Weed and Feed Product Reviews
By Todd Layt
27 August 2011
Lawn professionals often disagree on many issues, but this is one matter that finds common ground. They do not like weed and feed products.
Weed and feed products have high rates of soluble nitrogen fertiliser that quickly leach into the soil. They not only disappear quickly (often washed into drains and storm water), they also do very little for your lawns health. They simply encourage upward leaf growth and provide a quick green up.
Weed and feed products do little to help your lawns roots, stolons and rhizomes. They can also cause damage to soil and the micro-organisms in the soil. The weed and feed products that work by burning flat broad leaf weeds cannot be watered in for a while. On hot days they will also burn your lawn. They have little long term nutrient benefit for your lawn. The weed and feeds with chemicals will usually hurt Buffalo turf, and are highly inefficient. These products kill weeds less efficiently than dedicated weed killers. You also end up spreading the weed and feed all over the lawn, rather than just killing the weeds that need killing. It’s an over use of chemicals.
In fact, it has been reported that Canada is banning these type of weed and feed products. Australia probably will not go this far, but if people avoid these, maybe the companies will concentrate on their better products.
Instead of using weed and feed, it is better to buy 2 products. Slow Release Fertiliser and a good herbicide. To control the broad leaf weeds use and appropriate herbicide. Or try Buffalo Pro™, a new Bindii & Broadleaf hose-on weed killer.
Yates Weed 'n' Feed Granular
This is a fertiliser high in soluble nitrogen and uses 50grams per kg of Iron (Fe) which is present as Ferrous Sulphate. The iron has a salt burn effect so that flatweeds receive a relatively severe burn compared to the vertical blades of grass. We recommend using a separate fertiliser and weed killer, rather than this weed and feed. Your lawn will thank you for it.
Yates has a wonderful great value Lawn Master Slow Release Fertiliser and Lush Bindii and Broadleaf Weeder that work far better.
Brunnings Feed n Weed Hose On
Just like the Yates product, avoid this at all costs. Brunnings also have good products for your lawn, this is just not one of them.
Scotts® Lawn Builder™ with Weed Kill
If you have to use a weed and feed this has one positive, but it is still recommended to avoid it. Firstly, it cannot be used on Buffalo lawns plus a few other types which really limits its use. The only positive is that the fertiliser component itself is a good slow release fertiliser. Using 2 separate products when it comes to killing and making things grow still makes so much more sense. Scotts has many other 2 in 1 products that are wonderful, like Lawn Builder™ with Wetting Agent, but products like this mix two things that are good for your lawn, not a plant killer and a plant feeder.
Slow Release Fertilisers - The Better Alternative
These are the Rolls Royce of fertilisers, without the expensive price tag. They are a little more expensive, but in car terms the price is like comparing a Great Wall to a Toyota. But in performance terms it’s like comparing an old Leyland P76 to a modern Ferrari.
Slow release fertilisers take months to discharge their nutrients, meaning your lawn is fed for a lot longer from a single application. Full slow release fertilisers do not burn your lawn if they are not watered in immediately. Be careful when buying slow release fertilisers, as some suppliers blend slow release with regular quick release fertiliser, and say "contains slow release" or "slow release fertiliser blend" or some other euphemistic saying. So read the reviews to find the real slow release fertilisers. Avoid regular soluble or quick release fertilisers, as they are usually washed out of your lawn within a week, and much of it can go down the drain, causing pollution.
ADDENDUM BY THE LAWN GUIDE
The views and trials within this article represent those opinions of the author and not necessarily those of this site.
As the author states, all these companies make some wonderful lawn care products, and The Lawn Guide agrees that some of the other products these companies manufacture are better suited to achieve better outcomes in lawn care and weed control.