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How to get a better, greener lawn: step 2 - apply Weed and Feed

Updated: May 10, 2021

If you're following along with my lawn program blog series, then you've already done step 1 and put down your Crabgrass Preventer. The next step in the lawn fertilizer program to get a healthier, greener lawn is applying Weed and Feed.

Lawn program fertilizer weed and feed
Lawn Program Step 2: Weed and Feed

What Is Weed and Feed?

Weed and Feed kills over 250 types of weeds and sticks to the grass better without falling all the way to the ground. I use Earl May’s Weed and Feed which is the second step in the 6-step lawn program. It’s made for Midwest lawns and also contains iron to give your grass that dark green look. I always feel like the color of my grass is more uniform after putting it on.

Lawn program fertilizer weed and feed

How to Apply Weed and Feed Correctly

You will apply the Weed and Feed the same way you do the other steps with your spreader, BUT with this step you have to be very careful when to put it on. If you don't follow the directions and warnings, the fertilizer will not work the way it is designed to.

Lawn program fertilizer weed and feed

You should wait to put down Weed and Feed until about 30 days after you applied Crabgrass Preventer. You need to put it on when the grass is wet from dew or rain. You want the Weed and Feed to stick to the grass and especially the weeds. You could apply this in the early morning, after a rain, or you could water the lawn right before putting this down.

Lawn program fertilizer weed and feed

I often see people mistakenly put the Weed and Feed on and then water it in. Keep an eye on the weather -- you want to make sure it’s not going to rain in the next 24 hours. You want this to stick to your weeds! I’ve even seen professional companies put Weed and Feed down and later that day -- it rains. Actually, while writing this, my neighbor has a lawn company putting it down... and a lot of rain is in the forecast tonight. What a waste.You don't want that. If you have a sprinkler system, do not forget to shut it off so that you don't accidentally water it the next morning. You will want to do this with other summer fertilizers, but not with Weed and Feed.

Lawn program fertilizer weed and feed
Weed and Feed Granulars

10 Tips for putting on Weed and Feed

  1. Mow two days before putting down the Weed and Feed.

  2. Make sure the grass is wet. To see if the grass is wet enough, walk in the grass a few steps. If you can see your shoe print after walking on the cement you’re good to go.

  3. Wear old shoes that can get wet and full of fertilizer. (And take them off before entering your house.)

  4. Make sure it’s not going to rain in the next 24 hours and turn off any pre-set sprinklers.

  5. Check the fertilizer bag to look at your spreader setting. I like to put it on a little less than recommended just to spread it equally. According to my bag and spreader the setting was to be set at 5 so I put it on 4 3/4. This just helps me make sure I spread it out equally. Remember I’m going to try and overlap the yard like a checkerboard. You never want to put too much on cause you could burn your grass.

  6. Do the edges first and follow by making a checkerboard pattern on your yard.

  7. Blow off any fertilizer on the cement with your leaf blower. It’s not just for weeds, but it has feed that will make your yard thick and green. It can stain your cement if you don’t get it off.

  8. Keep children and pets off your grass for the next couple of days if you can.

  9. If it doesn’t rain in the next four days you will want to water it in with a sprinkler around day 4.

  10. I would wait about four weeks before you put down any grass seed.

weed and feed on grass
See the Little Granulars Stuck to the Grass

When you’re finished, clean off your spreader. If you do this one right, your tires should be soaked with the fertilizer. You can see on the picture what mine looked like after. Simply just spray it down with your hose. I would move it to a different spot a couple of times while you clean it off. That way it won’t burn the grass.

weed and feed stuck on spreader
You Put This On Right if The Spreader Looks Like This


As you see weeds pop up, keep hitting them with your tank sprayer. Every couple of mows I will just do a quick walk through my yard and spray any weeds I see. Read this blog post for my tips and products that work best for tackling weeds as they pop up. Once dead, you can just mow them up. If they're in your plant beds, pull the weeds out when they're dead and throw them in your yard waste bin.

I’ve also been keeping the settings on my mower high to keep grass long and thick while mowing. This is one of the best ways to keep weeds out.

Need a Lawn Fix? Here’s what we used:

DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.Thank you for your support!


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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