Weed and feed products have both fertilizers and herbicides to target broadleaf weeds. These products are used to kill weeds and green up the grass. Weed and feed can help to build a strong turf and healthy lawn. To ensure that you are using the correct product for your grass species, always check the label on the product. Increasing the concentration or application rate can harm your lawn. To achieve the best results from weed and feed, mow your lawn to a recommended height at specified intervals before or after the application.
Mowing after weed and feed, what should you do:
In general, mowing just before or soon after weed and feed application is not beneficial at all. The weed and feed granules are collected or get dispersed unevenly before they get a chance to work. The best practice is to mow the lawn to a correct height a couple of days before weed and feed application or a couple of days after the application in case you are using post-emergent weed and feed.
This article will guide you by mowing your lawn after applying weed and feed to achieve the best results. It will discuss the effects of mowing too short or leaving the grass to grow long after weed and feed. You’ll also find information about the best time to apply weed and feed to your lawn and precautions that must be taken to avoid any mess.
Mowing after weed and feed application
Mowing the lawn just before weed and feed application may damage and burn the grass. Mowing causes stress to the grass and creates wounds on the grass blades. The chemicals in weed and feed products may affect the wounded blades of the grass and burn them. Herbicides in the weed and feed product work better when the grass is not compacted from mowing.
It is also recommended to wait a few days after applying weed and feed to mow your lawn again. Mowing the lawn instantly after weed and feed application does no good to your lawn. The granules of weed and feed product get collected in the mower bag, and don’t have any time to work before the mower picks them up.
If you mow the lawn without bagging the clippings, even then, the weed and feed product’s granules are irregularly dispersed by the mower, creating some areas full of weed and feed and others with no granules of the product.
Mowing the lawn after weed and feed application can be more effective if your lawn already has weeds growing in it and you are using a weed and feed product with a post-emergent herbicide. Mowing weeds before weed and feed application chops off the weeds and reduces the surface area of the weed leaves that would otherwise take up the chemical and hinder weeds’ growth. As such, this doesn’t allow the product to work effectively.
Mowing height always helps to battle against the weeds. A careful balance must be maintained between keeping the grass long enough to help the weeds from going to seeds and cutting the grass too short.
Mowing at higher heights may allow the weeds to mature and make seeds. On the other hand, mowing too short weakens the turf and causes damage to your lawn’s health. This makes your lawn more vulnerable to weeds. Mowing the grass to a recommended height helps you to maintain the right balance.
“Weed and feed” and bagging while mowing
If your lawn faces severe weed infestation and the weed has gone to seed, then you must consider bagging the grass clipping before you apply weed and feed. This helps to stop the seeds from spreading all over the lawn and affecting the healthy areas.
Once the weed and feed treatment is done, you can leave the clipping on the grass for the next few times you mow the grass. These clipping will help to mulch the turf. Mowing a few days after weed and feed application allows the leftover product granules to break down and redistribute around the mowing area.
The same applies to bagging the clippings if you use liquid weed and feed product. The clippings that have chemicals left on them will break down and release the chemicals back into the soil.
Mowing too short after weed and feed
Mowing too short after weed and feed makes your lawn more vulnerable to weather stress, weeds, and diseases. Cutting the grass too short also inhibits root growth. When grass is mowed too short, the leaves’ surface area is reduced, which is where the grass makes food. Therefore, it relies on roots to grow, which weakens the roots, and they are less able to endure rain and drought.
Shallow roots require more water and make it difficult for the grass to maintaining moisture. A grass mowed too low has less leaf available for photosynthesis and, as a result, this damages the grass. Short grass exposes the turf to direct heat, which causes it to dry quickly – especially in summer.
Therefore, extra care is needed for short grass by watering it frequently to protect it from drought. Moreover, grass cut too short struggles to fight the intruders and succumbs to disease, weeds, and pests.
Leaving the grass long after weed and feed
Growing grass too long after weed and feed is also not advisable, as it makes it difficult for the grass to hold itself up, and it drops on the surrounding grass, suffocating it. Long grass also traps moisture in the lower areas, making the lawn prone to fungus and other diseases.
The grass may grow unevenly, and your lawn may look rough. Moreover, there is also a high chance that the grass may turn yellow or brown. Not mowing for an extended time after weed and feed may cause the grass to go to seed, whereby its blades look more like weeds than grass.
Long grass may overwhelm your mower and dull your mower’s blades when you try to mow it after a long time. Clippings left behind after mowing the longer grass are also longer and difficult to manage. Longer grass clippings often sit on the top of the lawn and are difficult to remove.
Moreover, longer clippings block the sunlight to the turfgrass, which affects the grass’s health. During regular mowing, the short clippings easily fall on the ground, where they decompose and add nutrients to the soil.
When to weed and feed
Weed and feed products that contain pre-emergent herbicides must be applied in early spring before weeds appear. These products are applied over a dry lawn. A pre-emergent won’t affect the weeds once the weeds have already appeared on the lawn.
The lawns that are already infested with weeds must be treated with weed and feed product that contains post-emergent herbicides. These products must be applied over a wet lawn so that the product’s granules stick to the weed’s leaves. They must be applied from late spring onward.
Weed and feed products contain both herbicides and fertilizer. They must be applied if your lawn contains weeds and also need fertilizers. Using weed and feed over an entire lawn is only necessary if there are weeds all over.
If weeds are only present in a specific area of your lawn, then you must apply fertilizer and herbicides separately. Using herbicides in areas where there are no weeds is just a waste of money, as that patch doesn’t require any herbicide treatment. Therefore, you must always consider applying fertilizer and herbicide separately if you don’t have weeds all over.
Weed and feed products for bluegrasses, fescues, and ryegrasses should be applied in spring or fall. During this season, the weeds are actively growing in these grasses, and hence it is the best time to hinder their growth.
For warm-season grasses like bermudagrass, zoysia, and St. Augustine, the weed and feed should also be applied before the targeted weed seeds germinate.
Before applying weed and feed, the forecast should be clear of rain for at least 24 hours. To spread weed and feed evenly over the lawn, use a spreader. Sprinkle the grass before weed and feed application to dampen it.
Weed and feed application
When you want to fertilize your turf and control the weeds with the same application, weed, and feed is an option to consider. The best way to choose the correct weed and feed product for your lawn is to observe your lawn care and decide whether you are trying to prevent weeds from growing or trying to get rid of the ones that are already there.
If you don’t have weeds in your lawn and try to prevent any future growth, you must use pre-emergent weed and feed products. When you apply this product to your lawn, you create a barrier underneath the soil. When the weed seeds try to emerge in your lawn, they face this chemical barrier and die out before they can sprout.
A post-emergent weed and feed product is used when you have already grown weeds in your lawn, and you are trying to remove them. This product needs to stick to the weed leaves to hinder growth and prevent them from further growth. Make sure that the chemical doesn’t get washed off into the ground.
The two important things to remember about weed and feed application are:
- Watering lightly prior: Water the lawn lightly before applying the product so that the leaves are wet and the granules stick to the leaves.
- No watering after: Avoid watering soon after application to give the product time to get absorbed and taken down to the roots.
Warnings and Precautions
Avoid mowing the lawn for at least one week after weed and feed application. Otherwise, the granules may get collected in the lawnmower bag.
Keep pets and children out of the area where weed and feed are applied. The product should stay on the lawn for at least two days before watering. You can mow the lawn after watering once the lawn is dry.
Avoid using weed and feed products on new lawns. If you have planted grass seeds in your yard, you must wait for at least 16 months after their plantation. If you have planted sods, you should wait for at least 3 months before applying weed and feed.
Reseeding the lawn soon after weed and feed application is not advisable. The pre-emergent herbicides in the product will hinder the growth of grass and prevent it from germinating. You should wait for three to four weeks after applying weed and feed before you reseed the bare spots in your lawn.
Watering the lawn after weed and feed application washes out the granules before they have a chance to work. Therefore, avoid watering the lawn for at least two days after application.
After application, pour the water on the grass and not down the drain when rinsing spreaders and other equipment types to prevent the contamination of waterways.
Weed and feed products work on broadleaf weeds only. If you have grass-like weeds on your lawn, then use crabgrass products instead. Avoid weed and feed application during the summer heat. Otherwise, you will burn your grass. Use a regular fertilizer to meet the needs of the grass in your lawn during summers.
Applying a combination of fertilizer and herbicide can be an effective way of boosting your lawn’s health and getting rid of the weeds in your lawn. The most important thing while using weed and feed products is to follow the directions on the label. This will help you to control the concentration and application rate according to the type of grass you grow in your yard. Mowing the lawn to the correct height can help to achieve the best results from weed and feed application. Mowing at least two days before or after the application is the most suitable practice. After successful weed and feed application, frequent mowing can help to achieve the best results.