time of year to provide precise measurements for optimal fertilization.

Check out our YouTube channel:🌿 Build Your Lawn Program the Easy Way ⛳️