Home » Home Improvement » Landscaping

The Truth About Granular Weed And Feed for Lawns

Sep 3, 2008
In the lawn and landscaping industry there are opinions on issues that run deep. If you browse the internet for just a few minutes, you'll find extremes all over the board when it comes to lawns and their care.

But there is one issue that most lawn pros and environmentalists agree on, and that is that bagged "Weed and Feed" products are NOT conducive to healthy lawns or our environment.

I have previously written about pesticides, lawns and our environment, but want to reiterate some of the key points for you here as we near the fall season.

Problems with Weed-n-Feed

1. Bags of Weed-n-Feed sold to homeowners contain an over-abundance of nitrogen which detroys the soil and pushes too much top growth. They most normally contain "quick release" fertilizers that create fast greening, but no sustainable long term benefit to the turf.

2. Many experts will tell you that phosphorous leaching into groundwater is the big problem with these bagged products. And while I am not a fan of dumping mass amounts of anything on the lawn, I believe if homeowners and pros alike would follow labeling instructions, they are not endangering our groundwater or lakes. The key is FOLLOWING the DIRECTIONS on the bag! (I included this one in the interest of covering all bases!)

3. A granular weed-n-feed product like popular '4-step' products contain herbicide and fertilizer in one convenient bag: just dump in your spreader, set the release rate, and lay it down...easy! The problem is that you are hurling massive amounts of granular weed killers everywhere weather there are weeds there or not. In addition, much of this granular mix is left on driveways and sidewalks where it runs off into the street and down the sewer drain.

It doesn't make sense to throw weed killer in areas of the lawn where there are no weeds! What's more, while the weed control does not selectively kill the grass plants, it still puts heavy stress and pressure on them and can weaken them over time.

The best alternative to Weed-n-Feed products

I recommend a balanced approach that utilizes target weed control as needed with the eventual goal of eliminating it completely.

This is accomplished by spot-spraying weeds using a garden pump sprayer with liquid weed control mixed with water (according to label instructions). In some cases, a blanket application of liquid weed killer may be needed, but over time, this will be reduced until the weed problem is manageable by good old fashioned "pulling" by hand. (My own lawn is now managed by just hand pulling of weeds)

In addition to spot-spraying of weeds, I recommend slow-release organic or semi-organic (called 'bridge' products or 'hybrid') lawn fertilizers. These products will add nutrients to the soil without destroying it in the process. They also support healthy soil biotics which are the foundation of healthy turf. Organics do need heat in order to break down, so use organic fertilizers in later spring and early fall.

On a final note: it's not a good idea to completely "refuse to use pesticides" in your lawn if you indeed do have a major weed problem. Think about this: if your weeds go to seed every year and spread out to all the neighbors on your block, and they do not share the same environmental devotion as you, won't you be indirectly causing them to put down greater amounts of pesticides every year? Your weeds will continue breeding in their lawns, and they will soak them with more weed killer; year after year! Think about that.

As I always say, "Balance is the key." When Mother Nature operates in extremes (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes), people and the environment are damaged, but when she sees fit to offer us balanced conditions (warm breezes, light rains, sunny days), everyone is happy. Which attitude should we take?
About the Author
Al Haneson is a green industry pro and offers advice and details about Midwest Lawn Care and Ohio Lawn Care at his lawn care blogs.
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 201
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources