Weed-and-feed products sound like ideal solutions to many homeowners because they tackle two problems at one time. Weed-and-feed fertilizers generally contain nitrogen (feed) and a pre-emergent herbicide (weed) and carry several considerations for Florida lawns.
According to the University of Florida's IFAS Extension Service, around February 15 is the correct application date for pre-emergent herbicides. More specifically, it is around the time that daytime temperatures remain at 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit for four or five days a week.
Florida lawns have various turf types. Different turf grasses require different herbicides for the "weed" part of a weed-and-feed. Using the wrong one might damage your turf grass.
While February 15 is the general date for applying pre-emergent herbicides, it is also still during the winter. The nitrogen in the weed-and-feed can accelerate and promote new grass growth, which it should, but a possible cold weather burst after this date can damage and possibly kill the young grass.
Apply slow-release granular fertilizer two or three times per year at a rate of 1 lb. of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of grass. Keeping a healthy lawn through proper fertilization, mowing techniques and watering will help to prevent weeds, thus eliminating the need for the pre-emergent herbicide.
- University of Florida IFAS Extension Okeechobee County: "Time To Weed, But Wait To Feed"; Dan Culbert, Extension Horticulture Agent; Feb. 11, 2004
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: "St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns"; L.E. Trenholm, J.L. Cisar and J. Bryan Unruh
- University of Florida IFAS Extension: "These Nine Principles Will Help You Reach The Goal ..."
- Clemson University Master Gardener: "The Grapevine"; Learn and Earn by Reading About Weeding
With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.