Posted on

can you seed before weed and feed

Spring is a good time to get rid of weeds from your lawn

About a month ago, I wrote a blog on getting your lawn ready for spring and summer. The time for crabgrass pre-emergent is over now. If you didn’t put one down, you may have to deal with it in the summer when it shows, which is usually in July and August.

Now is the time for the next treatment, which is a weed and feed.

What You Need To Know
  • Mid-spring and late summer/early autumn are the best times to control weeds
  • Two types of weed control include granular and liquid spray
  • If your lawn is loaded with weeds, it may take more than one application

You’ve probably noticed all the dandelions popping up all over the place now. If you’ve treated your lawn over the past few years, most likely, you’ll have fewer of them.

Spring and early fall are the two best times to treat weeds. Grass is obviously dormant in winter, but it can also go through another dormant period in summer during an extended period of dry weather. Unless, of course, you water regularly or we see a wet summer, the only thing growing well during the summer dormant period are weeds.

Fertilizers and weed sprays are harsh on lawns during the summer dormant period, so it may be best to layoff treatments until that period is over.

For those who haven’t been fertilizing and/or using weed control, it’s never too late.

What you might need

What you will need is a selective herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds like dandelions. A non-selective herbicide like Round Up will target everything including healthy grass, shrubs and bushes.

So, you’ll want to avoid that unless you want to start over. Wait several weeks after treating an area with both types of herbicides before you can plant new grass seed because the herbicide will prevent new seed from germinating.

Even selective herbicides such as 2,4 D can do damage to shrubs and bushes, so be careful where you spray it.

There are two types of weed control: One is granular, and the other is liquid. The granular type is what you would likely get at Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores if you’re going to do it yourself. Scott’s Turf Builder weed and feed is an example of granular.

The liquid type is what you would likely buy to spot treat weeds. Ortho Weed B-Gon is a liquid spray that doesn’t contain fertilizer.

Lawn care companies may use either kind. If they’re treating an entire lawn with liquid, it will probably contain a fertilizer to give your lawn a shot of nitrogen.

This time of year, grass is already green and growing like crazy. A fertilizer will help boost color and growth, and it’s also definitely good for helping a new lawn get established.

Avoid weed control on a new lawn until it is established.

Unfortunately, if you have bare spots where you’ve put seed down or a new lawn that’s just started growing, it’s best to skip any kind of weed treatment for now because it can hinder new grass from getting established and growing.

As for the application, it’s always best to follow the instructions on the bag or bottle.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to apply a granular when the grass is damp so the pellets stick to weeds. Let it sit on them for a day or two, and then water them in so the fertilizer (the feed part or the weed and feed) can go to work.

A liquid application works best in dry weather. The grass can be damp or dry. Rain will wash it away and make it much less effective unless you purchase an additional additive to help the liquid stick to the weeds and grass blades.

There are weeds that the typical weed and feed may have a tough time with, such as clover and Creeping Charlie. A jug of Weed B-Gon also may have a tough time with crabgrass or clover or viney weeds (some viney weeds are quite a challenge). Sometimes, you can have success if you break the vines open then apply a selective herbicide weed killer, but it’s tough going.

For those problem areas, you can purchase different weed sprays that target these tougher weeds.

Liquid droplets run off of weeds like crabgrass, so you may have to purchase an additional sticking agent to get better results.

Broadleaf weed control used in a weed and feed will usually do a good job control dandelions, chickweed, thistle, milkweed, wild geranium and ivy to an extent.

If you have more weeds than grass, getting rid of the weeds will often leave bare spots. As I mentioned above, you’ll have to wait a few weeks to plant grass seed in those areas.

Bent Grass is a type of grass a weed and feed won’t touch. This requires a non-selective herbicide like Round Up to get rid of it. Poa Annua is also a type of grass that a weed and feed will not touch.

If you currently have grubs, they’ve already done their feeding so a pesticide to control them won’t heal the damage. You’ll have to plant grass seed in these areas and avoid using weed control on them until new grass is established.

These are just a few of the basics. Grass types, shade vs. no shade and other factors will play a big role in how nice your lawn looks even if it’s mostly weed-free.

Can I put grass seed and fertilizer down at the same time?

Thereof, can you overseed and fertilize at the same time?

Winter Lawn Before planting grass, mow your lawn short, and using a metal rake, remove any clippings or debris. You can fertilize either immediately before or after you broadcast the grass seed. Keep the area moist until the grass sprouts, and then slowly reduce the watering frequency.

will fertilizer kill grass seed? TIPS: Always avoid the use of any of the “weed & feed” fertilizers with new seed. These may work great for spring use on established lawns, but the chemicals used in these fertilizers can damage or kill your newly planted grass while it is attempting to establish itself.

can you put grass seed and turf builder down at the same time?

Scotts Super Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control works on several species of lawn grasses. While the company’s website recommends waiting four weeks to put down grass seed after applying the weed and feed, seeding first means waiting a different length of time before you use the product.

Is it OK to put down lime and grass seed at the same time?

You can sow grass seed and apply lime at the same time but it might take a season or two to achieve a full, green lawn as lime conditions soils slowly.

Lawn Maintenance Calendar for Maryland Tall Fescue Home Lawns

Grass needs routine care to remain healthy, compete with weeds, and recuperate from drought, disease, or insect damage.

Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law authorizes the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Management Program to regulate the use of fertilizer on turf not used for agricultural purposes. The following lawn care practices take this law into consideration.

General lawn tasks

Late summer to fall (mid-August through mid-September)

    if you are planning a lawn renovation project. Otherwise, soil testing every 3-4 years is sufficient. Apply nitrogen based on University of Maryland Extension (UME) lawn fertilizer recommendations and schedule only.
  • If soil test results indicate a low pH (6.0 or below) apply lime according to the lab’s recommendation. Fall application is best because of winter snow and rain, combined with the freezing and thawing of soil, help to work the lime into the soil. It is not necessary to lime on a yearly basis.
  • Apply lawn fertilizer according to University of Maryland Extension (UME) lawn fertilizer recommendations and schedule.
  • Core aerate and overseed if needed.
  • Plant a lawn alternative in areas where grass does not grow well such as heavy shade or sunny slopes.
  • Tall fescue is the recommended all-purpose grass species for Maryland for sun and partial sun locations. Avoid grassseed mixtures that contain perennial ryegrass or annual ryegrass.

Late Fall

  • October 15th is the cut-off date for fall seeding but it is better to try to seed earlier. It takes about 2 weeks for the seed to germinate and k illing frosts are possible in November that can damage young seedlings.
  • Rake and remove fallen leaves or use a mulching mower to chop the leaves up and let them decompose on your lawn. Bagged leaves can be composted or used in ornamental or vegetable beds as a winter mulch.
  • Mow your lawn 1/2 – 1 inch shorter than the usual height to discourage matted grass and snow mold.
  • Do not apply lawn fertilizer between November 15th and March 1st according to Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law.

Winter

  • Dormant seeding of tall fescue is usually not successful. Wait until March or early April to sow the seeds.
  • Avoid foot traffic on frozen turf, as injury to the crowns may occur.
  • Maintain your lawnmower. Blades should be sharpened for next season to avoid grass blade injury.
  • Follow Maryland’s Lawn Fertilizer Law. Do not use chemical fertilizers containing nitrogen or urea to melt the ice on hard surfaces around the home. Refer to Melting Ice Safely

Spring

  • Reseed bare spots (Lawn Renovation and Overseeding) in March. Major lawn renovation projects should be postponed until late summer or early fall.
  • A spring application of fertilizer should not be necessary if your lawn was fertilized in the fall.
  • Hand-pull broadleaf or grassy weed (Weeds in Maryland Landscapes).
  • Apply crabgrass preemergent lawn herbicide if you experienced significant crabgrass or Japanese stiltgrass in your lawn last summer. Crabgrass seeds germinate when soil temperatures average 55° F. for seven days to ten days. Preemergents for crabgrass should be applied mid-March through mid-April depending on where you are located in the state. Japanese stiltgrass germinates earlier than crabgrass so to manage it a preemergent needs to be applied a couple of weeks earlier than for crabgrass prevention.
  • Look for preemergent herbicide products that do not contain fertilizer. If you use a “weed and feed”, the fertilizer in the product needs to be included in the total amount of nitrogen that you apply to your lawn for the year.
  • A preemergent herbicide cannot be applied if you plan on reseeding in the spring. on a regular basis, never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at each mowing, and keep tall fescue mowed to a height of 3 inches during the growing season. Lawns that are mowed to a height of 3 inches have fewer weeds, including crabgrass.

Summer

  • Established tall fescue lawns do not need to be irrigated. They will go dormant during the hot, dry weather and green up again when cooler temperatures arrive and rainfall increases.
  • Raise mower height 1/2 – 1 inch during periods of hot, dry weather. Do not mow lawns that are not growing. to naturally decompose on your lawn. This will not create a thatch build-up or cause disease but will add organic matter and contribute to your lawn’s nitrogen requirement.
  • Never fertilize turfgrass during the summer. Wait until September.
  • Inspect your lawn at the end of summer to evaluate if lawn renovation or overseeding is needed.

By Debra Ricigliano, MD Certified Professional Horticulturist, University of Maryland Extension Home and Garden Information Center (HGIC), 2019. Reviewed and edited by Jon Traunfeld, HGIC Director. Based on HGIC publication HG 112 Turfgrass Maintenance Calendars for Maryland Lawns.