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What’s First: Feed, Weed or Seed?

March 28, 2017

This is a big question in early spring:  “My lawn needs everything what should I do first, put down seed or kill my weeds?  The reason why this question is tricky is because many of the weed controls will harm new grass seedlings.

Weed, Feed or Seed?

Here are your best two options:

Do you have less than 75% good grass with bare spots larger than a few inches in diameter?

Answer: If lots of larger spots, then seed this spring.  Be sure to use a special Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer that is compatible with grass seed (the regular crabgrass preventers will keep grass seed from growing).  If you do not prevent weeds when you seed, you are likely to be very disappointed as crabgrass and other weeds will germinate and choke out your good grass before it has a chance to take hold.  A machine called a slit-seeder will help make sure the grass seed comes in contact with the soil.  You just select the Turf Builder Grass Seed blend that is right for your conditions, such as sun, shade, heat-tolerant, etc.  If you only have a few bare spots to take care of, consider Scotts EZ Seed.  I think this is the best bare spot repair product we have ever sold!  Spread the Starter Lawn Food plus Weed Preventer after you put down the seed.  Feed your lawn again in one month after seeding with Turf Builder Lawn Food.  Once your new grass has been mowed 4 times, you can kill weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer OR Roundup For Lawns.

Do you have more than 75% good grass however your lawn is thin and weedy without widespread bare spots?

Answer:  If you have more than 75% grass, you may be surprised how your good grass will fill in with four feedings a year at 6 to 8 week intervals.  With this option you skip spring seeding (you can always seed in fall if your lawn still needs it).   Here is a schedule for the year:  Feed your lawn now with Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer.  In 6 to 8 weeks after your first feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed if you have lots of weeds or if you only have a few weeds, your second feeding can be Turf Builder Lawn Food and spot treat your weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer OR Roundup For Lawns.  Put down Scotts GrubEx sometime in May or June.  In 6 to 8 weeks after your second feeding, feed again with Scotts Turf Builder with SummerGuard to control insects.  In 6 to 8 weeks after your third feeding, in late summer/early fall, feed with Turf Builder Lawn Food.

If you have questions during the year, the Scotts Help Center folks will be happy to help you.

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