What exactly Are Weed and Feed Products?
So does weed and feed kill clovers? Before we answer this question, let’s look at what exactly are these products. Weed and feed products provide Nitrogen-rich fertilizer on the lawn. They are mixed with herbicides like the common Dicamba and 2, 4D. They kill broadleaf weeds by carrying the active ingredients from the leaf surfaces to the roots thus killing the whole plant. Both broadleaf and tender leafed weeds including clover can succumb to any of these herbicides.
In these herbicide products, there are granular as well as weed and feed formulas that prevent weed seeds from germinating. The broadleaf weed and feed formulas are effective against most string weeds including clover.
Did You Know that Clovers Have Benefits for your Lawn?
So Does Weed and Feed Kill Clover?
- Lack of enough weed-killing power. Most weed and feed products use the 2, 4 – D as their sole herbicide. This chemical will only kill dandelions but not control other weeds including clover, ground ivy, black medic, and bindweed. Other weed and feed products add Mecoprop which though useful still lacks Dicamba. Dicamba is a more powerful herbicide and available to gardeners in broadleaf herbicide mixes. Please note Dicamba builds up in the soil and damage shrubs, perennials, and young trees. Limit the use of Dicamba to once per year with the best application time being late September.
- Herbicide granules may roll off the weed leaves before they are well absorbed. Lawn herbicides remain ineffective unless they are well absorbed by the leaves of the weeds. This is a problem especially with the small-leaved weeds like black medic and clover.
- To help these weeds absorb the herbicide, you must water your lawn before you apply the weed and feed products. This helps the granules stick on the leaves better than when they are dry. To help with the granules sticking, you may also add a drop of detergent to the spray mix. If you have only a few weeds on your lawn, you don’t have to spray the entire lawn. You can carry out a spot treatment which is a better choice for the environment and saves you money.
Best Time to Spray Weed and Feed to Kills Clover
Late September is good for killing the weeds. This is a great time to kill weeds, especially after the first light frost. Now, the weeds are preparing for winter. Meaning, they are sending their nutrients down to the roots to prepare for winter. If you spray the weeds in this season, they will take the herbicide along with the nutrients down to the roots. The entire plant including the root dies.
Late September is not a great time for feeding the lawn. The grass plants know that winter is coming so they stop growing new blades and begin to prepare for the frigid winter. A fertilizer application hinders this process by promoting new blade growth and delaying their hardening. This makes the lawn more vulnerable to winter injury.
Late October is best for feeding the lawn. This is after all the grass blades stop growing and you stop mowing. The application now is the most valuable for your lawn. You will not see any immediate reactions after the first application. But the fertilizer will develop a stronger root system that generates new blades in the spring. These roots continue growing until the ground freeze in Mid November.