When Should I Apply Weed And Feed?
For North Florida lawns we recommend clients apply Weed & Feed fertilizer and herbicides no sooner than March 1. Applying Weed & Feed fertilizer at the proper time is critical to its success in providing nutrition to your grass and eliminating and/or preventing new weeds. The University of Florida recommends considering the application of weed and feed beginning on February 15 for Central and South Florida and March 1 for North Florida. Some suggest waiting until the warm-season grass begins to green up on its own or until April to fertilize. “Waiting allows for more efficient use of the fertilizer. You will not injure your lawn by waiting to fertilize, but you can certainly injure your lawn by fertilizing too early,” writes Larry Williams, the Residential Horticulture Agent for the UF/IFAS Extension Office in Okaloosa County.
“Knowing how to manage and prevent weed intrusion is an important part of integrated pest management (IPM),” University of Florida Gardening Solutions. “Gardening Solutions has an extensive list of common weeds, and identifying plant pests is the first step to managing them effectively.”
Weed and Feed Fertilizers Additional Ingredients
Be aware that most weed and feed products include fertilizer and a post-emergent herbicide to kill existing weeds. At the same time, many also have a pre-emergent to prevent the germination of new seasonal varieties. Always read the product label and know that Weed and Feed fertilizer products are developed for specific grasses that may harm them if applied to other grasses. Read product labels along with purchase and use the appropriate time weed and feed designed for your specific lawn.
Crazy Weather Impacts When To Apply Weed and Feed Fertilizer
Average high and low temperatures per week heading out of Winter is the critical factor in when to apply weed and feed. North Florida lawns experience widely varied high & low average temperatures coming out of Winter. Rainfall is another crucial factor and is challenging to forecast with changing climatic conditions. Lower average temperature and increased precipitation would undermine any potential benefit of weed and feed application in North Florida in February. Applying Weed and Feed fertilizer too early results in the nitrogen in the fertilizer component benefiting the existing weeds and little to no benefit to the dormant sod. Excessive rain can result in Weed and Feed fertilizer being washed away and polluting nearby surface waters such as the St. Johns River, its tributaries, and area lakes.
Is Applying Weed and Feed Fertilizer Best For You?
Using fertilizer and spot treating for weeds is an alternative to Weed & Feed fertilizer. Be sure to test your soil pH, dethatch and aerate the soil, and have a system to ensure proper watering heading into Spring. Water restrictions for the City of Jacksonville loosen during Daylight Savings Time (Second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November), allowing twice-per-week residential landscape irrigation. You can learn more about Free Soil Testing in Northeast Florida.
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