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Weed and Feed for Lawns – 5 Reasons not to use it!

Denver Weed Control Service
Weeds typically are only in 5-10% of your lawn area, so we don’t recommend using herbicides on your entire lawn. Instead we recommend hand-weeding or spot treatments. 
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Weed and Feed is a commonly sold combination herbicide and fertilizer product that is offered by many lawn fertilization brands. These are “designed” to feed your grass while also killing weeds. But if you read the back of the bag, you’ll see many cautions about it’s use.

We DO NOT recommend using Weed and Feed for the following reasons:

1. Using weed and feed products results  in the unnecessary and excessive use of Herbicides

When you apply a weed and feed product, you are applying herbicides to your entire lawn, even where no weeds are present. This greatly increases the amount of herbicides that you are using. In most lawns, weeds only occupy 5-10%  of the lawn area, so we always recommend spot weed control treatments to control weeds only where present.

2. Weed and Feed is bad for Trees and Shrubs! 

Weed and feed fertilizers contain Atrazine, a toxic chemical herbicide that can damage your trees and shrubs, eventually resulting in their death if used year after year. If you read the back of your Weed and Feed fertilizer bag packaging, you’ll see the following kinds of warnings:

Weed and Feed fertilizer warnings:

  • “Do not use under trees, shrubs, bedding plants or garden plants.”
  • “Do not apply on or under the branch spread (rootzone) of trees, shrubs, bedding plants, flowers or garden plants.”
  • “Do not apply by hand or hand-held rotary devices.”
  • “Do not apply this product in a way that will contact any person either directly or through drift.”

Scary stuff, right? The thing is, if you have a large tree, the roots of that tree may be underneath the entire area of your lawn, tree roots are known to spread far beyond just immediately underneath the tree. Applying weed and feed will damage your trees, it’s only a matter of the timing and frequency of applications. Over-applying weed & feed product is common among home owners, which results in higher levels available in the soil to be taken up by your tree; increasing the level of potential damage. Applying weed and feed products during the spring, when the tree is actively growing and putting on new leaves is the worst time to apply, and any damage in early spring can affect tree health for the entire growing season. Healthy trees can usually tolerate one weed & feed application per year with minimal impact, however if you are applying more than one time a year or applying too much, and you do it year after year, your tree’s health will deteriorate and eventually die.

3. Granular “weed and feed” chemicals are bad for the environment.

Weed and Feed products most commonly use quick-release fertilizers, which drench your lawn with a heavy dose of nutrients that is likely to wash away with rain or watering. These chemicals get washed down into storm drains and into our water table, ultimately contaminating rivers, streams, ponds and the ocean. Runoff and drift from your weed and feed’ed lawn is hazardous to aquatic organisms. This product is toxic to aquatic invertebrates. Additionally, birds often eat weed and feed granules, thinking it’s grit, leading to the wide-spread death of our already threatened bird populations.

4. Weed and Feed is bad for your health! (Not to mention your pets)

Weed and feed products have bioaccumulative toxic substances linked to cancer and have been shown to lead to reproductive, immunological and neurological problems. That means you are making your lawn toxic – and who wants that?

5. Overall lawn health is compromised with Weed and Feed Products

The long-term health of your lawn is compromised if you use weed and feed products year after year, as your lawn becomes dependent on the chemicals. These products also harm the beneficial fungi and organisms in the soil, making it difficult to build naturally healthy turf.

Why hire a Professional to do your Lawn Fertilization?

If you are in the Denver or Colorado Springs area, we are happy to talk to you about your lawn. Our lawn experts know exactly when to apply fertilizers properly, and we use the best fertilizer products in the market that are specifically designed for our Colorado climate. We are also experts in applying just the right amount of fertilizer at the right time, we can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen burned lawns from over-application by homeowners. For weeds, we only use spot weed control treatments when needed, we never spray for weeds where there are none! As we care for our trees and environment, our organic lawn fertilization programs are designed to work in harmony with nature so that you can have a healthy green lawn!

If you’re just not that into hand-weeding, call Mountain High Tree in Denver at 303.232.0666 or our Colorado Springs Office at 719.444.8800 and we’ll discuss the perfect weed control and/or lawn fertilization program for you.