Now that summer is here, it’s time for you to dedicate your time to the health and upkeep of your lawn. Unfortunately, you might find yourself torn between wanting to grow fresh, healthy grass but also needing to eliminating pesky weeds like dandelions, clover, and other broadleaf growths. In the past, you might have needed to develop a complex system just to be able to ensure the grass remained strong while the weeds perished. In modern times, such a system is destroyed by a single lawn care product: weed and feed.
As with any product, you probably want to find the best weed and feed before putting it on your lawn and watching what happens. Luckily for you, the guesswork has been eliminated by this list, which examines the five best weed and feeds available on the market.
What Is Weed and Feed?
Weed and feed at its core is a simple product. It is a combination of weed killer and fertilizer, typically in pellet or granule form, that can be spread across a lawn to fertilize grass while eliminating weeds.
Weed and feed only work because of the herbicides included in the composition. While the fertilizer will disintegrate and help nourish the grass, the herbicides are chemically designed to harmlessly bounce off of blades of grass. They will then fall to the earth and only damage the weeds they were engineered to destroy rather than desired grass. Sometimes they are meant to be absorbed by the leaves of weeds, in which case they will have some form of adhesive that only allows them to attach to things like dandelions.
It should be noted that most weed and feed is only meant to work on broadleaf weeds, meaning growths like dandelions, chickweed, knotweed, plantains, henbit, and spurge. It will not work on crabgrass because a different chemical composition is needed to kick out that particular growth.
Reasons to Use a Weed and Feed Product
Many experts recommend using weed and feed when you own a large lawn or yard that would be difficult to spot treat with regular herbicides and weed killers. The idea is that the weed and feed will support the growth of healthy grass while eliminating unwanted plants without damaging the surrounding plant life.
You might know the pain of wanting to get rid of unsightly weeds but accidentally developing brown spots on the lawn because the herbicide killed the surrounding grass. With a weed and feed, this isn’t a concern. The herbicides chosen to go in the granules only target broadleaf weeds and are harmless to the natural grasses that grow around the United States.
Another benefit of using this type of product is that it can be applied to a large area quickly and easily. Most weed and feed is designed to be spread using the same push spreaders that are available for disseminating grass seed. You don’t need to spend all day trying to kill weeds and can instead enjoy your time in the yard.
What to Know When Picking a Weed and Feed
There are a couple of things you should remember when choosing any herbicide or fertilizer, and weed and feed is no exception. The first thing to do is to check the instructions and ingredient list to see what kind of pesticides are included and to ensure the product is used correctly. While weed and feed can be more beneficial and benign than standard herbicides, they should still be kept away from children and pets because of the poison necessary to kill broadleaf weeds.
If the package says exposure should be avoided for a set number of hours, obey the bottle and bag and keep your kids and animals away from the lawn while the herbicide is working. A basic rule of thumb is to avoid walking on the grass for 4-5 hours after application, though other experts recommend waiting until the next heavy rain to go for a stroll.
It’s also important to remember that almost all weed and feeds are designed to work on broadleaf weeds, which are the most common varieties in the United States. If you have a problem with crabgrass, for example, a standard weed and feed will not work for you. Instead, you should seek out a product that specifically targets crabgrass, which is an entirely different monster entirely.
Finally, remember that weed and feed cannot be applied all of the time. Most products are meant to be used once every two months at most because of the high concentrations of herbicide in the formula. If you try to use the product more often, you run the risk of killing your grass and drying out your lawn. Choose a product that suits the level of the weed problem you have – low, moderate, or severe – and then work from there.
With all of this in mind, you’re ready to pick a weed and feed!
Check Out These Efficient Options
Scotts is one of the most recognizable names in lawn care and tends to have some of the strongest formulas, and this Turf Builder with Weed and Feed Fertilizer is no exception. The company boasts that this product has twice the power of previous iterations to eliminate dandelions, the most common broadleaf weed in existence, and it’s right.
The formula thickens lawns and crowds out dandelions and clover. It uses Weedgrip Technology, which helps eliminate weeds at their roots and clear them out so they don’t return. This product actually works on more grass types than most of the competition, including Kentucky bluegrass, fescue, ryegrass, centipede, bahiagrass, bermuda, and zoysia. It should be applied to a damp lawn for the best results.
- Works on many grass types
- Easy to apply
- Comes in a large package
- Will burn St. Augustine grass because of its composition
The Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action formula is the answer for individuals who want to get rid of broadleaf weeds as well as crabgrass. This formula will destroy dandelions and clover while also preventing the growth of crabgrass, which can choke out more desirable plants. It will then fertilize the grass itself, allowing for thick, healthy growth.
This formula is long-lasting, working for four months after a single application. It comes in a large container and can be spread across lawns with ease. One of the main ingredients is pendimethalin, which is a powerful herbicide that works almost instantaneously.
- Works on many grass types
- Gets rid of crabgrass as well as broadleaf weeds
- Easy to apply
- The granules are light and can blow around in the wind
This Greenview Weed and Feed is the best solution if you suffer from a wide variety of weeds in your yard. Instead of targeting just a couple of different plants, Greenview Weed and Feed can eliminate 250 types of weeds to ensure the grass has a chance to grow healthy and strong. It’s available in packages designed to treat between 2,500 and 15,000 sq. ft. and is easy to apply with a regular push spreader.
No phosphate is included in the formulation of this product to help protect the environment and natural waterways. The formula helps grass retain water and will keep lawns healthy even during droughts and similar summer disasters. This weed and feed can be applied every eight weeks as needed to ensure grass growth and development.
- No phosphates
- Kills 250 types of broadleaf weeds
- Easy application
- Burns St. Augustine grass
This BioAdvanced weed and feed promises to be an “all in one” herbicide and lives up to its name by being able to eliminate dozens of broadleaf weeds in addition to the ever pesky crabgrass. This product nourishes lawns and can treat up to 10,000 sq. ft. with a single package, making it excellent for individuals who struggle to maintain large yards and don’t want to bother with expensive and tiresome spot treatments.
The fertilizing formula in this BioAdvanced weed and feed ensures grass has the nutrients it needs for up to eight weeks. It can be applied in the spring or fall as needed, meaning you can take care of your lawn even if the regular fertilizing season has passed.
- Improves nutrient uptake in grass
- Eliminates crabgrass
- Works on buffalograss
- Can take up to a week to see results
When you have a small yard, the Miracle Grow Shake ‘n Feed is the best weed and feed for you. This product comes in an easy to use jug that allows you to shake the granules all over the lawn without having to mess around with unwieldy spreaders and other equipment. One application is enough to eliminate broadleaf weeds for up to three months and will also fertilize and nourish most varieties of grass.
This product is one of the only ones that works well around garden beds, which can be difficult to treat because of their proximity to desirable flowers and plants. The only downside is that this herbicide prevents weeds from growing but will not kill preexisting ones.
- Easiest to apply
- Works well for three months
- Can be used around and in gardens
- Prevents weeds but doesn’t kill them
- Comes in a small container
All of these options are great and reliable, but the best one is the BioAdvanced Weed & Feed Crabgrass Killer. This weed and feed eliminates broadleaf growths and crabgrass, getting rid of two of the most common plants that choke out healthy grass. It also comes in large, easy to spread packages and has clear instructions, which are important when using any herbicide or fertilizer. Plus, it can be applied in the spring AND fall. So, if you’re late to lawn care this year, you don’t have the headache of dealing with a weedy yard for the rest of the summer.