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When and How to Apply Weed & Feed
Posted By Ethan On February 23, 2011 @ 7:00 am In Lawn,Outdoor | 53 Comments
Weed & feed is the generic name for a broad range of lawn chemical products designed to strengthen existing grass and kill off certain weeds  in a single application. It generally improves your lawn’s ability to absorb water and food, and adds necessary nutrients which promote healthy growth. A healthy lawn, in turn, discourages weed propagation, enabling the use of a reduced amount of the product over time.
The “feed” portion of weed & feed is a fertilizer that contains some combination of nitrogen, phosphorous, and/or potassium  to green up your lawn. The exact blend of fertilizer ingredients varies by brand, but all products will contain some percentage of nitrogen. Some products also include additional benefits, such as timed-released nitrogen for extended feeding.
It’s important to apply weed & feed when weeds are actively growing. Applying weed & feed during the winter will have absolutely no effect on the lawn in the following spring and summer. You should spread weed & feed on damp/wet grass (use a sprinkler or apply just after rain) so that the granules stick better to the leafy portions of the weeds.
You should also pick a time when no additional rain is expected for two days, and you should avoid watering your lawn over this period. This allows time for the herbicide to absorb into the leaves. If it does rain or the lawn gets drenched, it will wash the granules off the leaves. In this case, however, you cannot re-apply the chemical immediately because you will over-feed the lawn and potentially cause a chemical scorch.
There are a few important details to remember when spreading weed & feed. Keep all of these in mind when planning the job to achieve the best results. Note that these tips are not intended to replace manufacturers instructions, though you will find most manufacturers will recommend some variation of these tips.
Weed & Feed prevents seed germination, so you should avoid planting new grass or aerating your lawn  for at least four weeks. We recommend waiting longer, though. If you weed & feed in the spring and summer, spread grass seed and aerate in the fall each year.
Here are some common reasons that weed & feed was ineffective:
The best way to avoid damaging your lawn is the flush out the weed & feed. Water your lawn with 1 to 2 inches of water for about 4 days. Don’t apply any other weed & feed until the following year.
Unfortunately, over watering like this can create run-off in certain drainage situations, so try to avoid the situation in the first place.
Like every lawn chemical, standard precautions should be followed before applying weed and feed or any herbicide to your lawn. These safety instructions are NO substitute for manufacturers guidelines. Be sure to read the safety instructions on the bag and follow them.
Professional lawn care services will provide experienced and knowledgeable staff that will manage every aspect of your lawn. They will address pH imbalances, conduct soil test, proper watering and spur new grass growth. You can find a local expert through services like ServiceMagic, or you could contact TruGreen or another service near you.
What do you think? Do you put down weed & feed?
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URL to article: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/when-and-how-to-apply-weed-feed/
URLs in this post:
 kill off certain weeds: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/lawn-weed-control/
 Dicamba: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dicamba
 2,4-D: http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/24d-ext.html
 MCPP: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35107
 pre-emergent: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/apply-crabgrass-preventer-in-the-early-spring/
 nitrogen, phosphorous, and/or potassium: http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/n-p-k-organic-fertilizers.html
 water the lawn: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/watering-your-lawn/
 applying crabgrass preventer: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/when-to-spread-crabgrass-preventer-a-preemergent-herbicide/
 make two passes: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/choosing-spreader-types-for-fertilizer-how-to-spread-fertilizer/
 aerating your lawn: http://www.oneprojectcloser.com/tips-for-aerating-your-lawn/
 dollarweeds: http://www.scotts.com/smg/solve/solution/solutionArticle.jsp?detailId=200052
 poison control center: http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/default.aspx
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