Homeowners, property owners, and landscapers across the nation use the best weed and feed technology to make their lawns the greenest, healthiest, and most desirable sight you’ve ever seen. Now, you simply must have one too.
If you want to compete with the pros, you may need to invest in one of the best weed and feed products on the market. Before you run out and invest, you must understand the concepts and products you are considering.
- Why Weed and Feed?
- Best Weed and Feed
- Simple Lawn Solutions (Bundle)
- Grass Type
- Types of Weed & Feed
- Liquid Weed and Feed vs. Granular
- Lawn Size
- Product Safety
- Post-emergent vs. Pre-emergent Weed & Feed: What’s the Difference?
- Weed and Feed Frequently Asked Questions
Why Weed and Feed?
Weed and feed, a 2-in-1 lawn product, is a two-pronged chemical lawn technology that kills weeds while simultaneously vitalizing different grass types. Its purpose is for lawn building, management, and revitalization or repair.
- “Weed,” the first part, kills weeds through a mixture of 2, 4-D, Dicamba, and MCPP herbicides. It eliminates leafy weeds like dollarweed and dandelion.
- “Feed,” the second part, fortifies the remaining turf with nutrients and a phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium fertilizer blend. It may also increase water absorption, promoting a healthy root system and growth.
However, some healthy lawns do not require the use of weed and feed products. A dense turf will crowd out the weeds naturally without chemical intervention.
Overuse of weed and feed products is toxic. It may harm trees, weaken the overall root system of the lawn, and even result in seepage of chemicals into precious groundwater, creeks, and the watershed. On top of poisoning the water, it causes toxic algae blooms, killing wildlife, fish, and plants.
Best Weed and Feed
We expect the best weed and feed products to perform in a specific manner without too many adverse effects. For your convenience, here are several of the best weed and feed products on the market with pros and cons for comparison:
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 28-0-3
- Great reputation
- Offers the most potent weed killer available
- Spreads over 15,000 square feet
- May potentially harm certain grass types
Spectracide Weed & Feed 20-0-0
- Kills all broadleaf weed types
- Easy application
- Limited nitrogen application to soil
- May take up to 4 weeks to kill all the weeds
Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action
- Kills dollarweed, oxalis, and other broadleaf weeds
- Kills insects
- Works with southern turfgrass types
- Spreads over 4,000 or 8,000 square feet, depending on bag size
- Harms Bermuda grass
- Does not kill crabgrass
- Not safe for freshly seeded areas
Espoma Organic Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food
- Prevents weed growth
- Organic ingredient of corn gluten meal
- Effective on a wide range of weed types
- Easy application
- May require more product to be effective
- It may require longer to be effective
Westland Child and Pet-Friendly Organic Weed and Feed
- Effective on a freshly seeded lawn
- Organic ingredients
- Bad odor
- Limited availability
BioAdvanced All-in-One Weed & Feed
- Kills 200 weed types
- Kills crabgrass
- Easy application
- Discolors Bermuda grass
- Limited to northern turfgrass types
Simple Lawn Solutions (Bundle)
This isn’t exactly a weed killer, but the bundle is a great way to pair with a weed killer. The Simple Lawn Solutions bundle will promote growth within your lawn which will prevent most weeds from being able to grow. Of course you want to kill the weeds, but it is also very important that you have a healthy lawn in order to prevent the weeds from coming back.
Grass type matters because different species react differently to weed and feed products. In some cases, the product may burn the grass. You may need a gentler chemical blend to nurture your lawn. To select the best weed and feed product for your property, be sure to find out the type of grass in your turf.
Warm-season grasses include those that thrive in the southern United States, like carpet grass, Bermuda, zoysia, Saint Augustine, and Bahia. These grasses grow in soil temperatures averaging between 80 and 95 degrees.
Cool-season grasses include those that thrive in the Midwest and northern states, like perennial ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, and fescue. These grasses grow in soil temperatures averaging between 60 and 75 degrees.
Read the product labels carefully to make sure you purchase the best weed and feed product for your property. The last thing you want to do is pick up the wrong one and kill your entire lawn.
Types of Weed & Feed
The best weed and feed products are available in two forms: liquid and granular. They are both efficient, although one or the other may prove to work better in certain instances.
Liquid weed and feed products require a sprayer for application. They come either in a concentrate or ready-to-use blend.
Granular weed and feed products are applied directly onto the broad leafy weeds with a spreader.
Liquid Weed and Feed vs. Granular
In choosing which form of weed and feed product to buy, take time to learn the pros and cons of each. These are the points to consider:
Liquid (pros and cons)
- Targets certain problem areas of the lawn
- Responds quickly with no requirement to water the lawn before or after
- Ready-to-Use, most often
- May require dilution with water
- Easier to handle during application
- New technology with less time to build a reputation
- Harms the environment
- Toxic to children and pets
Granular (pros and cons)
- Scatters evenly over larger areas with a drop spreader
- Optimizes timely disbursement and slow release of chemicals, requiring fewer treatments
- Requires watering the lawn before application
- Difficult and heavy to handle during application
- Decades-old technology with a proven reputation
- Trusted by professionals
- Harms the environment
- Clings to shoes and clothing
- Toxic to children and pets
It is essential to know the size of your lawn, so you don’t overspend on unnecessary weed and feed products that you don’t need. It will also help you to plan and budget for grass seed, fertilizer, water, and other resources to maintain your lawn correctly, saving you money in the long run.
Choosing the Quantity of Product
Liquid weed and feed products typically come in the ready-to-use pre-bottled form. For this reason and the expense, liquid forms probably are not the best choice for a more extensive lawn. If it requires multiple small bottles, you may want to choose the granular form instead.
Granular weed and feed products come in different sizes of bags, strengths, and blends. It also requires the purchase of a spreader if you don’t have one.
Because of the number of granular products on the market with varying compositions and instructions for application, you will need to read the labels to determine how much product you need to purchase for your lawn size. To begin, you first need to measure your lawn.
How to Measure a Lawn
To size up your lawn, measure the length and width in feet. Multiply the two numbers together to arrive at the square footage. Do the same for your home or any structures within your lawn. Then subtract the square footage of the structures from the lawn measurement. Now, you have the size of your lawn.
If there are any odd shapes in your measured units, you can break those down into smaller areas to work with to get more accurate numbers. Have patience and write it down in case you forget or get distracted. It takes time, but it will be worth the trouble.
If you are not into manually figuring distances, numbers, and math, there are several lawn-measuring tools available online and mobile apps to do it for you. Technology can be wonderful. Here are a few:
- Global Syn-Turf
- Google Earth
- Measure My Lawn
Although each manufacturer perfects its unique blend of weed and feed, they all contain the same basic ingredients. Please note that organic products contain none of these.
- 2,4-D herbicide
There are organic weed and feed products available on the market that are child-friendly and pet-friendly. Their main ingredient is corn gluten meal, which is harmless to children and pets. However, because they are different technologies, they will not perform the same as synthetic 2-in-1 products.
If you decide to go with the traditional synthetic products, please make sure to keep children and pets off the lawn for at least 24 hours after treatment. Always read the labels.
Post-emergent vs. Pre-emergent Weed & Feed: What’s the Difference?
Post-emergent weed and feed products kill weeds after they surface from the soil. They not only eliminate the weeds but also prevent them from growing back.
Pre-emergent weed and feed products prevent weed growth before they appear. It does not eliminate weeds that already exist. It is applied annually for best lawn maintenance practices. It is easy to use and only requires water to activate the herbicides.
Weed and Feed Frequently Asked Questions
When is it best to apply weed and feed?
Strategy is always the best plan of attack. For best results and lawn maintenance, weed and feed should be worked in with regular lawn fertilization in spring or early summer. The time frame will vary depending on the climate of the lawn’s location. Weed and feed products have information for application on the package. Be sure to read the labels.
How does weed and feed work?
Weed and feed technology work in two ways simultaneously:
- It inhibits the weeds’ protein production and stops photosynthesis or causes root damage, leading to the plant’s death.
- It provides fertilizer treatment to the blades of grass, creating a dense, sturdy turf that chokes out the weeds when they try to grow back.
How is weed and feed applied?
The application method of weed and feed products depends on the form, whether liquid or granular and the manufacturer’s instructions. Then, the following overall application advice applies to both:
- To effectively apply weed and feed to your lawn, mow it one or two days beforehand. Clear the clippings away to prevent accidentally mulching weeds into the soil.
- Choose the right 2-in-1 product for the grass and weed types in your lawn.
- Be cautious not to spread weed and feed products on gardens or flower beds. It will kill them.
- Do not get the product in your eyes or on your skin. Wear glasses, pants, and long sleeves to protect yourself.
Remember, timing is critical.
If you apply weed and feed too early in the season, the fertilizer may burn the tender grass shoots by overloading them with nutrients they aren’t ready to handle. It is best to wait until the turf has significant growth on it before applying the 2-in-1 product.
If you apply weed and feed too late in the season, you may kill the weeds, but you aren’t benefiting the turf overall. Since grass growth slows in the fall due to cooler weather, the feed component would only weaken the lawn’s root system during the winter.
Is there any difference between all the weed and feed products?
Yes. Weed and feed products are available in varying strengths, blends, and application instructions. Here are a few things to consider:
- Each product’s chemical compounds are measured differently depending on their primary purpose.
- Some products require watering the lawn before or after treatment, while some require none.
- All weed and feed products do not cover the same types of weeds and grasses.
- Some products will seriously damage a lawn if they are not compatible.
- Each product may require a certain level of coverage to be most effective.
- Not all weed and feed products implement the same safety testing or protocols.
- Except for organic products, weed and feed chemicals are toxic to humans, animals, and the environment.
Is liquid weed and feed better than granular?
Depending on the condition of your lawn, your budget, and your preference of application, one form of weed and feed may suit your situation better than the other. As the consumer and proud lawn owner, you will have to weigh the benefits of each form and decide for yourself.
The Best Weed and Feed Technology
The best weed and feed lawn care technology is available in two different forms manufactured by dozens of companies with specialized blends of chemicals. There is a form and formula for nearly any lawn, whether it is a newly seeded turf, one in need of maintenance and upkeep, or one that needs repair.
Keep in mind, not every lawn needs this kind of boost. Sometimes, nature has the best plan. You will have to decide which product is best, or if you really need one at all.
We hope you found this list of the best weed and feed products above helpful. Carefully pick one that best suit your needs. Consider the pros and cons of each product and refer to the guide in this post so you can successfully apply weed and feed on your lawn.