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Lawn Care: When To Weed & Feed ?
Old 05-01-2018, 05:12 PM   #1
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Lawn Care: When To Weed & Feed ?

After using a lawn service for about 15 years, I'm going to do it myself this year. Will use an old Scott's spreader & the standard Scott's weed & feed. (granular)

When my Dad & I did it @ home back in the late 80s early 90s, we always tried to apply it right 'before' a rain & ‘before’ the dandelions, etc came up. Location: South central Minnesota

I did a little research, & found this site https://www.oneprojectcloser.com/whe...ply-weed-feed/
According to this guy, we were doing it completely wrong. According to him, you should wait until 'after' any dandelions you may have in your yard, come up, &
‘after’ it rains, & no more is expected for at least 2 days.

Unless I hear something different from someone more experienced here at the forum, I'm planning on doing it as the website suggested.
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:34 PM   #2
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That’s how my service does it. I live in Michigan and this time of year is crab grass prevention (pre emergence preventer) and a light feeding. Late spring, early summer is weed killer and another feeding. Then another feeding and final weed killing in tha early fall. Might be something for late fall to put the lawn in shape for the winter, but I only bought the package with three visits.
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Old 05-01-2018, 05:54 PM   #3
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My understanding is that 2,4-D is absorbed largely through the leaves of weeds. So the idea is to put it on after weeds have emerged but before seed heads develop when the grass is wet (usually from dew) and no rain is expected for a day or two ideally. Most nitrogen is now slow slow release so there is no real need to water it in. I may be wrong though.
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Old 05-01-2018, 06:59 PM   #4
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Sounds about right. It think there is a temperature range too. Crabgrass is a pre-emergent, so you put it on before the weeds grow. Broad lief have to have the plants growing. Put it on too early and it won't work.
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:34 PM   #5
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Agree, you have two different types: pre-emergent and broad leaf type killer. Pre-emergent is to prevent the seeds from germinating, as in the crabgrass example. Broad leaf killer is for non-grass type weeds, example dandelions.

We're right in dandelion crazy time now here. A little late for the pre-emergent type, but good for the broad leaf type. Also I guess it bears stating, don't use a pre-emergent if you plan to put out any grass seed.
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Old 05-01-2018, 08:05 PM   #6
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I do the Scotts 4 step program and their website recommends step 1 be done in early spring - before temps hit 80. https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library...4-step-program
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Old 05-01-2018, 09:00 PM   #7
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As I once was a lowly hardware store clerk in the late '70's ( no, not Tony from Saturday Night Fever), I went to several lawn care seminars over my 6 year career.

Feed the soil, a healthy lawn is the interest.

Most folk put high water soluble Nitrogen lawn products on their lawns, the grass sucks up the nitrogen, turns green, the they cut it and bag the clippings and throw the expensive nitrogen away. Find a fertilizer that has a low soluble Nitrogen, cut often and high. The Nitrogen will be slowly used by your lawn, and returned in the form of decayed clippings. You don't want real long clippings. Also, folks will say the clippings create thatch, but that is long clippings. Treat your weeds with a direct weed-b-gone type that directly hooks up to you hose.

I use Milorganite to their suggested schedule, and an occasional 10-10-10 garden fertilizer. I haven't bagged my lawn since I moved here in July 1991. And I'll say my lawn looks better than my neighbor's, who is a fanatic, and runs out and picks up a lowly leaf if it falls in his yard.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:36 AM   #8
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DW and I live in a rural area and neither weed nor feed. We just keep it cut. As long as it is green, we are happy...
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Old 05-02-2018, 07:16 AM   #9
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I consider myself an expert in this area, based on my 35 years fighting - I mean, tending - my lawn. Clearly, it takes diligence and concerted effort, and you will be rewarded with weeds, bald spots, and a heckuva lot of frustration
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:19 AM   #10
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We recently decided to spend that dough and, for the 1st time in our lives, hired out the fertilization of our lawn. We got in just as the 2nd (of 5, or is it 6?) applications was being applied. After a few days, the dandelions are visibly hurting. I don't know if it is right or not, I walk the yard daily and pluck the buds and flowers off, trying to avoid them going to seed. That way the "weed" part continues to kill off the plant. At least, that is my theory.
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Old 05-02-2018, 08:55 AM   #11
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I used the same fertilizer service as my neighbor with the golf green looking yard. They for rid of the weeds, but the grass was not even decent looking.
My yard obviously wasn't well taken care of in the past by the previous owner. And after spending $880 last year for 8 fertilizer applications, I realize the lawn service never tested my dirt.
I'm starting by applying pelletized lime and testing the soil. Then I will add fertilizer myself 1x monthly thru the Summer. Fortunately my house.has a 5 station sprinkler system. Improvements are expected.
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Old 05-02-2018, 10:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ownyourfuture View Post
After using a lawn service for about 15 years, I'm going to do it myself this year. Will use an old Scott's spreader & the standard Scott's weed & feed. (granular)

When my Dad & I did it @ home back in the late 80s early 90s, we always tried to apply it right 'before' a rain & ‘before’ the dandelions, etc came up. Location: South central Minnesota

I did a little research, & found this site https://www.oneprojectcloser.com/whe...ply-weed-feed/
According to this guy, we were doing it completely wrong. According to him, you should wait until 'after' any dandelions you may have in your yard, come up, &
‘after’ it rains, & no more is expected for at least 2 days.

Unless I hear something different from someone more experienced here at the forum, I'm planning on doing it as the website suggested.
I live in MN. Soo, what I do, is I first put down crab grass preventer. This is after I've completely cleared the leaves, sticks, acorns etc. so the yard is just grass.

Then when the first dozen or so dandelions pop-up I gleefully hand pull them with vengeance and check the weather. It will be a string of hotter close to 80 degree days and those dandelions start popping up. Then, before the first rain after that string of warm days, I weed n feed. Usually the night before the rain, but if that first rain is an afternoon rain I will quickly do it before wrk.

Then I cut the grass and spot treat places, occasionally pulling a weed/dandelion by hand here and there as I mow.

By now we are hitting late July/August storms...I will re-weed n feed usually between a break in storms, but before the next 3-day wet stretch starts.

In the fall, around September I spread the fall mix. I mow a lot less, let the grass grow until seedlings start to show and cut. I leave it long over the winter and in the spring I stomp down all the vole tunnels.

Don't get me started on insect control, that's an entirely different 4-step process lol.

I try to patch bare spots in May and again in July. I fire up the sprinkler when there are bouts without rain and move it around the yard.

My yard quality goes through stages...looks very good for a month in the spring, then starts to look dried out during July, and then finally greens up again end of August. I try not to spend more than $100 on the products.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:55 AM   #13
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Heard from a garden/lawn expert that weed preventer chemicals should not be applied until the average ground temp is 50 degrees or above. Depending on where you live, that date will vary. Too early application, and the preventer dissipates before weed seeds are germinating. Too late, and it is not effective - and weed killer is required.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:12 AM   #14
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As a full fledged tree hugger, may I suggest exploring the use of Milorganite as fertilizer and corn gluten meal as your weed preventer? It comes in liquid or dry, your preference. IMHO, we have enough nasty chemicals in our drinking water and chemical run-off only adds to it. I've been using this stuff for years. This is our small back yard, which tolerates a very large dog all day, every day. Immediately past the fence is the common ground which our HOA maintains with chemicals, and past that is the golf course. I think ours looks pretty nice, if I do say so myself.


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Old 05-03-2018, 09:37 AM   #15
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Uf da. I'm in MN too and have had white grubs invade my lawn. Terrible!
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:20 PM   #16
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Uf da. I'm in MN too and have had white grubs invade my lawn. Terrible!
Get some milky spore. It will take 2 years for total elimination, but will last for years. I inoculated my lawn in 1991/92, and had to start reinoculating last year. But I also built a 26x26 garage in the yard, so I will blame the weakening on that.

Grubs are usually beetle larvae.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:29 PM   #17
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I do the Scotts 4 step program and their website recommends step 1 be done in early spring - before temps hit 80. https://www.scotts.com/en-us/library...4-step-program


+1. Easy peezy esp for a beginner. Ace hardware and others have cheaper store brand 4 step programs.
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Old 05-03-2018, 02:32 PM   #18
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Get some milky spore. It will take 2 years for total elimination, but will last for years. I inoculated my lawn in 1991/92, and had to start reinoculating last year. But I also built a 26x26 garage in the yard, so I will blame the weakening on that.

Grubs are usually beetle larvae.
Ditto on that milky spore, aka beneficial nematodes. They work!
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