When you go to buy a lawn fertilizer, stay away from the “weed and feed” products. Why? These products mix one or more weed killers in with the fertilizer.
This is bad for two reasons.
Number one, when you spread weed and feed fertilizer over your lawn, you are putting a lot more weed killers into the environment than you would if you simply spot-sprayed the weeds in your lawn.
Second, your desirable trees and landscape plants are negatively affected by the weed killer. Keep in mind that lawn weed killers kill “broadleaf weeds” but don’t affect “narrowleaf grasses.” From the perspective of the weed killer, your tree and bushes fall into the category of broadleaf weeds. They take it up, too.
If you’re not sure what type of fertilizer to choose, check out this post.
They may not take up enough to kill them, but it will reduce their health and attractiveness especially if you use weed and feed every time you fertilize. Even if you trees and bushes are not planted in the middle of the lawn, it’s likely that some of their roots are in the lawn and will take up the weed killer.
Instead of using weed and feed, try spot spraying your weeds instead. I buy a bottle of ready-to-use lawn weed killer. Lawn weed killer kills the weeds and not the grass. Make sure you are not using grass AND weed killer, because that will kill you’re grass right along with the weeds. Some lawn weed killers have a coloring added into them. I like these products because you can tell what you’ve already sprayed. It makes the job a little easier and faster.
If you have a major weed problem in your lawn, one application of weed and feed might be warranted. Just be sure after the weeds are under control to switch to a straight fertilizer and spot spray your weeds. You also want to make sure you are using it at the correct time of year to fertilize. If it’s not the right time of year to fertilize the grass, buy a bottle of concentrated lawn weed killer and a tank sprayer instead.
If you have grassy weeds, lawn weed killer will not get rid of them. If you have a problem with grassy weeds, I would recommend taking it in to be identified before you try to control it. Since there are lot of different kinds of grassy weeds that each require a different control strategy, knowing what you are dealing with is important.
The take away message is use straight fertilizer instead of weed and feed and spot spray weeds with a lawn weed killer.