It’s important to care for your lawn by both giving it the nutrients it needs and making sure it isn’t overrun with weeds competing for those nutrients. To do both of these things at once, many homeowners use a weed and feed. These products are fast, easy, and effective, but only if you use them right.
One of the big questions that people have is about when to water after applying weed and feed. We’re going to look at everything you need to know about using this product to make sure your lawn gets what it needs to be lush, green, and healthy.
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Read the Instructions
Before we get started, it’s important to note that the first thing you should do when using a weed and feed product is read the directions. Every product is a little different. Some will have you pre-water before applying, others will tell you to wait to water for a specific period of time after application.
Why does weed and feed need to be watered?
Generally, weed and feed lawn products need to be watered in to get the nutrients and other active ingredients down into the soil so they can start working. Though, the process and timing vary depending on the type of product you’re using.
Granular weed and feed
Most weed and feeds are granular. They are usually pre-emergent, meaning that they aim to prevent weeds before they actually grow instead of trying to kill them after they are already established.
Granular weed and feed products always have to be watered in. The water activates the granules, so they slowly start to break down, releasing nutrients into the soil. If you don’t water, the granules just sit there and don’t do anything unless, of course, it rains.
When should you water them? Honestly, it depends on the product you use. Many will tell you to water them in right away while others will have you wait a week or so. Or, you can water before you apply so that the soil is moist and the product slowly begins to soak into the soil, and follow it up with a deep watering a week or two later.
Liquid weed and feed
Liquid weed and feed is different from granular products as the nutrients and weed-killing ingredients are more readily available. You don’t need to add water to break anything down because it’s already in a liquid mixture.
The main thing to remember with liquid weed and feed is that you have to let the product dry before watering it in. Usually, this takes only a few hours, but some products will recommend you wait a full 24 hours after applying to water.
If you water too early, you may dilute the product or it could break down too early. Both of these limit the product’s effectiveness.
What about rain?
While you can control when you water your lawn, you can’t control what Mother Nature is going to do. When and how much you water is so important when using a weed and feed. So what do you do when it rains?
If you’re using a granular product, rain shouldn’t be a problem. In fact, this might be one of the biggest benefits of using a granular product. Rain won’t affect it as much, as long as it isn’t heavy rain that carries the granule away immediately after application.
Spray weed and feed is a different story. Remember, this type of product has to dry before you can water it. If it rains right after you apply it, the rain will wash away the product and it won’t be as effective. Depending on how much time has passed and how heavy the rain is, it might not be effective at all.
If this happens, it usually means the first application was a waste, and you’ll have to reapply.
The best way to avoid this is to pay close attention to the weather. There are plenty of options out there for weather apps, so keep an eye on the 10-day forecast and apply the weed and feed during a stretch of dry days.
If the forecast was wrong or a quick unexpected rainstorm shows up, don’t panic. Keep an eye on your lawn for a week or so to determine whether the treatment was effective. If you don’t see any weeds popping up, you might have gotten lucky. If you do, plan to reapply.
Applying Weed and Feed
Weed and feed is not difficult to apply, but there is a right way to do it to get the most benefits. Here are some tips:
Don’t apply right after mowing your lawn. Let the lawn grow until it’s about three to five inches long and wait for at least three days. This way, the grass is less stressed and can better absorb the nutrients.
Use the appropriate applicator. Many liquid weed and feed products hook directly to a garden hose. As for granular products, you can apply them by hand by shaking the applicator container as you walk around your yard. That said, a spreader is a better option because it ensures an even application.
Generally, you should only apply weed and feed twice a year. Any more than that and you risk over-fertilizing your lawn.
When should you water after applying weed and feed? Like most things in gardening and landscaping, the answer is, it depends.
There are many great weed and feed products out there, and each one is a little different. The best advice we can give you is to follow the instructions for the product you choose.
Generally, though, when to water weed and feed depends mostly on whether you’re using liquid or granular fertilizer.
Granular fertilizer can be applied to damp soil, then left for a week or two before watering again. It’s generally not a big deal if it rains after application, though, as this form of weed and feed needs water to break it down and deliver it to the soil.
If you’re using a liquid fertilizer, you must let it dry before it watering, and that includes rain. It’s very important to monitor the weather forecast before applying liquid fertilizer as rain can drastically affect how well it works and if you’ll need to reapply.