People often ask if they should kill weeds before or after seeding their lawn. The answer depends on a lot of factors. Learn the lawn care timing that’s best for your lawn. Do I weed and feed before I seed?… Weeding & Feeding 101: Know Before You Seed When it comes to lawn care, you’d be surprised how much science is involved. You’re shooting in the dark from the start. You don’t even know what
Should I Kill Weeds Now or After Seeding My Lawn? Tips for Fixing Lawns in Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, or Northern KY
Timing is everything. You’ve likely heard this said many times before and can come up with a variety of ways that it applies to your life. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that it also applies to lawn care.
Amongst your timing questions, you might be wondering whether you should kill weeds before seeding or if one time of year is ultimately better than another. Should you wait?
The answer depends not only on the time of year but also on your expectations, including what you want to achieve.
Let’s look at a few important things that you should know as you ponder what’s best for your lawn.
The Best Defense Against Weeds is a Thick Healthy Turf
You’ve probably heard us say this mantra before and it’s a good time to emphasize this point again. Both your healthy grass and your weeds compete for the same water, oxygen, and nutrients. That’s why weeds thrive in bare spots and why one of the best ways to combat weeds is to thicken your lawn and choke them out.
A thick and healthy lawn is best achieved by enlisting various lawn care treatments from spring through fall and also adding a service called lawn aeration .
Lawn aeration helps relieve compaction and allows more water, oxygen, and nutrients to penetrate deep into the soil. Seeding is best performed at the same time so that the seeds can fall into the holes which were created and receive the optimal seed-to-soil contact they need to germinate and thrive.
Of course, this is where timing matters.
Lawn aeration is a service best performed in the fall when the weather is ideal for seed germination . In the fall, the air is cool but the ground is still warm, which will give grass its best chance at growth.
But if you plan to kill weeds before seeding the lawn, it might not be that simple. Trying to optimally time aeration and overseeding with weed control applications is important.
We can aerate and overseed 3 weeks after using broadleaf weed control products. That means, ideally, we want to spray weeds by mid September so that we can come back in mid October to perform aeration and overseeding. SInce it’s such an important service, it’s really not one you want to skip.
Should I Kill Weeds Now or Later?
Keeping in mind the importance and the optimal timing of lawn aeration and overseeding, you should know that the answer to the question about the best time to kill weeds is usually “now,” unless you’re reading this in the fall.
If it’s after mid September, we’re going to need to discuss your expectations and your goals as we make a decision on what’s best for your lawn.
Quite likely, you’ll benefit most from holding off from performing weed control in order to allow us to complete lawn aeration and overseeding. If you treat weeds late in the fall and skip aeration and overseeding, you’re only going to have more bare patches and more weeds creeping in. This will set you back even further than you are now.
It’s likely best to hold off on weed control for now and then get started with the right weed treatments when the timing is ideal.
A Word on a DIY Approach
In having this conversation about whether you should kill weeds before seeding, we recognize that you might be thinking about tackling this on your own. Maybe you’ve recently fired a lawn care company that wasn’t achieving the results you’re after or maybe you just feel like this is something you can handle yourself.
If that’s the case, you might even be considering DIY seeding. Perhaps you have just a few bare patches and you decide to toss down some seed to fill it in. You might even be a customer of a lawn care company but assume that you can still do some of your own seeding.
We would urge you of the importance of communicating with your lawn care company about what you’re planning to do.
We always talk to customers about not taking steps in between our visits to perform DIY lawn care services because it could do more harm than good. Even if you’re just trying to do something simple and toss down some seed and fill in a bare spot, you could actually be contributing to your weed problem. A lot of people don’t realize that the seed sold at big box stores commonly contains filler and even weed seeds. As a result, you might be filling in your bare spots with undesirable grasses.
At Oasis Turf & Tree, we use premium grass seed that is 99 percent pure so that we’re not planting more weeds in your yard.
Don’t give into temptation and take matters into your own hands. If you’re a client of Oasis Turf & Tree, trust that there is a process at work and you may just need to give it some time.
Let Time Do its Magic
It really does come down to the fact that timing is everything.
There is a “best time” to perform lawn care services to ensure that they work the way they’re supposed to but also that they don’t negatively interfere with one another. Poorly timed weed control treatments can obviously impact your new seed growth and you don’t want that to happen.
We understand that there’s a lot on the line here. You want your lawn to look its best, you may be investing in services, but you might not feel like waiting. However, it’s so important that you’re taking the proper steps in the proper timing. Sometimes it does mean having some patience and looking at the big picture.
At the end of the day, one of the best benefits of hiring a professional is handing your worries over to them instead of being burdened with them yourself. When you hire Oasis Turf & Tree, you let us handle these tasks so that you don’t have to. That means we’re applying our knowledge of optimal timing to help get you the results that you truly desire with no hassles on your end. You might have to be patient but you’ll see that it will pay off tremendously.
Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams!
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.
Weeding & Feeding 101: Know Before You Seed
When it comes to lawn care, you’d be surprised how much science is involved.
You’re shooting in the dark from the start. You don’t even know what “kind” of grass you have, never mind determining the right herbicide and fertilizer to care for it.
But it seems like a Catch 22. You use chemicals to kill invading plants and hope it doesn’t destroy your grass— then, you lay down compost to nourish your turf and hope it doesn’t breed pesky weeds.
You just want a green lawn, but all the fancy instructions, complex chemical labels and scary industry terms are intimidating.
Don’t worry. We’re here to help. Let’s take it back to the basics—
Understanding the Role of Herbicides on Weeds
Herbicides are pesticides used to eliminate unwanted plants, like weeds, from your yard. Because they are controlled substances designed for killing plant life, they’re not something we recommend choosing without proper understanding of their effects.
Pre-emergent vs Post-emergent Herbicides
The key to preventing unwanted weed growth is to “nip in the bud.” Just as you remove buds from a plant to prevent it from flowering or fruiting, you have to off the weeds before they start growing.
This is what we call a pre-emergent herbicide, as it kills weeds when they begin sprouting from seeds. It will not control existing weeds; that’s what a post-emergent herbicide is for.
Selective vs Non-selective Herbicides
A selective herbicide is exactly as it sounds. Once laid down, it’ll target or “select” specific plants, such as broadleaf weeds or dandelions, but leave your grass unaffected.
Non-selective herbicides kill all plants. They don’t discriminate against weeds— they wipe out everything in their path. This is not the kind of stuff you want to lay on your turf; it’s best for areas like sidewalks where you want a clean-slate from any plant growth.
Contact vs Systemic Herbicides
These two terms relate to the way the plant absorbs chemicals. Contact herbicides will only destroy what they touch. When spraying contact herbicides on existing weeds, the plant will shrivel up and die, but the roots will remain.
Systemic herbicides actually absorb into the plant itself and shoot through the root system itself; so once hit, the entire structure crumbles.
Always Read the Herbicide Label & Do Your Research
Traditional weed prevention products like Weed & Feed boast the fact that they both kill weeds and fertilize your lawn with nutrients. But they’re designed to be cheap and quick solutions, often hiding the affect the concoctions have on your soil’s phosphorus and other mineral levels.
Other products like Turf Builder resemble herbicides, but are actually fertilizers that don’t target weeds. Although Turf Builder specifically offers variations of their product that do offer weed control, ensure you’re doing your homework before you pick up any ole’ jug at your garden shop.
Just like you read the label on food products before buying them for your children, you too should be mindful of the chemicals you use outside of your home. Here at Swazy & Alexander, we have BeeSafe product options to protect your family and the environment without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Before Using Herbicides, Check Your Soil & Grass Type
Be sure to check your grass and soil to see which kind of nutrients it requires for rich growth. No two lawns are the same, and your property has its own unique needs.
Not sure how to test your soil? Our expert technicians can check your PH balance and offer recommendations for neutralizing for a healthy turf. Be sure to test your soil prior to exploring fertilization options, too!
Understanding the Role of Fertilizers on Your Turf
After treating your turf with herbicides, you’ll want to ensure you’re keeping it lush and vibrant with proper fertilization practices during the fall. When it comes to feeding your lawn, ensure you’re selecting the best type of application for your property’s needs.
Liquid solutions are often water-soluble, synthetic chemicals or powders. They help to provide an even application and release nutrients quickly to plants.
Spayable fertilizers can be applied to your treetops and directly onto high foliage and give the mixer more control, but it’s best to leave the blending to the experts since it is easy to burn foliage.
These dry blends are created by combining various nutrients and traditionally disperse more slowly, allowing for less applications.
Granular fertilizers are more effective to use before your plants begin to grow in the spring and can also be specially crafted by fertilization professionals for your lawn’s unique needs.
This is your all natural stuff— no chemicals or hidden additives.
Sometimes viewed as the more expensive choice, organic fertilizers often overlooked, but can often be the most nutrient-rich and environmentally safe application option and have become much more cost effective recently. Organic fertilizers will build the microbes in your soil, which is a key element to effective fertilizer uptake.
When Purchasing Fertilizer, Stick to the Big 3 Minerals
Although many fertilizers are packed with a long laundry list of ingredients, keep your eyes peeled for these three: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. They help your grass stay green, strengthen its roots and build stronger plant cells.
These three powerhouse minerals also help your lawn maintain moisture, fight disease and survive stressors like heat and impact. Some additional nutrients found in common fertilizers are helpful, but oftentimes the other stuff is just “filler.”
Coveting a Brag-Worthy Lawn?
Weeding and feeding your turf certainly brings life to and brightens up your property, however, there are many other ways to make your house the nicest on the block.
We have some tips just for you! Check out our Ultimate Guide to Curb Appeal for six ways to instantly increase your home value.
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