Weed and feed provides a wide range of lawn chemicals that are used to kill weeds and strengthen the existing grass. These products are highly preferred since they save you the hustle of using herbicides and applying fertilizers separately.
The weed and feed chemical does the work of both at the same time and will help improve your lawn’s ability to retain water and nutrients. For the products to be effective, they have to be applied at the right time.
I often get questions on whether it is advisable to use weed and feed before the rain, from both garden lovers and lawn care providers, and the answer to this question can be understood by illustrating the relation between rain and these chemical products.
What are Weed and Feed Chemicals?
Weed and feed are lawn chemical products that are designed to strengthen the ability of your lawn to absorb water and nutrients that will promote its growth.
Although different weed & feed products will have varying nutrient quantity, they are all rich in nitrogen to boost the growth.
They are a mixture of a variety of broad leaf-targeted herbicide, and they contain a water-soluble fertilizer; the herbicide contains chemicals such as dicamba and mecoprop. The herbicides eliminate the broadleaf weeds without harming the grass.
For the nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen to be absorbed, your lawn requires moisture. However, it is essential to keep in mind that excess moisture will wash away the chemicals. This is one of the main reasons why you should not apply your weed and feed before a rain.
When is the Right Time to Apply Weed and Feed?
Weed & feed are more effective when applied when the weeds are actively growing. You should also choose a time when you don’t expect additional rain in the next two or three days.
This will give more time for the herbicide to be absorbed into the leaves. If it rains after applying the chemicals, the chemicals will not be effective since they will be drained away.
In case it rains immediately after spraying the herbicide, it is advisable to take some time (4-6 days) before applying again since applying immediately might cause chemical scorch.
How to Apply Weed and Feed Before Rain
Before applying the weed and feed, make a point of checking the weather forecast. The last thing you would want is to have all your chemicals washed in the drain and leave the weed getting longer.
There are a few tips that will help you to apply the weed and feed effectively. However, these tips are not meant to replace the manufacturers’ instructions.
- Trim your lawn to a normal height before applying the chemicals (3-5 inches will be perfect)
- Don’t spray immediately after mowing. Wait for at least 2-4 days so as to protect the grass and to ensure that the weed will have actively resumed growing.
- After application, don’t water the lawn for about 2-4 days and
- Follow the manufacturers’ instructions on the number of granules to use. Too much of the chemical will scorch your lawn.
- Apply the weed & feed only twice a year to minimize pollution of the soil and the surrounding environment. Some of these weed and feed herbicides include; Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed and Pennington Signature Series Weed and Feed Northern Fertilizer
- Spread the herbicide evenly across the lawn for better results. You can use a broadcast spreader and make two passes or whichever your preference. Just make sure that every portion receives the same amount.
Applying the Weed & Feed after the Rain
If you were planning to spray your lawn after the rains, then it is recommendable to wait until the grass blades are dry. You should also ensure that the soil has sufficient moisture.
Ensure that there are no harsh winds when spraying since the chemicals can spread to other unintended plants or flowers near your yawn.
- When applying these chemicals, you should observe the standard precautions followed when applying any other herbicide.
- Wear long pants and long sleeves and gloves during application. Herbicides like Dicamba can cause skin irritation
- Avoid eye contact and in the case where you get the product in your eyes, flush it out using running water
From the above discussion, it is clear you that by applying the weed and feed before a rain, it will give time for the nutrients to be absorbed by the soil. More so, the leaves of the weeds will absorb the chemicals and dry out.
These chemicals are harmful and could have severe environmental side effects if not properly handled.
For example, when washed away by the rains, they will end up in the water catchment sources such as lakes, rivers, and stream.
This will reduce the oxygen levels for the fish and other aquatic animals. It is, therefore, crucial to use the weed and feed chemicals as instructed.
Did you find the information about weed and feed before rain helpful or do you have any questions or suggestions? Let me know in the comment section below
Sources and references:
Weed & Feed Fertilizer Facts – homeguides.sfgate.com
Precautions to be Taken While Handling of Herbicides – agriinfo.in
Lawn Weed & Feed Ingredients – gardenguides.com