Healthy turf is the best defense against weeds, but getting that thick weed-free lawn can be a process. If your lawn already has weeds or the turf is patchy and thinning, the grass won't have a chance to choke out the weeds, enabling them to compete for nutrients and spread even further.
When it comes to existing weeds, you have two options. Remove the weeds and the root system by hand, which if you have a full lawn of weeds can be a long and painful process, or remove the weeds chemically by applying a post-emergent herbicide.
Weed and feeds won't provide the season long prevention of a pre-emergent, but they will treat existing weeds. They must be applied when the weeds are actively growing and the temperatures are mild. Spring and fall applications are ideal for the best control.
Pro tips to help you get the most out of your weed and feed:
- Mow your lawn 1-2 days before application.
- Water the turf thoroughly with at least a half an inch of water one to two days before application. This is especially important if your area is experiencing a drought. Weeds must be actively growing for the weed and feed to take effect.
- Apply weed and feeds in the morning when there is dew on the lawn or irrigate lightly before application. Weed and feeds are absorbed through the weeds leaves rather than through their root system so, damp foliage ensures that the weed and feed granules stick to the plant.
- Watch the weather and turn off the sprinklers. You will want to wait at least 24 hours after application to irrigate or water your lawn. Rain fall or irrigation within this post application period may reduce the effectiveness
You may notice weeds turning white or brown 5-7 days after application. They may continue to die off for up to 21 days. Lawns with significant coverage or harder to control weeds will likely require follow-up applications. The treatment interval between the first and second application should be approximately 30 days.
Certain grass types can be sensitive to herbicides. As with all product applications, be sure to reference the label for application rates, grass type compatibility, and to make sure the product is labeled to be effective at treating your targeted weeds.
It is important to identify weeds in your lawn when choosing the right herbicide. The Anderson's post-emergent herbicides Surge® Weed & Feed 16-0-9 and Weed and Feed 24-0-16 are effective at treating over 250 different types of broadleaf weeds like dandelion, clover, chickweed, henbit and oxalis. Once you have your weed situation resolved, proper fertilization, mowing, watering, and pre-emergent weed control applications will the key to keeping a dense weed-free lawn.