Weed and feed on new grass?

lakeyjimAugust 13, 2011

On top of an well established lawn I spread 4" or so of top soil to raise a low spot. Then I planted grass in early May. It came in pretty good but there are weeds. Pulling them out by hand helped some but as the summer wears on, there are more.

I seem to remember something about not using weed and feed until you cut new grass several times. My wife says, "not in the first year".

The area of the lawn is shaded by a big tree till about 2:PM and is in direct sunlight for the rest of the day. The lawn is watered regularly via an automatic sprinkling system. I'd like to put down W & F as the rest of the lawn needs it too.

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Not sure if it is to soon or not but a weed & feed product in the same bag does not work well. Best to fertilize first to get grass and weeds growing and then when the weeds are real healthy you hit them with a weed killer.Just works best if you separate the products.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 11:54AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

neilaz is exactly right.

This is a good discussion to have because neither the hubby or wife are exactly correct!

The reason you have weeds is you seeded in May when all the summer weeds are ready to germinate. You provided water to your grass seed and the weeds took off. Had you waited (and I realize sometimes you cannot wait) until fall, then the summer weed seeds are not germinating that time of year and you could have used the entire fall to establish a fairly dense turf. So that's why you have so many weeds.

Weed and feed is not what you want or need right now. The summer weeds are going to die anyway so why pay to kill them? What you need right now is fertilizer. I am assuming you are north enough that the summer heat is ready to break. Labor Day is usually the day we apply the end of summer fertilizer. No earlier because the summer heat is still stressing the grass. Adding the stress of a salty fertilizer is too much and can burn the grass plants. However, if you want to apply an organic fertilizer, you can do that any day of the year without worry of salt stress on the grass.

Secondarily another reason not to use weed and feed is that the weeds die best when they are well fertilized. By fertilizing now, for example, and coming in to spot spray individual weeds in two weeks, you could get much better results than by using the W&F product. With W&F you get a tiny boost of fertilizer but by the time the weeds are ready to take up the herbicide, it is washed off and away.

Now is the time to plan what to do about your lawn. If you have a fescue lawn then you most certainly will want to get rid of the weeds and add more seed where the weeds were. If you have a Kentucky bluegrass lawn then you will not need more seed but could benefit from getting rid of the weeds to allow the KBG to spread. Still I would wait and go through the feeding process first...after the summer heat breaks and the evening temps start to cool off. Then use the spot spray to kill the weeds.

Do you know what weeds you have? Different weeds need different treatments.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2011 at 12:25PM
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