11 Best Weed And Feed For Lawns – How & When To Use Them

Whether you’re an experienced hand in the garden or a novice, there’s one thing we all aspire to achieve, and that’s a beautiful luscious weed-free lawn. Achieving this requires a two-step process of applying a pre-emergent in early winter and a high-nitrogen fertilizer in spring. Or does it?

That’s where a 2-in-1 weed and feed comes into play, feeding your lawn and controlling weeds at the same time.

But which one to choose, with so many products offering various solutions? Well, that depends…it depends on your grass type, the type of weeds that are causing you problems, how you wish to apply it, and when you are trying to apply it.

To help make the right choice, I have reviewed the best weed and feed products from the top brands, and I will show you how to use them to maximum effect. It doesn’t really have to be all that complicated.

Table Of Contents
  1. 3 Top Weed and Feed Products
  2. How Does Weed And Feed Work?
  3. What Is the Best Time To Apply Weed and Feed
  4. How Long Does It Take To Work?
  5. Best Weed And Feed Product Reviewed 
  6. When To Apply Weed And Feed
  7. How Often Should I Apply Weed And Feed?
  8. How To Apply To Lawns
  9. Liquid Vs Granular
  10. Organic Weed and Feed
  11. Family and Pet Safe Weed And Feed
  12. How Long Does Weed and Feed Last
  13. Frequently Asked Questions
  14. Verdict: Best Weed and Feed For Lawns

3 Top Weed and Feed Products

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Best Post Emergent

1. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 28-0-3

My go-to post-emergent. Reliable, easy to use, and particularly effective on dandelions and clover.

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Best Pre Emergent

2. Scotts WinterGuard Fall Weed and Feed

Another reliable and effective pre-emergent in granular form. Apply from late autumn through to late winter.

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Best Weed & Feed Spray

3. Scotts Turf Builder Weed And Feed Spray

A fast-working hose-end spray. Screw onto your hose pipe and apply. A convenient method of tackling moderate levels of weeds

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How Does Weed And Feed Work?

Weed and feed products work by either preventing the plant’s protein production by blocking photosynthesis or by inflicting root damage that leads to the weed dying. Simultaneously the fertilizer element of the treatment fuels healthy grass blade growth, leading to a dense lawn. It is this dense and thick lawn that then helps prevent weed germination or growth by crowding out the competing weeds.

What Is the Best Time To Apply Weed and Feed

Timing is everything, for weed management and fertilization. But the optimum timing will depend on the type of product you purchase. A post-emergent weed and feed should be applied as the weeds are developing or mature from spring through to fall. Whereas a pre-emergent product must be applied before the weeds germinate in late fall through to early winter. So the weed killer part of pretty straightforward, but you also need to consider the ‘feed’ or fertilizer element.

Applying The ‘Feed’ Too Early

If applied too early in the season, your lawn may get more of the fertilizer than it needs leading to fertilizer scorch. Basically, your lawn will receive more fertilizer than it can process. Most types of grass need higher nutrients when actively growing from mid-spring onwards. This is why most formulas are extended-release and should be applied around April time. 

Applying The ‘Feed’ Too Late

Applying in September reduces the overall effectiveness of the fertilizer treatment. September is a great time to treat and kill weeds, but it’s not the best time to treat grass as the nutrient is used to fuel top foliage growth, leading to a weaker root network over winter. After August you would be better off taking a different approach by applying a stand-alone Weed killer for lawns in September and a Lawn Fertilizer in October.

So as you can see, it is all about getting the timing right. Always follow the product’s application instructions for ideal results.  

Sunday Lawn Care

How Long Does It Take To Work?

Assuming you’ve chosen the right product based on your grass and weed type, (don’t worry, our reviewed products specify all this!) it usually takes between 7 days and 1 month to notice results if the product is applied during the growing season.

You will notice dandelion, moss, clover, and other weed patches will be black or brown and die off. But prepare yourself for more than one application, lawn care is a process, and if your lawn is in poor condition you may need a full season to get it into good condition.

Best Weed And Feed Product Reviewed 

Over the years I have tested dozens of weed and feed products and have a good feel for the effectiveness of each product and when best to use them. My colleagues have also shared their experiences so we can bring a wealth of knowledge.

Our judgment was based on overall performance and results, ease of use, and value for money. Here are the products I recommend you try.

ProductTypeNPKApplyPerformance$ p/1000 SqFt*
Scotts Turf BuilderPost-emergent28-0-3SpringExcellent$5.00
Scotts WinterGuardPre-emergent28-0-6FallVery Good$4.60
Scotts Liquid Weed & FeedPost-emergent25-0-2SpringGood$4.50
Greenview FairwayPost-emergent24-0-6SpringVery Good$7.30
Espomer Organic PreventerPre-emergent24-0-6FallGood$35.99
Pree OnePost-emergent28-0-3SpringGood$5.49
* price are correct as of April 2023

Here is How I Tested

I marked out a series of 2000 sq. ft. sections of lawn using string. I applied the weed and feed using a broadcast spreader set on #5 to ensure equal doses. The application pattern went around the outer permitter of the marked area and then back and forth across the interior section.

The fertilizer was applied in line with the manufacturer’s instructions, with before and after lawn comparison to asses the weed and feed’s effectiveness at weed control and lawn improvement. I also assessed the usability of the product and its value for money.

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-3


  • Use it on Bermuda, Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, Centipede grass, Ryegrass, and Zoysia or Bahiagrass.
  • Simple to apply with a drop spreader and covers 5,000 sq ft
  • Kills a broad range of weeds including dandelions within 2 weeks
  • Use as a post-emergent between early spring and late summer


  • Nothing significant 

Scotts is one of the best-known manufacturers of lawn products, and for good reason. It delivers exceptional performance in controlling dandelions and other tough-to-kill weeds, the Turf Builder is my best-buy weed and feed product for you to check out. It’s highly effective and produced the kind of results that make me a loyal customer and regular user.

Apply it to a wet lawn and the Weedgrip technology allows the granules to stick to weed foliage making a direct and effective weed killer. Whilst the feeding formula thickens your lawn and makes it greener and lush. You can apply anytime between early spring and late fall, but I find outstanding results can be achieved if I apply early spring and then every 6 weeks for 4 applications until late fall, this produces the best results.

Suitable weed and feed for Bermuda grass, Fescues, Kentucky Bluegrass, Centipede, Ryegrass, and Zoysia or Bahiagrass.

Not only does the product kill dandelions, clover, and other common weeds, but it also feeds common grasses, such as ryegrass and fescue. However, I would avoid using it on certain warm-season turfs, such as Carpet Grass and St. Augustine

I have used this product extensively for many years, and it consistently outperforms just about every other weed and feed product on the market.

Scotts Turf Builder weed and feed packaging
One bag was enough for my 2000 sq ft trial
Scotts Turf Builder weed and feed instructions
Allow 30 days between application
Scotts Turf Builder weed and feed granules
The granules are very fine 1.5mm

How to use: this product is a granular formula that can be applied with a drop, broadcast, or rotary spreader. For best results, apply evenly to a wet lawn and avoid watering or disturbing the lawn for 24 hours after application. Apply up to 4 times per year between early spring and late fall, but you must leave a minimum of 30 days between applications. Covers 5,000 sq ft of lawn.

Turf Builder lawn before treatment
Lawn in early April before treatment
Turf Builder lawn after 2 treatments
Lawn in June after 2 treatments

The Trial: I marked out 2000 sq. ft. of lawn and applied Scott’s Turf Builder using a broadcast spreader on setting #5. Working around the outer permitter and then back and forth across the interior section. In early April the lawn was dry and thin, with a number of broadleaf weeds and the usual dollar weed, clover, speedwell, and a few moss patches. I made a single application in April and a second 30 days later in late May. The lawn needed a second dose to deal with the larger broadleaf weeds and it needed time to thicken up. I also aerated the lawn during this period to get airflow down to the roots.

The Results: After the first application the lawn looked rough, with black patches of dying weed. I think the aeration definitely helped and the second application produced really thick lawn by late June.

This 45-second video from the manufacturer offers a useful quick guide on Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

How to Get Rid of Dandelions and Other Weeds using Scotts® Turf Builder Weed & Feed

Customer reviews: users report the product as very easy to apply using a handheld broadcast spreader or drop. Results show greener grass with no sign of weeds within a matter of weeks. Considered one of the best dandelion killers on forum feedback and customer reviews. It’s a popular choice as the best weed and feeds for lawns scoring 4.6/5.

Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed and Feed 3
  • Application: Pre Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-6


  • Strengthens the lawn against drought and heat
  • Thickens the grass 
  • Eliminates stubborn weeds including dandelions and is a good crabgrass preventer 


  • Can burn lawn if dosage too high per sq meter

The premium brand, Scotts, has created a new and improved weed and feed formula that kills stubborn dandelion and clover. I found that crabgrass can also be eliminated if the product is applied in late autumn through early spring. another reliable product that we have used many times with good results.

Scotts Winter Guard weed and feed packet
Application instructions say early fall
Scotts Winter Guard weed and feed granules
Spreader loaded and set to #5
Scotts Winter Guard weed and feed granules
1.5mm granules

How to use: the best time to apply is in fall so that grass can be better prepared for the next growing season. To maximize the effectiveness of the product, grass must be wet during application. 

The Trial: I marked out 2000 sq. ft. of lawn and watered the lawn. I then applied Scott’s WinterGuard using a broadcast spreader on setting #5. Working around the outer permitter and then across the interior section. As this is a fall product, I put down the first application in early October and a second in mid-November.

The Results: This is a pre-emergent product so there was no significant benefit to be seen in between applications. However, the following spring, in April and May the lawn was definitely in much better condition than the area not treated. The lawn was much thicker with very few weeds, just the odd one.

Customer reviews: users were satisfied with the performance of this product and noticed their grass remained green even in the winter months. Scores 4.5/5 overall. Find it on Amazon.

Scotts Liquid weed and feed
  • Type: Hose End Spray
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 6,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 25-0-2


  • Great hose spray applicator bottle
  • Easy-to-use liquid product


  • Awkward to connect the hose end connector to the hose pipe due to the steep angle.
  • Expensive per square meter compared to granules

We couldn’t pull together a comprehensive list of the best weed and feed for lawns without including a liquid product. Scotts Liquid Turf Builder is the best product that is widely available. Now don’t get me wrong here, for a weed and feed, my preference would almost always be for a powder or granular product. The exception is when small amounts of lawn need treating.

This handy little spray bottle is great for pulling out of your garage to tackle sections of the lawn.

Liquid Turf Builder + Weed Control instructions
Instructions advise 2nd application
Liquid Turf Builder + Weed Control connecting to hose
Hose end connector at an awkward angle
Liquid Turf Builder + Weed Control spray
Spray control is basic but sufficient

How to use it: Connect your hosepipe to the top of the bottle and use it as a trigger spray to target the areas you wish to treat. One bottle will cover 6,000 sq ft of lawn.

The Trial: I used a 2000 sq. ft. area of lawn which had the same broadleaf weeds as the rest of the lawn, but less moss. The hose end connector was at a slightly steep angle making it awkward to connect to the hose, but once it was on it had a water-tight seal. The trigger control was essentially on/off with no intermediate control of water flow. The spray pattern was a heavy shower effect, i.e. not a ‘jet’ and not ‘rain’ but somewhere in between which was good for about 12-15ft distance and 6ft width. So a side-to-side spraying motion is required. I applied the product in early April, May, and again in June.

The Results: This is a post-emergent lawn feed with an incorporated weed killer, which produced good results but I did use it three times between April and June. After the first two applications, it was behind the granular products in terms of weed control. After the third application, I managed to clear the remaining stubborn broadleaf weeds.

GreenView 2129267 Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer Weed & Feed + Crabgrass Preventer
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 24-0-6


  • Excellent performing lawn fertilizer
  • Requires an infrequent application with noticeable results after 1 month 


  • Better-suited for established lawns
  • May injure carpet grass and St. Augustine
  • Not effective in killing crabgrass

I’m a big fan of this slow-releasing compound from Greenview Fairway, which helps reduce your annual feeding and weeding costs. Greenview states their new and improved 65% nitrogen formula kills over 200 species of weeds and feeds the grass for up to 3 months. However, we have tested the product and found that it didn’t work so well work on Marathon Grass or St. Augustine grass, but was really effective on the other lawn tests. So perhaps pass this one by if you have St. Augustine grass, but use it with confidence on other grass types.

Greenview Fairway Formula packet
GreenView Fairway Formula
Greenview Fairway Formula packet instructions
Instructions recommend setting #4
Greenview Fairway Formula Granules
Granules are mixed and not blended

How to use: apply the granules in early spring when the lawn is wet using a drop or broadcast spreader. Wait 3 days before mowing the lawn

Note: because of the slow-releasing properties of this product, it is best used on established and healthy lawns. Using it on new grass may result in stunted growth. 

Customer reviews: users noticed thicker and greener lawns right after the first application. The product helped turn grass green, but most users didn’t find it as beneficial for killing crabgrass. 

espoma organic weed preventer
  • Type: Organic Corn Gluten Meal
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 1,250 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-3


  • Organic weed and feed using 100% corn gluten meal
  • Effective across a wide range of common weeds


  • Availability of this product can be a problem

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food is one of the few organic treatments readily available. Made from 100% corn gluten meal this product is pet-friendly and friendly to just about any other living organism in your garden. It has a 9% nitrogen content, delivering a good lawn fertilization level.

Proven to kill a whole bunch of baddies including – Black medic, black nightshade, buckhorn plantain, catchweed bedstraw, common lambsquaters, curly dock, dandelion, purslane, redroot pigweed, velvetleaf, annual bluegrass, barnyard grass, giant foxtail, green foxtail, large crabgrass, orchardgrass, quackgrass, shattercane, smooth crabgrass, wolly cupgrass, and yellow foxtail.

Corn Glutenmeal Fertilizer packet
My packet of Espona Weed Preventer
Corn Glutenmeal Fertilizer granules #2
Corn gluten granules were clumping
Corn Glutenmeal Fertilizer before
Gluten meal applied to the lawn

How to use: Espoma recommends twice a year application in spring and fall for the best results. Apply to a dry lawn that has recently been mowed. Use a drop or broadcast spreader and be certain to overlap slightly to prevent striping. Water lightly after the application if rain is not expected within 24 hours.

The Trial: As with the other products I marked out an area of 2000 sq. ft. Adjusted the broadcast spreader on setting #5. The cornmeal gluten was forming into blocks in the bag and needed to be broken down into fine floury granules before application. It went down easy enough, but it did seem to cling to the blades of wet grass. In early October the first application went down, with a second the following April. The lawn in this section in early October was thicker to begin with than in most of the lawn from the other trial sections.

Lawn before cornmeal gluten applied
Lawn before cornmeal gluten applied
Still a few patches of crabgrass in May
Still a few patches of crabgrass in May

The Results: When the product was first put down in October the lawn was already in reasonable condition, in that it had some small weeds and patches of crabgrass, but overall it was fairly thick with no moss or broadleaf weeds. The cornmeal gluten sat on the soil surface for a few weeks and didn’t dissolve like other synthetic products.

As a weed preventer, I was not expecting to see any real post-emergent effect, but I was looking for pre-emergent type results with limited or no weeds in Spring and early summer. The results were pretty good for a 100% natural product, but not exceptional. There were some patches of crabgrass still present in May. But overall for a natural product, it was acceptable.

Customer reviews: Customers purchasing Espoma Organic Weed Preventer we primarily concerned with its organic properties and were happy with the results.

Preen One lawncare
  • Type: Granular
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 24-0-6


  • Easy to apply
  • Works in less than 1 month
  • Thicker and healthier lawn after use 


  • Will require several applications to achieve the result

This post-emergent from Preen One was a close runner based purely on results. It is the best choice for killing growing weeds but requires application every 2 months. It will kill up to 250 species of weeds including crabgrass!

So you may be wondering why we have ranked this product down the list. The answer is simple. This product requires a regular application to achieve outstanding results.  If you’re in the lawn care profession and a product like that is great. But for regular gardeners, a product requiring application more than twice a season is just too much to ask.

Preen one packaging
Preen One weed and feed
Mixed Fertilizer and weed killer granules
Mixed fertilizer and weed-killer granules
Preen loading spreader
Loading spreader

How to use: I applied the granules to a damp lawn using my broadcast spreader every 2 months. The manufacturer states…’for persistent weed problems, apply every month’.

Lawn before weed and feed treatment #5
This section of lawn was thick with moss patches
Broadleaf weeds after 2 applications
Broadleaf weeds after 2 applications

The Trial: I marked out 2000 sq. ft. of lawn and applied Preen One using a broadcast spreader on setting #5. Working around the outer permitter and then back and forth across the interior section. In April the lawn was mossy with thin grass and a number of broadleaf weeds, dollar weed, and clover. The first application was in April and the second was in late May. Watering the lawn after each application.

The Results: After the first application in April, the lawn still has some moss and broadleaf weeds but there were also black patches of dead moss in May. The second application made a difference, but the lawn was not super-lush and still has some dandelions.

Customer reviews: users were pleased with how thick and healthy their lawn became after using this product with not a single weed in sight scoring it a solid 4.3/5 across all retail outlets and gardening forums! Available at all good garden stores or you can buy Preen One online here at Amazon

BioAdvanced 100532514 Lawn Fertilizer and Weed Killer
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 22-0-4


  • Excellent performing lawn fertilizer
  • Requires an infrequent application with noticeable results after 1 month 


  • Better-suited for established lawns
  • May injure carpet grass and St. Augustine
  • Not effective in killing crabgrass

What’s great about this weed and feed from BioAdvanced is that you can apply it just once in spring or early fall to see results. The slow-release 25% granules formula feeds your lawn for weeks while killing crabgrass, dandelions, and other grassy weeds.

The formula encourages healthy root growth to make your lawn more resistant to heat and drought. Only use this product on established lawns of the following turf types; Bermudagrass, Fescue, Zoysiagrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Ryegrass, Buffalograss, and Seashore Paspalum

How to use: for every 1000 square feet, use 2.4 pounds with any rotary or drop spreader. Apply the granules evenly and uniformly starting from the lawn borders before working your way to the center.

Customer reviews: just after a month of applying this weed and feed, users saw a very lush and weed-free lawn, with not a single crabgrass in sight! They scored 4.3/5 and found the granular formula very easy to apply. Check the BioAdvance latest price at Amazon.

Pennington 100536600 UltraGreen Weed & Feed Lawn Fertilizer
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 30-0-4


  • Excellent results on over 250 weeds
  • Helps grass grow quickly
  • Great value for money 


  • Not suitable for St. Augustine

This premium post-emergent product from Pennington is a slow-release 10.5% nitrogen and 5% iron that acts fast on growing grass. What we love about this lawn fertilizer is its extended feed formula that lasts as long as 3 months. In addition to encouraging greener grass growth, the product kills more than 250 species of weeds.

While the product is safe for both cold and warm grasses, it is not suitable for St. Augustine. Available at all good gardening stores and get you can also get Pennington’s here at Amazon.com

How to use: Apply with a spreader in late spring between April and June when weeds are actively growing.

Customer reviews: users couldn’t be happier with this high-nitrogen feed as they obtained positive results within 2 months of application. Their grass had doubled in thickness and the color turned into a uniform dark green. It scores 4.3/5 with users.

Miracle-Gro EverGreen Complete 4in1
  • Type: Granules
  • Application: Pre Emergent
  • Coverage: 5,000 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-6


  • Kills moss
  • Protects lawn against heat stress 


  • Takes longer to see results than the 7 days stated
  • Strong metallic smell

The ever-popular brand, Miracle-Gro, has come up with yet another complete 4-in-1 formula that helps your lawn absorb nutrients and water more effectively so that it can tolerate heat and drought.

The product kills moss and many other species of weeds, but it does take longer to take effect. Our test took 10 days to see noticeable results, but the results were good. For the best results use a drop spreader to evenly distribute the treatment across your lawn.

How to use: apply 35 grams per square meter and water the lawn thoroughly after 2 days. Make sure the product is dried before allowing pets or children to use the treated area. 

Customer reviews: users were pleased with how effective this product was in turning their lawn green, as long as you don’t apply too much! Although results take longer to show, they found the product easy to use and scored 4.5/5 across all retail platforms and forums. Check the latest price here.

EverGreen 400sqm Complete 4-in-1 Lawn Care, Lawn Food, Weed and Moss Killer
  • Type: 4-in1 Granules
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 400m2.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-3


  • Very effective moss killer
  • Turns grass green within one week 
  • One of the most popular brands with a proven track record


  • Overapplication will damage the grass
  • Limited availability in the USA

Evergreen has come up with a complete 4-in-1 weed and feed product that promises to create a thicker and greener lawn within a week whilst killing moss and weeds. 

Keep in mind that moss will blacken after 2 weeks and you must rake out all the dead weeds in order to prevent further growth. We found that full weed control took as long as 2 months, but the end result is well worth it.

The formula helps protect the lawn against drought and heat stresses, which makes it ideal for use in warmer climates. Just make sure you keep pets and children away from the treated areas. One downside of this product is the limited distribution. You may struggle to find this brand in the USA, you can check online here at Amazon.

How to use: for best results, use from April to September and water the granules thoroughly after application.

Customer reviews: over 4,000 users rated this product 4.5/5 as it did exactly what it said it would. Customers recommended using a spreader for the best results. 

Westland SafeLawn Child and Pet Friendly Natural Lawn Feed
  • Type: Organic Corn Gluten Meal
  • Application: Post Emergent
  • Coverage: 1,250 sq.ft.
  • Weeds: All Common Weeds
  • N-P-K: 28-0-3


  • Ideal for newly-sown lawn
  • Organic ingredients, pet, and child safe
  • Fast and effective


  • A little smelly due to the organic ingredients
  • Only available in the UK

If you need a child-friendly and pet-safe weed and feed, consider this organic product from Westland. It prevents moss and weed growth whilst naturally feeding your lawn with long-lasting nutrients. This fast-acting formula contains friendly bacteria that break down moss and weed leaves.

Within just one week, expect to see a greener and healthier lawn thanks to the added lawn seed in the organic fertilizer. After application, the grass seed will germinate and fill those bald patches in the lawn. As the grass becomes thicker and stronger, it overtakes the moss and weed.  

Buy Westlan online here at Amazon

How to use: apply 35 grams of granules per square meter to ensure even lawn coverage. For the best results, you can double the application amount. Apply every once from February to September when the grass is actively growing. 

Customer reviews: users were very pleased with the results of this weed and feed scoring it 4.4/5. Just 10 days after application, their grass started turning thicker and green. One small complaint was the strong odor of the fertilizer due to its organic nature. However, if you water the grass a day or two after application, the smell will soon disappear. 

When To Apply Weed And Feed

The ideal time to apply weed and feed products is during early spring and fall when weeds are actively growing, and grasses can best absorb nutrients. In spring, target young weeds as they emerge, while fall application strengthens grassroots and prevents winter weeds.

Avoid applying during extreme temperatures, drought, or heavy rainfall, as these conditions can reduce the product’s effectiveness and potentially harm your lawn.

Always follow the specific recommendations on the product label, as timing may vary depending on the type of weed and feed product and your region’s climate. Proper timing ensures optimal results and a healthier, weed-free lawn.

How Often Should I Apply Weed And Feed?

Weed and feed products should generally be applied twice a year to maintain a healthy, weed-free lawn. The first application should occur in early spring to target emerging weeds and support grass growth as it emerges from winter dormancy.

The second application is recommended in fall to strengthen grassroots, help store nutrients for winter, and prevent the establishment of winter weeds. However, it’s crucial to follow the specific recommendations on the product label, as different formulations may require varying application frequencies.

Over-application can harm your lawn, so adhere to guidelines and adjust based on your lawn’s needs and local conditions.

How To Apply To Lawns

Every weed and feed product has its own specific application instructions, which must be followed for safety and for optimum results. But to give you a general idea of how to apply, here are some guidelines:

1. Mow and water the lawn two days before applying. This helps ensure the even distribution of the granules in the wet lawn.

2.  Extreme temperatures will adversely affect your lawn’s tolerance so always choose a day when temperatures are higher than freezing but below 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Don’t apply immediately after heavy rain. Sure, you want the lawn to be moist but it shouldn’t be soggy!

4.  Using a rotary or drop spreader, follow the exact instructions of the particular product you’re using to apply the granules to your lawn. Cover the area evenly by walking back and forth across the lawn.

5. If you’re using a spray weed and feed, attach the liquid bottle to your garden hose and apply it in a precise pattern as per the instructions to ensure full coverage.

Most products require more than one application to yield results. It is, therefore, important that you carefully follow the directions so as to avoid burning your grass. 

When To Water After Applying

It is generally recommended to water your lawn prior to applying weed and feed products to get the soil damp. Some products will require you to avoid watering your lawn for at least 24 hours after application. Whilst other products will need watering-in or a good period of rainfall before they become active and begin working. Check the manufacturer’s instructions to get the best results from your product.

Liquid Vs Granular

Weed and feed products are generally available in two forms, liquid and granular. Both products are equally effective but have slightly different properties meaning they lend themselves to certain scenarios.

Liquid weed killer or lawn fertilizers are applied using a spray mechanism, either by using a concentrate diluted with water and pumped through a backpack sprayer or through a convenient ready-to-use hand-held spray for smaller areas.

You can get several benefits from using a spray-on product:

  • Targeting localized areas or patches of lawn
  • Fast-acting liquid lawn fertilizer, with no need to water lawn pre or post-application

Granular is generally preferred for larger areas of lawn and is applied by spreading onto a pre-watered lawn.

  • Easy to apply with a drop spreader, allowing for a consistent and good spread of the product
  • They usually offer better value for money.
  • They will soak into your garden over time and feature slow-release formulas so you won’t have to treat your lawn as often.  

Organic Weed and Feed

If you are looking for genuine organic weed and feed, first they can be difficult to find, and second, you cannot expect the same results as a synthetic or standard product. With organic products, the primary ingredient is corn gluten meal which is suitable for immediate contact after application. On our list, we feature Espoma Organic Weed Preventer and Westland Child And Pet-Friendly Organic Weed And Feed both are organic therefore pet and family-friendly.

Family and Pet Safe Weed And Feed

For most of us with families, the safety of any product we distribute within our garden is a primary concern. Manufacturers understand this and thankfully there are a few products on the market that cater to this requirement.

Most product packaging will advise you to keep pets and children away from your lawn for 24 hours after the application. This will either be for their safety, as the product may contain ingredients that are hazardous if consumed. Or more often the weed and feed will stain surfaces if the pet or child picks up the material on their shoes or paws.

Always read the manufacturer’s guidance so you can use the product with confidence.

How Long Does Weed and Feed Last

Every product will have its own manufacturer’s recommendations. As a rule of thumb an application will last up to 3 months So in general products are applied either, once, twice, or periodically throughout the growing season, for example, every two months or so.

My personal preference is to use a product like Scotts Turf Builder that is designed for twice-a-year application between April and September when the weeds are actively growing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Safety Measures Should I Take When Using Weed And Feed?

Wear protective clothing and eyewear during application, avoid skin contact, and keep children and pets away from treated areas until the product has been watered in and the lawn is dry. Follow storage and disposal instructions provided on the product label.

How Should I Store Weed And Feed Products?

Store weed and feed products in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and out of reach of children and pets. Keep containers tightly sealed to maintain product efficacy.

Can I Combine Weed And Feed With Other Lawn Treatments?

Generally, it is not recommended to mix weed and feed products with other lawn care treatments, as it may cause reduced efficacy or compatibility issues. Follow label instructions and apply separate products at the recommended intervals for best results.

When Can I Mow Or Water My Lawn After Applying Weed And Feed?

Wait at least 24-48 hours after applying weed and feed before mowing or watering your lawn. This allows time for the product to work effectively and minimizes the risk of washing away the active ingredients.

Can I Use Weed And Feed On Newly Seeded Or Sodded Lawns?

Wait until new grass is established and has been mowed at least 2-3 times before applying weed and feed products. This prevents potential damage to young, delicate grass plants.

What If I Encounter Problems After Using Weed And Feed?

If you notice lawn damage, insufficient weed control, or other issues after applying weed and feed, re-evaluate your application method, timing, and product choice. Consult a lawn care professional for further guidance if necessary.

Protecting Plants, Trees, And Shrubs From Weed And Feed?

To prevent harm to non-target plants, carefully follow application instructions and avoid applying weed and feed near flower beds, trees, or shrubs. Use a drop spreader or shielded broadcast spreader to control product distribution.

Will Weed and Feed Kill Mushrooms in the Lawn

Unlike weeds, mushrooms are a fungus, therefore in order to completely kill mushrooms in the lawn I recommend you use a fungicidal treatment such as Dow AgroSciences 20EW Fungicide

Is Weed and Feed Better Than Separate Herbicide and Fertilizer?

In short, no. For optimum performance applying a pre-emergent in the fall and high nitrogen fertilizer in late spring will give you the best results. But let’s be honest and accept not everyone wants to be so tied to lawn care, so a combined weed and feed product is a convenient way and something of a middle ground.

Verdict: Best Weed and Feed For Lawns

If you’ve been looking for the best weed and feed for lawns, we believe all of the products we’ve reviewed make a great option. That said, our top 4 picks stand out in terms of effectiveness, value for money, and proven track record.

To help you decide, why not consider a top-rated product Scotts Turf Builder Weed And Feed? The company’s weed and feed products adequately cover a lot of ground and don’t require frequent applications to yield great results. There is also a fast-acting product from Pennington that won’t burn your grass and eliminates up to 250 types of weeds. Whichever product you choose, we’re certain your lawn will turn from lame to lush in no time!  


Cornell Department of Horticulture – Lawn myth busting: Skip spring ‘weed and feed’

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