Weed control and lawn fertilization can be very confusing topics. With so many different options, it’s hard to know which one is best for your yard. In this blog post, we will answer common questions about weed killers and fertilizers, as well as discuss how to maximize both products’ effectiveness in order to keep your property looking beautiful all year long.
Let’s get started!
We'll start with weeds:
Why do I have weeds in my yard?
Most of the time, a yard needs weed killer because it hasn’t been properly or routinely fertilized. If a weed starts to grow in an area you’ve just fertilized, it’s likely that your grass wasn’t getting enough nutrients and water before then. It can be tough to start the weeding and fertilizing process, but it’s vital for lawn health. Weed killers are available at most hardware stores or home improvement centers for purchase, although the DIY route can be tricky. For the best results if you’re working on your own yard, we recommend the following:
Always follow the weed killer manufacturer instructions! Mix according to the directions on the bottle. Apply the product you’ve chosen to kill your weeds using a weed sprayer or garden hose with a solid stream of water, and let it sit for at least ten minutes before mowing your lawn. If weeds reappear after applying herbicide, retreat by repeating the application process at three-week intervals.
If you’re working with a professional company, like RLB Landscapes, you may be able to call the team back out to retreat if weeds resurface. We guarantee superior weed control!
Where do weeds like to grow?
Weeds thrive when the soil is too wet or too dry, and they can be a problem if you live next door to an abandoned property. The biggest issue with weeds is that once they start growing, they begin to spread like crazy! It’s best to treat them as soon as you see them taking root to make sure they don’t get out of hand.
In the southeastern United States, we’re most likely to see weeds like :
Crabgrass, which is a tall green grass that grows along the ground. It can be very persistent and difficult to maintain if left untreated.
Dandelions, which are some of the most common weeds in North America! They usually grow as single plants or clusters. Dandelion roots are thick and strong; they’ll spread out and eventually break through the surface of your lawn.
Fescue Grass, which is a type of grass with thin roots that can be difficult to control if it’s allowed to grow under dense shade or in wetter outdoor conditions. Yes, this plant is technically a grass, but if you’re growing Bermuda or some other kind of nice turf, it’s NOT something you want to see popping up in the middle of your nicely curated landscape.
Moss, which thrives on shady ground and moist soil. Moss will also invade other types of grass and make it difficult for the stronger plants to survive. Homeowners will often see moss creeping up on their lawns in early spring, when the ground is still moist from winter rains.
What is a safe weed killer to use?
Some herbicides are more toxic than others, and it’s important that you know what ingredients are in the products before using them on your lawn or around children and pets. In general, we recommend products with glyphosate-based chemicals because they’re less harmful to wildlife and pets if ingested accidentally by a child or pet.
At RLB, we use only products that are approved and state regulated because we want the best results for our customers.
What is the best weed killer?
The answer to this question really depends on what your desired outcome is, as well as which types of weeds you want to get rid of. One type that we recommend for many lawns in southern climates — like right here in Sugar Hill, Buford, Flowery Branch, Oakwood, or Suwanee, Georgia– is a preemergent herbicide that prevents weeds from germinating and establishing in the soil.
Remember, though, that too much of even the right kind of weed killer can cause more harm than good. Consider letting a pro handle the work for you.
Now let's talk fertilizer
How long should you stay off a fertilized lawn?
It’s best to wait at least 24 hours before entering your yard or any other grassy area if it has been recently treated with products that kill weeds and other pests, but this varies depending on which product is used. The same rule generally applies with fertilizer, too.
Since we offer these two services together, we really encourage this 24-hour rule whenever possible.
Is it cheaper to fertilize my own lawn?
It may look cheaper in the short term, but we’ve seen many ruined yards that could still be green and lush if homeowners had only worked with a professional landscape group.
If you do decide to DIY, we always recommend having a professional fertilizer company at least come out and advise you on the best type of service for your location.
Just make sure not to overdo it – homeowners often apply more fertilizer and feed than they need because they don’t want to come back in a few weeks for another treatment. Unfortunately for them, this isn’t how fertilizer works. Adding more doesn’t make grass grow faster or get greener. It just burns the lawn and wastes money.
Should I weed or fertilize my yard first?
We’d recommend a program that starts with thinning out what weeds already exist in order to give healthy, desirable grass room to grow without having too much competition for food (like fertilizer). This can mean a combination of weeding by hand, using a product to kill weeds, or a combination of the two, before adding any fertilizer to your plants or yard. And like we mentioned above, if weeds start popping up soon after you apply fertilizer, it means that the grass and soil weren’t getting the nutrients they needed before you began the process.
If you’re working with RLB, we will help make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to, even it if means coming back out to retreat.
What about fertilizer application near the driveway or sidewalks?
You don’t want to risk someone walking through fertilizer and tracking it into your house. In addition to just staying away from the area, we recommend using a weed barrier like mulch, bark chips, straw, or even newspaper before you apply any type of fertilizers, as they will keep anything from going on the ground that shouldn’t, as well as anything from going inside the house that shouldn’t.
When should I fertilize my lawn?
The answer to this question depends on both the climate and what type of turf you have. For example, a warm-season grass will require more fertilizer than cool season varieties like Kentucky bluegrass. Generally, fertilizing in the early fall is best for warm season grasses. However, cool-season turf should be fertilized just before or after winter begins to melt and green up. It’s vitally important to take factors like these and so many others into finding the right fertilizer for your grass, garden, and plants to ensure everything is getting the proper nutrients for the entire year.
If in doubt about when to fertilize or with what product, contact a local landscaping company, like RLB Landscapes, for their advice.
Our Final Thoughts
We know that fertilization and weed control can be overwhelming topics, but we hope you found this information helpful. If you found it helpful but ultimately decided that these activities are well beyond your green thumb abilities, that’s OK! Just give us a call or stop by our Contact page for more information about how we can help with your lawn fertilization and weed control needs!
We take care of our customers’ yards like they are our own, and we love being able to create a landscape that reflects the beauty of the home and the family inside. Call us today!