They pop up in the worst places at the worst times while the surrounding greens whither and brown. Every lawn has its issues and a good groundskeeper knows when to give it a little or a lot of TLC. Weed and feed applied correctly can keep the unwanted plants at bay while giving the good greens a chance to grow.
When to Apply
If your lawn begins to brown and grow patches of imperfect plants that weren't there at the beginning of the season, don't be in a hurry to take a crack at the issues if the sun is still blazing in the heat of summer. Weed and feed do best when applied at the beginning and end of the season. If it is applied in the middle of summer, the benefits of the feed can burn the good grass while the actions of the weed killer can become ineffective on the unwanted pests thriving in the yard. Spring and fall are the best time to spread your chosen weed and feed product on the lawn. Look for temperatures between 60 and 90 degrees during the day for optimal application. Also, check the weather. If the forecast calls for rain within the next 24 hours, hold off on applying the weed and feed. Also, don't apply within 24 hours of a heavy downpour. Be patient through the winter and summer months and you'll have a great payoff in the end.
Why Apply Weed and Feed
Regularly feeding your lawn is important to keep the chemical balance healthy for lush grasses to grow. A good weed and feed will initiate growth in good grass and strangle weeds as they push for acreage in your yard. Choose a product that will work best for the type of grass you have, as well as your gardening zone.
How to Apply
Before you spend a lot of time spreading the product, make sure the lawn is mowed. Give it a good raking over at least two, if not four, days before applying the weed and feed. This will aid in the even application of the product and ensure it gets an even distribution. Lightly wet the lawn before applying the weed and feed. Don't douse it, just mist it with the hose. This helps the product to be more effective. It will have a better chance to stick to the grass and get down into the soil and not just blow away. If using a spreader, which is recommended, use a rotary or drop-type. Use the correct setting suggested by the manufacturer of the product you are using. Walk the spreader north to south and then east to west over the lawn in order to get a good coverage.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.