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weed and feed spring seed

Do I Weed & Feed or Plant Seed First?

You can sow grass seeds now and kill weeds later with a post-emergent herbicide or kill weeds now with a pre-emergent herbicide and plant the seeds later. Weed-and-feed fertilizers are specially formulated combinations of turf fertilizer and herbicides that you apply either before you plant grass seeds or on established lawns.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

You apply pre-emergent herbicides before weed seeds germinate, typically in the spring. Pre-emergent herbicides do not prevent weed seeds from germinating; they suppress the development of weed roots as they germinate. They’re usually effective for two weeks to three months, depending on the formulation, and you have to water the lawn after applying for the herbicide for it to be effective. There are pre-emergent herbicides to kill both broadleaf weeds and weedy grasses. You can apply them before you sow your grass seed. If you apply a pre-emergent herbicide that kills weedy grasses, you have to delay sowing your lawn seed.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

Post emergent herbicides kill weeds after they appear. Some post-emergent, systemic herbicides that you can apply directly on lawns only kill weedy grasses, while others only kill weeds with broadleaf weeds. Contact herbicide such as those including the active ingredient glyphosate kills on contact. To use one of those on a lawn without killing the grass you have to daub it on individual weeds.

Pre-Emergent Weed-and-Feed Fertilizer

Fertilizers containing pre-emergent herbicides selectively prevent certain kinds of weeds from finishing their germination cycle. There is no point applying this type of weed-and-feed mix after weeds are growing on your lawn. You have to apply it early in the growing season before weeds appear. Make sure the pre-emergent herbicide in the fertilizer kills the kind of weeds that have plagued your lawn in the past. You might apply a starter fertilizer containing a pre-emergent herbicide before you sow your lawn seeds.

Post-Emergent Weed-and-Feed Fertilizer

Post-emergent weed-and-feed formulations kill selective weeds that are already growing in your lawn. Make sure that the herbicide in the formulation you buy kills the type of weeds that are growing in your lawn. Most weeds make their appearance in the spring, the best time to apply weed-and-feed fertilizer.

Idiot Proof Guide to Spring Overseeding

Overseeding lawns in spring can be a challenge to keep out ugly crabgrass and foxtail. PREVENT, our most effective and longer lasting crabgrass pre-emergent, will also prevent good grass seed from germinating. The same conflict occurs when you are dormant seeding. Can you overseed your lawn in spring and keep out crabgrass? Yes, you can! Grass Pad recommends following these idiot proof steps when seeding your lawn in the the spring.

If you have dormant seeded your yard this winter, begin at step #4.

1. Mow the Lawn Short

Short mow the lawn to a height of 1½ to 2 inches, being careful not to scalp the lawn. This makes it easier for the grass seed to make contact with the soil. Bag the grass clippings or rake the lawn after mowing.

2. Rake and Remove Debris

Rake or sweep the lawn to remove heavy debris and lawn clippings. The grass seed needs to make good contact with the soil to germinate properly, so we want to remove everything that could be in the way. If you have any bare spots, rough the surface of the soil with a rake or something like a Garden Weasel.

3. Spread your Grass Seed

Spread your Grass Pad grass seed with rotary or hand cranked “whirlwind” type spreader. The seeding rates vary based on what type of seed you’re using. A good rule for overseeding is 5-8 lbs per 1,000 square feet for fescue seed, and 2-3 lbs per 1,000 square feet for bluegrass. Extra seed should be applied to any bare ground areas, about double the overseeding rate.

4. Apply Golf Course Starter or Renovator

Late February to mid-March – Bring the lawn out of dormancy and have nutrients readily available to young emerging grass plants by fertilizing the entire area with Loveland Golf Course Starter or Renovator.

5. Cover Bare Spots

After seed has been applied, cover any over seeded bare spots with a light top dressing of sphagnum peat moss or Primera Sports Field Conditioner. This acts to hold moisture and absorbs sunlight to promote quick germination of the seed. Topsoil, black peat or straw are contaminated with weed seeds and are never recommended for seed cover.

6. Water the New Grass Seed

During extended periods of spring drought, as weather conditions permit, water seeded areas lightly so the soil surface remains moist. Give special attention to repaired bare areas. Bare areas larger than a dinner plate can dry out quickly from wind.

7. Apply Seed Safe

Mid-April (Tax Day): Apply Seed Safe, a crabgrass pre-emergent which is safe to use when over seeding. Seed Safe contains seed starter fertilizer to get that new grass growing strong.

What is Seed Safe?

Use Seed Safe when spring overseeding or dormant seeding to prevent annual grassy weeds. Seed Safe is a unique combination of seed safe mesotrione crabgrass herbicide and a high-quality slow release starter fertilizer to promote seedling establishment. Seed Safe is ideal for use in spring lawn renovation to keep out ugly summer weeds like crabgrass and foxtail.

Why should you wait till mid-April to apply Seed Safe? Annual grassy weeds, like crabgrass and foxtail, will not germinate until the soil the temperature reaches 55°. Seed Safe must be activated and in the soil at the time when weeds are starting to sprout. The herbicide is of no use if the soil is too cold for the weed seeds to begin growing. Applied too early, the herbicide (your money) is wasted. Seed Safe remains working in the soil for about four weeks, and if applied too early, the active ingredient will break down and be ineffective at the time it is needed the most. Historical data shows us, in our area, mid-April is the ideal window.

8. Mow the New Grass

Mow the entire lawn as needed to maintain a height around 3 inches. Mow with a sharp blade, at a time when the grass is not wet. Avoid making aggressive turns in newly seeded areas that have been top dressed. Mowing in straight lines across those areas will have minimal disturbance to grass seedlings. Do not let the grass get too tall between mowing. Routine mowing is beneficial for root growth on new seedlings.

9. Apply Prevent

Mid-May (Mothers Day): Apply full strength PREVENT crabgrass pre-emergent to all areas ONLY after those areas have filled in and mature enough to have been mowed at least twice. If you haven’t mowed the new grass at least twice, wait until you have before applying Prevent.

Can I Overseed My Lawn After Applying PREVENT?

If you have already applied PREVENT this season, do not overseed in those areas. PREVENT will not allow grass seeds to establish. However, you can make spot repairs after an application of crabgrass pre-emergent, just follow this link to learn more.

BE AWARE: PREVENT should not be used over areas where grass seed has not germinated. PREVENT will remain active in the soil 6-8 weeks preventing all grass seed & crabgrass seed from germinating.

6 Things to Consider Before Seeding In The Spring!

It’s spring! The weather is becoming warmer, and you’re ready to get outside and turn your attention to lawn and landscape projects. While spring may seem like a great time to seed some of those thin or brown patches in your lawn, it may be better to wait. Here’s why…

Spring seeding makes it difficult to effectively control annual weeds, such as crabgrass, with pre-emergents. Pre-emergents stop weeds by creating a barrier below the soil surface to keep the weeds from ever sprouting. However, the same pre-emergent that kills crabgrass seedlings will keep your new grass from sprouting, too.

Putting off your early spring application of pre-emergent weed control can give crabgrass, and their weeds, a strong foothold. Once established, crabgrass spreads very quickly and can crowd out your new grass.

Choosing to seed after pre-emergents have been applied also presents problems. Raking, or cultivating, the soil for planting will break the pre-emergent barrier under the soil and decrease its effectiveness.

Conditions are best for planting lawn seed in the fall. Soil temperatures are ideal in late summer and early fall for quick germination of your lawn seed. Seeding in the fall allows your new turf to develop a strong root system before heading into the next season’s hot, dry summer months.


If Spring Seeding Can’t Wait, Consider These 6 Things!