Nearly everybody uses fertilizer on their lawn at one time or another. Unfortunately, that can be a double edged sword, because we do so with the knowledge that we’re also helping out the weeds. After all, who wants an amazingly healthy lawn full of thriving weeds?
Lawn fertilizer can indeed make weeds grow because while it is helping your grass to be stronger and healthier, it is also supplying the required nutrition for healthy plants in general. Now you can buy ‘weed and feed’ fertilizer that’s full of herbicides to rid you of the weeds while not harming your grass.
Pulling weeds without using any chemicals is the most highly recommended way to keep those pesky plants from coming back. However, it’s understandable that many people don’t want to go that route because it is simply too difficult.
It means spending hours in the hot sun sweating and bent over in an uncomfortable position. But that’s okay because you don’t have to. You can always go the chemical way.
Do Weeds Actually Benefit From Fertilizer?
Yes, they certainly do, and here’s why.
Fertilizer provides a lot of the nutrients and other ingredients that all plants need to grow.
It has plenty of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Because the word ‘weeds’ refers to a large base of plants, it explains how they could easily gain an advantage from receiving so much nutrition.
A lot of fertilizers are now made to be used with aerated soil.
When oxygen is added to the soil, it greatly enhances life for grass, but while your grass will look beautiful, it also encourages the growth of crabgrass, dandelions, and many other plants called weeds.
By watering fertilizer, you activate the nutrients.
Water permits the fertilizer to soak into the soil, and the grass and other plants such as weeds. What can’t be avoided is that you end up unwittingly providing nutritious fertilizer to the grass, weeds, and any other plants that are around all together.
How to Use Fertilizer Without Nurturing Weeds
While all of this can be frustrating, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can grow a beautiful, healthy lawn without being condemned to cope with weeds all of the time. Probably the most popular method of handling this situation is ‘weed and feed’ fertilizer. This type of fertilizer will provide your lawn with all the nutrition it needs without giving those persistent weeds a reason to grow and thrive.
Weed and feed fertilizers contain all of the nutritional components required to encourage the growth of strong, healthy grass. But, and this is the good part, they also contain an herbicide that will eliminate weeds and other plants. Your grass will be green and healthy, but any weeds will die off.
Here’s how you should use weed and feed on your lawn:
Choose a good weed and feed fertilizer. Don’t just grab the first weed and feed fertilizer that you see. Use one that is specially made to remove as many dandelions and as much crabgrass as possible. There are some out there that are also relatively inexpensive.
Choose how to distribute the fertilizer. There are many methods of doing this. You can opt for spreading by hand, or put it in a manual spreader. Whatever way you opt to go, just be certain that you’re going to be able to cover the entire lawn evenly. If the fertilizer is going to land strewn about in clumps, you might damage the grass by having too much in one place.
Water the lawn immediately after applying the fertilizer. Don’t wait too long, because if you do, the fertilizer could dry onto the grass. You need to water it to ensure that it will soak into the roots of all the plants. By doing it this way, you provide wonderful nutrition to your grass while damaging the roots of any weeds.
Keep to your normal watering pattern for one week, then size up the situation. If the weeds are still surviving, it’s time to add a little more weed and feed. If you see dry patches on the lawn, you probably overdid it. But don’t panic. Regular fertilizer and water can repair the damage.
Best Method to Grow Grass Without Weeds?
Weed and feed works so well on lawns that it might just occur to you that maybe this magic cure is a bit too good to be true. Well, it is! First of all, you have to use it carefully and not overdo it. If you use too much of this product on a regular basis you can permanently damage your lawn.
This is because you are now bringing too much herbicide into the picture. Too much weed and feed can prove toxic to certain kinds of grass as well as any local animals. If you want a safer option, you should look for organic compounds.
There is really no reason to use weed and feed or any other fertilizer more frequently than a few times every quarter. It’s a guarantee that eventually, overuse will destroy the lawn that you’re working so hard to preserve.
It’s also a good idea to put mulch and compost down on your lawn to provide the grass with natural nutrients that don’t require being administered with fertilizer. Don’t be concerned that might help out the weeds, because you can prevent the growth of their roots by filling in the gaps with extra grass. The thicker and denser grass is, weeds can’t grow because the roots can’t become established.
All you have to do if you want a healthy and attractive lawn the entire year is to follow the above advice. Remember above all that fertilizer should never be a weekly treatment for your grass because it can encourage the growth of weeds. But weed and feed will do an excellent job of eliminating crabgrass, dandelions, and other weeds.
Just don’t overdo it with any type of fertilizer, because you can severely damage the lawn. Of course there’s always the temptation, as in if a little of something works well, a whole lot more will work even better, but that’s not the way it works with weed and feed fertilizer. Keep that in mind and you should be fine.