Weed and feed products can be a useful tool for keeping weeds from germinating in your yard. For them to be effective, though, you need to ensure that you apply them at the right time. Spreading the product once every spring and fall can… Do I weed and feed before I seed?… What should I do first, put down seed or kill my weeds? This is the question I get more than any other this time of year. Here is the way I try to layout the options: Do you have less than 75% good grass with bare spots larger than a few inches in diameter? Answer: If…
How to Apply Weed and Feed
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Weed and feed products can be a useful tool for keeping weeds from germinating in your yard. For them to be effective, though, you need to ensure that you apply them at the right time. Spreading the product once every spring and fall can help keep certain weeds at bay. Be sure to check the forecast before applying, though, to avoid rain washing the product away.
Plan to apply it in the spring and fall. Weed and feed works best when applied when weeds are actively growing and the daytime temperatures are between 60° and 90° F (15.5° and 32.2° C). In most areas, this means applying once during the spring, and once during the fall.  X Research source
Mow your lawn 2-4 days before you apply. If you can, mow your lawn to a medium height 2-4 days before you plan to apply weed and feed. This helps ensure that the product is evenly distributed throughout your lawn.  X Research source
- The forecast should be clear for at least 24 hours for weed and feed to work correctly. You are also going to need to avoid watering your lawn during this period.
- Do not try to apply the product immediately after a heavy rain, either. Standing water in your lawn could wash away the particles.
Wet your lawn before applying. Use a misting or a low-pressure setting to lightly wet your lawn immediately before applying. You want your grass to be damp to the touch, but with no quick-draining or standing water. It should be just wet enough to help the product stick to the blades of grass.  X Research source
- If you do not already own a spreader, you can buy one at a home and garden store or online for under $30 USD.
Apply the product to your lawn. Once you have the product loaded and your spreader set, you can begin applying the product on your lawn. Get the best coverage by walking linear passes along the length of your lawn while disbursing the product from your spreader. Walking in straight lines ensures the most even coverage.  X Research source
Overlap your passes to improve your coverage. To help ensure that all your lawn receives an even amount of the product, overlap your passes slightly. Walk on the edge of your last pass. You should be able to see the product on the lawn to help guide you. This helps prevent any untreated spots.  X Research source
Sweep or rake any excess product off of sidewalks and driveways. Use a broom or a rake to push excess product from any sidewalks, driveways, or roads back into your yard. This keeps unused product from washing away in storm drains.  X Research source
- If a pet or child ingests any weed and feed, call a vet or a doctor immediately to get recommendations for treatment options.
Avoid watering your lawn for at least 24 hours. Washing your lawn too quickly after you apply weed and feed could wash away the product before it has a chance to work. Wait at least 24 hours before watering your lawn. Some products recommend waiting up to 2-4 days before watering. Check your specific product’s instructions to get the most accurate recommendation.  X Research source
Wait 4 weeks to reseed and aerate your lawn. Weed and feed can prevent seeds from germinating, so it’s important to make sure the product is fully absorbed before you plant new seeds or aerate your lawn. Wait at least 4 weeks after the date you applied the product to start reseeding or to aerate the treated areas.  X Research source
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This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. This article has been viewed 194,885 times.
If you want to apply weed and feed to your yard, mow your lawn 2 to 4 days beforehand to ensure that the product will distribute evenly across your lawn. For the best results, plan to apply it in the spring and fall, when weeds are actively growing. Also, since standing water can affect your weed and feed, check the forecast for rain and wait for at least 24 hours of clear weather. To ensure your grass is wet enough for the product to stick, lightly spray your lawn with the misting or low-pressure setting on your sprinklers. Then, add your weed and feed to your spreader, according to the directions on the packaging. Finally, apply the product by walking your spreader across your yard in slightly overlapping lines for full coverage. For more advice, including how to care for your lawn after applying weed and feed, keep reading!
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Applying Weed And Feed After Seeding
I have a lawn that has different issues. I have weeds, some clumps of things that I can’t tell weather or not it’s weeds or some kind of grass, patches in the front where not much grass is growing at all, and in the backyard I have thicker grass. I bought some new seed to put down in the front and I also bought some Scott’s weed and feed to put down. Problem is which do I do first? How do I identify the different kinds of things growing on my lawn? I read the directions for the weed and feed and it said that you have to put it on the lawn like early in the morning when there is dew on the lawn and then you have to make sure there will be about two days before you have any new rain. That has been very difficult because it seems like lately it rains every day. My lawn looks pretty bad right now and I would like to have a nice lawn, but I also don’t want to break the bank or use chemicals that will be bad for the environment. I don’t know, but maybe the weed and feed was a bad choice.
Any help is appreciated!
vintagejuls Green Thumb Posts: 429 Joined: Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:12 am Location: Southern California / USDA Zone 10
Lawns are water hogs
It sounds to me like your lawn has been deprived of water. If you have dirt, plant the seed and water that area a little bit every day (but NO Weed & Feed there).
For the remainer of the lawn which you think is some weeds and clumps (crabgrass probably), use the weed and feed early in the morning since the lawn is moist with dew and then water right after; proceed with daily or every other day waterings. If watering daily, just 5 minutes will do. Weed and feed is all nitrogen which grass loves; so applying the nitrogen makes the grass grow and squeezes out the weeds. But since grass is a water hog you have to give it lots of water and then once your lawn is established you can back off on the watering some (1X a week). After applying the lawn food or weed & feed (nitrogen rich), the grass requires water to avoid burning which will cause yellowing. So make sure the grass is moist and the weather cool before you feed it anything. I’ve made the mistake of applying lawn food when it was too warm.
Another tip is how you mow your lawn. Mowing your lawn too low opens it up for weeds. Depending on how many bare spots you have or clumps, let it grow out so you can get an idea of how and what is growing.
I’m new to lawn care but have had much success with my suggestion here. You will see results in 30days or so.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Newbiegardner, you have to choose which one you want to do at this time – seed or control weeds. Doing both is an impossible task. Also, I’d say it is too late to start trying to grow grass anyway. Normally, it’s something that begins earlier in spring, and this is May already. The major problem is impending high temperatures, whereas the new grass won’t have time to establish its roots system good before having to deal with high temps. Besides, the best time to seed is fall. It can be done in spring, but you can expect better results doing it in early fall between mid-August and mid-September.
I expect you are growing Kentucky Bluegrass there in Indiana. You might have fescue, but I kind of doubt it. If you know what type of grass you have, please let us know. If I’m right and it is Bluegrass, I don’t think you have to worry about the bald spots for long. When properly maintained (as the maintenance schedule will help you do), Bluegrass will grow to fill in empty spots. You might look up in the fall and decide you don’t really have to overseed afterall.
Ordinarily, I don’t recommend using weed-n-feed combo products, but you have it so you might as well use it. Just make sure the product is labeled for broadleaf weeds like dandelion and clover. Follow instructions on the label for when and how to apply and heed the rain specifications. No one should offer advice that differs from what the label tells you. If this is a particularly high rainy season, then hold off on applying.
Thanks for the responses. I used the weed and feed and it didn’t cover very much before I ran out. Not sure if I should go out and buy more to cover the rest of my lawn or if I should just keep it all cut for now. I’m not sure what kind of grass I have. It’s almost like I have different kinds. Some places I have thick soft grass and other places it is a rougher kind of grass. I could try to take some pictures. I will look at the schedule. I just wish there weren’t so many weeds. They look awful. Do you think I should buy more weed and feed to cover the rest of the lawn? Or is there something else I can use for all the weeds?
I’m very sorry, NG, but I can’t tell you if you should purchase more or not. I don’t know the size of the bag you bought and also don’t know the size of your lawn. I don’t know if you used too much since you said you ran out, and I don’t know if you need more. The instructions on the bag tell you how much to apply and offers the settings on your spreader. You’ll have to heed those.
There are herbicides independent of fertilizer. I normally people use those rather than combos. They work better and they’re easier to apply with less guess work. Weed-b-Gon and Bayer Advanced are two that I know about. The maintenance schedule will also help control the weeds because it helps you to properly maintain the grass so it grows healthy and thicker and is able to crowd weeds.
Don’t worry about pictures. I can’t tell from looking unless they are extremely close so I can see the ligule and auricle and such, but you can identify them if you like. [url=https://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/turfid/ItemID.aspx?orderID=GR&orderDesc=Grass]This site[/url] can help you examine the characteristic parts. Check the Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, and the Fescue (tall). You remind me that you are likely right about the different types. Cool season grasses are very often mixed together in a lawn, and they are normally Tall Fescue, Bluegrass, and Ryegrass. Nothing you can do about having different types unless you get rid of all of it and start from scratch, but the maintenance schedule will guide you in bringing the lawn into better condition and appearance.
Hope I helped. Let me now if you have other questions.
I followed the directions very carefully. I just really don’t know how big my yard is and I didn’t buy enough. I guess what I was trying to ask is should I finish my yard with what I have used on part of my yard, or would it be okay to switch to something else to treat the rest of my yard? I’m just wondering if the Bayer product might be easier to use. Can you tell me when I go to seed in the fall how I prepare the lawn for seeding? I have never planted grass seed before.
Thanks so much for all of your help,
Oh, I understand now. So, yes you can switch, but that means the part of the lawn you missed won’t get any fertilizer. So will you also finish fertilizing with a product that is not a combo? You can if you want to, but I do recommend you finish fertilizing whichever product you use. Or, you’ll be able to tell the difference in a week or two between the areas that did get fertilizer and those that didn’t. Two different color grasses LOL, although that will only be temporary for a few weeks. And yes,
Just in case you were thinking about overseeding your lawn, please don’t. You have recognized a hodgepodge of different grass types and it doesn’t look so good. You’re already experiencing the near impossibility of trying to manage a hodgepodge lawn. Overseeding into it will add more different ones and only make it worse. The labor that is required for overseeding is the same for starting new. The only difference in cost is the price of the herbicide product. The seed selections in the article I linked are elite Bluegrass. They are the best and were bred for appearance, general overall disease resistance, and to reduce manager input, so you won’t have to irrigate as much, nor will you have to mow as often.
If you don’t want to use Roundup, then the organic vinegar should do the trick. I don’t know of anyone who used the vinegar for an entire kill, but I don’t expect you will have a problem with it.
However, if you do use Roundup, read the label very carefully. You want the one with the only active ingredient is glyphosate. You do not want the one that contains other herbicides. Those others will prevent your seeds from germinating. It’s not difficult to know the difference. You just have to be sure to select the right one.
Even though you plan to seed in the fall, still follow the maintenance schedule up to then. It will help condition the soil. Your grass and your seeding success starts with and depends on the soil.
Feed, Weed or Seed?
What should I do first, put down seed or kill my weeds? This is the question I get more than any other this time of year. Here is the way I try to layout the options:
Do you have less than 75% good grass with bare spots larger than a few inches in diameter?
Answer: If lots of larger spots, then seed this spring. Be sure to use a special Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer that is compatible with grass seed (the regular crabgrass preventers will keep grass seed from growing). If you do not prevent weeds when you seed, you are likely to be very disappointed as crabgrass and other weeds will germinate and choke out your good grass before it has a chance to take hold. A machine called a slit-seeder will help make sure the grass seed comes in contact with the soil. You just select the Turf Builder Grass Seed blend that is right for your conditions, such as sun, shade, heat-tolerant, etc. If you only have a few bare spots to take care of, consider Scotts EZ Seed. I think this is the best bare spot repair product we have ever sold! Spread the Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer after you put down the seed. Feed your lawn again in one month after seeding with Turf Builder Lawn Food. Once your new grass has been mowed 4 times, you can kill weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer OR Roundup For Lawns.
Do you have more than 75% good grass however your lawn is thin and weedy without widespread bare spots?
Answer: You may be surprised how your good grass will fill in with four feedings a year at 6 to 8 week intervals. Here is a schedule for the year: Feed your lawn now with Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer. In 6 to 8 weeks after your first feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed if you have lots of weeds or if you only have a few weeds, your second feeding can be Turf Builder Lawn Food and spot treat your weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. Put down Scotts GrubEx sometime in May or June. In 6 to 8 weeks after your second feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard to control insects. In 6 to 8 weeks after your third feeding, in late summer/early fall, feed with Turf Builder Lawn Food.
If you have questions during the year, the Scotts Help Center folks will be happy to help you.