The Q&A Archives: weed and feed

Question: when is the right time to weed and feed in my area? I have gotten conflicting info.

Answer: Mrs. Foley,

I am sorry for this delayed reply to your gardening question. The spring rush has brought a deluge of questions and we are working hard to catch up!

Weed and feed simply means that the product contains fertilizer and some type of herbicide. The idea is that the fertilizer feeds the grass and the herbicide while toxic to weeds will not harm the grass. If it is a preemergence herbicide it will prevent weed seeds from coming up but not control existing weeds. If it is a post emergence herbicide it will control existing weeds but not prevent weed seeds from coming up. Now as usual, the devil is in the details. The best time to fertilize is usually not the optimum time to prevent weeds. The best time to start fertilizing warm season grasses in the spring is after you have mowed twice. By then weeds have already germinated. In fall weed prevention also comes prior to fertilizing. If you need to use a herbicide it is best to first have the weeds identified so you can choose the proper product for optimum control and also get the proper timing for application. Then apply it separately from your lawn fertilization.

In order to effectively control weeds with a herbicide application you should have the weeds identified so an appropriate product can be selected. Your County Extension Office can assist you with identifying the weeds and by recommending an appropriate herbicide.

Thanks for the question. Best wishes for a wonderful gardening season. Please stop in again soon!

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