Are you looking to improve your lawn and kill the weeds? A Weed and Feed is the best way – Read our reviews to find the best product to suit you. Learn how to choose the right type of lawn products that will work on your grass, and get recommendations for the best weed and feed. Read on to learn how weed killers work and see why recommendations for the top weed killers.
Best Weed & Feed Reviews: Complete Guide to Make Your Lawn Perfect
Are you looking to improve your lawn and kill the weeds? A Weed and Feed is the best way – Read our reviews to find the best product to suit you.
Taking the best care of your lawn means that you need to weed frequently, and fertilize at the right times of the year. Unfortunately, weeding your garden can be a time-consuming exercise, especially if you have a big piece of property.
Getting down on your hands and knees to pull weeds is back-breaking work. There’s also a chance that you don’t get the whole weed. How many times have you pulled on the tops, only to find the roots left behind? You can bet they’ll be back for the second round of flowering before the season finishes.
If your lawn is looking worse for wear, then bring it back to life using weed and feed fertilizers and herbicides. These products introduce essential minerals into the ground that accelerate the growth of your grass. Your lawn grows thick and healthy, and with no weeds.
A weed and feed formula typically contains herbicides that destroy weeds growing in your lawn.
Some brands promote that its formula can kill up to 250-varieties of garden weeds. Using this herbicide won’t damage your lawn unless you’re using an exotic grass species and its safe for your garden’s environment.
Say goodbye to the effort of maintaining your lawn this next spring and winter. By fertilizing and weed-proofing your garden, it will look in fantastic shape for next year’s family cookout in the yard.
Our Top 3 Weed and Feed Picks
For anyone that doesn’t have time to go through all of the details in the reviews, we made things easier for you. Here are our top three picks for the best weed and feed formulas available.
- Best Pick: GreenView Fairway Formula Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer
This formula leaves your lawn looking like the fairway on the bag. A potent fertilizer that turns grass green while enhancing growth. Successfully kills more than 200-varieties of weeds.
- Runner Up Pick: Preen One Lawncare Weed and Feed
The best choice for lawns where weeds are already growing. This formula only needs application every 8-weeks and kills up to 250-varieties of weeds.
- Budget Pick: GreenView Weed and Feed
This fertilizer and weed killer offers the best value for money in this review.
The Best Weed & Feed Reviews
We reviewed the best weed and feed products available. We went through dozens of products to isolate these five options. Choose a product that meets the needs of your garden, and say goodbye to the weeds while you welcome in the grass!
Best Pick: GreenView Fairway Formula Fertilizer
We start our review with the best product in its class. TheGreenview Fairway Formula Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer is the top choice in this review. We think of this as a professional grade-product, with long-lasting effects from the slow-releasing formula. In warmer climates, you can get away with two annual feedings in the early spring and fall, with no intra-seasonal feeding necessary.
When you think about the effect of this slow-releasing compound on reducing your annual feeding costs, it’s easy to justify the price tag for this product. The manufacturer states this formulation kills over 200-species of weeds, including chickweed, seedling crabgrass, and dandelion.
Due to the slow-releasing formula, this product is best for use on established lawns that have a healthy root system. Using it on younger grass may result in burning and stunted growth. The manufacturer has this weed and feed formula available in 18 and 36-pound bags. An 18-pound bag will cover 5,000-square feet of lawn.
- Short reaction time, with results noticeable after 4-weeks.
- Fertilizer requires infrequent application.
- Successfully eliminates dandelions.
- Might injure carpet grass, dichondra, and Saint Augustine grass.
Runner-Up Pick: Preen One Lawncare
This product is a close runner up on the GreenView Fairway formula. This weed and feed product is best for lawns where weeds are already growing and taking over the yard. This formula features post-emergent, so the user can apply it up to 30-days after noticing the first signs of crabgrass.
The manufacturer also states that this product kills white clover, dandelion, and over 250-species of broadleaf weeds. The weedkiller penetrates to the roots, destroying the weed while leaving your lawn weed-free.
Do not use this formula on carpet grass, colonial bentgrass, Saint Augustine or dichondra. Avoid using this fertilizer after sowing seeds for at least the first 8-weeks. The Preen One Lawncare formula is ideal for use on Zoysia, bluegrass, Fescue, or ryegrass. The 36-pound bag is more than enough to cover 10,000-square feet of lawn. You also have the option of 18-lbs and 9-lbs bags as well.
- Effective in removing dandelions.
- Works in less than 4-weeks.
- Grass looks healthier and thicker after use.
- May require several applications.
Budget Pick: GreenView Weed and Feed Review
The smaller brother of the Fairway formula from the same company is still a potent weed and feed product for the home garden. The formula comes with the same 250-species weed killer formula featured in the Fairway blend, and the same time-release formula to save you on seasonal feedings.
Greenway specialized this formula for generalized use country-wide, with select ingredients that every lawn needs for optimal nutrition and growth. It’s slightly less potent that the Fairway blend, and you’ll need to reapply every eight to 190-weeks for best results.
Apply it to your lawn straight after mowing, and let it help your grass retain water and nutrients in the soil. This formula comes in 9-lbs, 18-lbs, and 36-lbs bags, for coverage of up to 15,000-square feet.
- Kills dandelions fast before they spread.
- It gives the grass a dark green color.
- It prevents the spread of invasive weeds.
- It improves the thickness and growth of grass.
- Takes multiple applications to kill weeds.
- Clovers are resistant to this product.
Scotts Turf Builder
While it’s not in the top three products in this review, Scotts Turf Builder Starter Food and Weed Preventer is a premium lawn care formula that you should still consider. This product contains lawn food and pre-emergent, with active ingredient lasting up to 6-weeks between feeding sessions.
The product is effective at removing dandelions, crabgrass, and weeds from the lawn, but you need to apply it more frequently than the Greenview products. As a result, you’ll end up spending as much on this product as the Fairway formula from Greenview.
However, Scott’s turf builder stops weeds from sprouting. As with most other pre-emergent herbicide formulas, you’ll need to apply it in the early spring. This strategy prevents the weeds from growing when the ground starts to get warmer, and the rains arrive.
This product is also suitable for use with sod and grass plugs and sod, and the formula helps new lawns thrive, making it the ideal choice for younger grass. One 9-lbs bag covers 5,000-square feet.
Take a look here we go into more detail about Scott’s Fertilizer products.
- Use this formula to reseed a garden or start a new one.
- Works fast, results in 2-weeks or less.
- Grass proliferates and turns thick with a deep green color.
- Not available in Florida
Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action
Are you searching for the best lawn fertilizer and insect repellant? If you reside in the northern United States, you’ll love this product from Scott.
Scotts Turf Builder, Triple Action for northern lawns, is a complete feeding, pre-emergent, and pesticide product suitable for all northern grass types.
This long-lasting formula provides your lawn with nutrients and protective agents that keep it looking great year-round.
This Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action features a specific formulation for use in northern lawns. The potent herbicide kills dandelion, clover and prevents crabgrass from establishing itself on your lawn. Get a lawn feeder and weeder product designed for your climate conditions and grass type.
The powerful Scotts formula is suitable for use on the following grass types.
- Fine Fescue
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Perennial Ryegrass
- Tall Fescue
This Scott’s product feeds and weeds your lawn while providing preventative protection. You get a long-lasting formula, with application needed every four to six months for the best results.
Scotts Turf Builder’s granular formulation makes it easy to spread using a manual or electric spreading machine.
However, due to this product’s formulation, keep pets and kids away from the lawn until after watering. This Scotts product comes in your choice of 4,000-sq ft or 8,000-sq ft coverage.
If you’re a resident of the northern United States, this product is the best choice for weeding, feeding, and protecting your lawn.
The specialized formulation works on northern grass types, providing your lawn with all the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive.
This Scotts product has a long-lasting formulation, with re-application needed every six months. You get outstanding pre-emergent protection and a thick, green lawn.
- Triple action feeds weeds and prevents.
- Covers up to 4,000-sq ft.
- Suitable for use in spreader machines.
- Easy application.
- Long-lasting protection up to 6-months.
- Provides a greening effect in three days when used with Scotts Green Max.
- Noticeable results in two weeks.
Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action Review
Are you looking for a lawn fertilizer and pest protectant? If you live in the southern states, you’ll love this product from Scott.
This long-lasting formula keeps your lawn looking tip-top for up to 6-months. It feeds the grass while killing off pests.
Specially formulated for southern states, this Scott product is easy to use, providing your lawn with all the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Scotts Turf Builder Southern Triple Action is suitable for use on all southern grass types. Some of the grasses suited to this formulation include the following.
This product contains a three-in-one formulation, providing your lawn with weedkiller, fertilizer, and a preventative. Scott’s backs this product with its famous satisfaction guarantee.
This formulation is effective at killing insects and weeds. Eliminate dollarweed and clover from your lawn while killing pests like ticks and fire ants.
The fertilizer in the formula specifically strengthens southern grass types, protecting them against drought and the suns strong UV rays.
This Scott product is easy to use. The granular formulation is easy to spread on dry lawns. You get your choice of bags covering 4,000-sq ft, or 8,000-sq ft. Pour it into your spreader, and start weeding and feeding your lawn.
If you live in a southern state, Scott’s Southern Triple Action Formula is an excellent option, tailored to your lawns specific needs.
You get a product that works on all southern grass types, without burning the lawn. It’s dry application makes it easy to work with, and you get long-lasting protection for up to 6-months, reducing your seasonal feeding and weeding duties.
We like the fire ant and tick insecticide included in the formula. With the Lone Star tick being abundant in southern states, this formula keeps your family safe from bites and Lyme disease.
- Triple-action formula kills weeds. Feeds your lawn, and prevents weeds.
- Works on all southern grass types.
- Kills Fire ants and ticks.
- Long-lasting 6-month formula.
- Excellent fertilizer for thick, Lucious lawns.
- Options for 4,000-sq ft or 8,000-sq ft coverage.
- Works with all commercial spreader machines.
- Compatible with other Scotts products like Green Max.
Our final choice in this review is the BioAdvanced 3-in-1 Lawn Fertilizer and Herbicide. This product is effective at killing and controlling the growth of several weed varieties, including white clover and dandelions. A single application can last up to 6-months, and keep your lawn looking great throughout the summer.
This formula is ideal for southern grasses like Bermuda grass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, and Saint Augustine. The slow-releasing action of the granules means you only need to feed in the early spring and then at the beginning of June. A bag is 12.5 pounds, and it covers up to 5,000-square feet.
- One application produces a noticeable difference.
- Regular use keeps grass healthy and weeds at bay.
- Kills weeds that other formulas can’t.
- It takes time to dissolve in water.
- Not suitable for zoysia grass.
Other Best Selling Options
- DUAL-ACTION FORMULA: Kills major broadleaf weeds while feeding your lawn.
- FEEDS LAWN: Fertilizes with 20 percent nitrogen formulation.
- KILLS WEEDS: Controls dandelion, chickweed, knotweed, plantain, clover, mallow, purslane and many broadleaf weeds as listed.
- QUICKFLIP SPRAYER: Just connect to your hose and spray – just grip, flip and go.
- COVERAGE: 32 ounces treats up to 7,500 square feet of lawn.
- Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action is a three-in-one formula that kills weeds, prevents crabgrass, and feeds grass to build thick, green lawns
- Controls existing listed lawn weeds, including dandelion, clover, dollarweed, ground ivy, chickweed, plantain, henbit, and english daisy
- Prevents crabgrass for 4 months (will not kill existing crabgrass); prevents other listed grassy weeds from invading your lawn
- For use on Bahiagrass, Centipedegrass, Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, Bermudagrass, Tall Fescue, Fine Fescue, and Zosyiagrass
- Apply to a wet lawn with a Scotts spreader, and then water in after 24 hours; apply in early spring when dandelions are actively growing; a 20 lb. bag treats 4,000 sq. ft.
- Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed3 weed killer plus fertilizer kills existing weeds and feeds to thicken your lawn and crowd out future weeds
- Weed and feed utilizes WeedGrip Technology to grip onto and kill the weeds you see and the ones you don’t
- Controls over 50 listed lawn weeds, including clover, dandelion, plantain, morningglory, chicory, eveningprimrose, and purslane
- This lawn care product can be applied to Bahiagrass, Bermudagrass, Bluegrass, Centipedegrass, Fescue, Ryegrass, and Zoysiagrass
- One 14.29 lb. bag of Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed3 covers 5,000 sq. ft.
- Use Ortho WeedClear Weed Killer for Lawns Ready-To-Spray to kill weeds down to the root, without harming your lawn (when used as directed); you’ll see visible results in hours
- KILLS WEEDS: This lawn weed killer kills over 250 common weeds, including dandelions, clover, poison ivy, chickweed, and dollarweed (see product label for complete weed list)
- LAWN FRIENDLY: It contains three proven ingredients that target common lawn weeds, so it won’t harm your grass (when used as directed)
- RESULTS YOU CAN SEE: Visible results in hours; rainproof in 1 hour upon drying; people and pets may enter the treated area after the spray has dried
- EASY TO USE: To apply, connect your garden hose to the sprayer and set the nozzle to your desired setting
- Fertilizer and kills over 250 broadleaf weeds, including dandelion, henbit, dollar weed, White clover, plantain and chickweed
- Treats northern and southern grasses
- Not for floral St. Augustine
- Quick greening
- Extended feeding
Weed and Feed Buyer’s Guide
Fertilizer and weed killer are essential parts of any gardeners toolshed. Fertilizer improves the health of your plants, causing them to yield and flower more than without using the treatment. It’s the same for your lawn as well. By feeding your garden, you ensure that your grass grows thick, healthy, and full of color.
If you’ve never had to deal with fertilizer before, then out buyers’ guide will give you everything you need to know about this topic.
Looking for Lawn Deficiencies
Anyone that’s new to garden needs to learn about the importance of adding nutrients to your lawn. Nutrients increase your lawn’s ability to process water and sunlight, giving them a healthy root structure that avoids diseases and premature death of the grass. When your garden starts to develop deficiencies in nutrients, it will turn up in patches of discolored lawn. By treating it with fertilizer, you restore these burned or spare patches to normal health.
Fertilizer complex’s come in a range of blends using three to four different minerals. The most common types found in fertilizer are phosphorous, nitrogen, and potassium. Nitrogen is the mineral responsible for promoting growth in your grass, and giving it that deep green color every gardener loves.
Phosphorous helps to stimulate root growth, and potassium helps your lawn with drought and disease resistance. Most fertilizers have a combination of these three essential ingredients, along with some other additions to specialize in the formulation. Fertilizers can help your lawn deal with deficiencies in calcium, carbon, oxygen, carbon, boron, magnesium, boron, iron, cobalt, and manganese as well.
Fertilizer can get your lawn looking it’s absolute best.
Testing Your Soil
The first step in analyzing what fertilizer will suit the needs of your lawn is through a soil sample. You can take a sample of the soil of your lawn through to a nursery for testing. Most places will get your test results while you wait. After receiving the test, the technician will make recommendations on minerals you need to add to the soil.
Reading Fertilizer Labels
After receiving your test results, it’s time to pick the right fertilizer blend. Every bag of fertilizer will list the ration of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium on the label. Ask the technician who did your soil sample about the best ratio to suit the mineral deficiencies in your lawn.
The Different Types of Fertilizer
There are two common types of fertilizer on the market; liquid and granular. Both of these types have individual advantages and disadvantages. We recommend that you stick with the tried and tested granular types of fertilizer. Most companies that produce spray fertilizers make them for indoor use or small gardens, and granular offers better value for your money.
Some fertilizers feature slow-release formulas, and you don’t have to fertilize as often to achieve good results. However, most fertilizers require you to treat the lawn at least every 8-weeks from the start of spring.
How to Fertilize Your Lawn
After purchasing your fertilizer formula that’s ideal for restoring the health of your grass, it’s time to spread it on your lawn. We recommend that you use a fertilizer spreader. A spreader provides you with an even level of disbursement over the lawns surface.
A chest-mounted spreader would be the ideal option to fertilize a smaller lawn. You strap on the harness, fill the hopper, and walk around your yard winding a crank. Repeat this treatment every few weeks, and your lawn will be looking great in no time.
Types of Grass
Different species of grass respond better to different fertilizer formulations. If you don’t know what kind of grass you have growing in your yard, then take a sample along to your nursery when you go for the soil test. An experienced gardener will be able to tell you what kind of grass it is with a simple look at your sample.
There are general fertilizers that may burn sensitive species of grass. So, always ensure that you choose the right formulation before you go home and kill your entire lawn. We recommend a slow-release formula for established laws.
These formulations have strong doses for your grass that release over many months. We don’t recommend these formulations for younger lawns that are not yet mature. Younger grass may require a more frequent application to prevent burning from slow-release formulations.
The Best Weed and Feed Formula for Southern Lawns
Southern grass species prefer wetter conditions and plenty of fertilizer. You can use Scotts Triple Action for Southern Lawns to take care of your Bahia, Bermuda, St Augustine, and centipede varieties of grass.
The Best Weed and Feed Formula for Bermuda grass
BioAdvanced 3 in 1 Weed and Feed is the best option for your Bermuda grass. This species is common around Texas, and not all weed and feeds are suitable for these lawns.
Tips for Feeding Your Lawn
To get the best results out of feeding your lawn, you need to pay attention to your feeding schedule. Timing is of the utmost importance, and knowing when to spread your fertilizer is half the battle.
For older, established lawns, early springtime is the best time for the first feeding session of the season. If you use a slow-releasing formula, you won’t have to feed again until mid-May. After the May feeding, you’ll need to increase the fertilizer schedule to once every six weeks to accommodate the summer growth. Keep feeding your lawn through until the end of October.
Watering Your Lawn
When fertilizing your lawn, it’s essential that you remember to keep watering throughout the summer. If you don’t water your garden after feeding it, then you’ll probably end up causing burning in some patches. Water thoroughly after your feeding session to ensure that the nutrients go into the ground.
We recommend that you use a large sprinkler system to water your lawn after a feeding session. Always water in the early morning before the sun gets too high in the sky. The heat of the day increases evaporation rate, and watering later in the afternoon or peak sun hours will be wasting this resource.
Weedkiller in your Fertilizing Formula
All of the weed and feed formulas listed in this review come with weedkiller included. Dandelions are a pesky invasive species that turn up in everyone’s lawns in the summertime. If you don’t take extra precaution during the summer months, and weed out those pesky plants, they can take over a garden quickly.
Fortunately, all of the products in this review are effective at killing off dandelions that invade your lawn, before they have a chance to spread. Some of the formulations in this review can remove up to 250-species of weeds from your yard.
Dandelions are one type of nuisance weed that can be killed
Weed & Feed FAQs
Now that you have a better understanding of why you need weed and feed for your lawn let’s look at some frequently asked questions.
What kind of results can I expect from using weed and feed formulas?
With all of the weed and feed products in this review, you can expect excellent results. Some have slight variations than others, but they all do an excellent job of controlling weeds while improving the health of your lawn. All of the formulations in this review come with excellent mineral levels to sort out any deficiencies in your garden.
How many seasonal applications do I need?
We recommend that you first understand what kind of grass you have growing in your backyard. Take a sample down to your local nursery along with some soil. The technicians will make recommendations on the best formulations to suit your lawn.
In most cases, you need a first feeding in the early spring, followed by another in mid to late May as the summer approaches. Then, continue feeding every six to eight weeks until the end of October. Let the ground rest over the winter, and repeat the cycle the following spring.
Can I use weed and feed on trees and shrubs?
No, weed and feed formulas in this review are designed explicitly for grass. Using these nutrients on your plants may result in the burning of the foliage and damage to the root systems of the shrubs and trees.
How much do weed and feed cost?
An 18-pound bag of weed and feed can cost anywhere from $20 to $60, depending on the brand and its reputation. If you’re looking for the cheapest weed and feed available, then take a look at the GreenView Weed and Feed, at under $20 a bag, it’s a bargain for your garden.
Is there any difference between all the weed and feed products?
It may seem like all the products in this review are similar, but they all have unique formulations. These companies invest millions into research and development of the best nutrient combinations and weedkiller formulations.
The technology that goes into producing a bag of weed and feed far exceeds its price tag. However, always be sure that you buy a premium brand, as the quality of materials may vary from supplier to supplier for the manufacturer.
We hope that you have enough information on hand to make an informed purchase decision on the best weed and feed for your garden. However, if you are still on the fence and don’t know what to buy, you can rely on our top three picks as a suitable choice. All three of the products we picked were of the best quality and featured premium weed and feed formulations.
- If you’re looking for the best weed and feed formula available, then we recommend you take the GreenView Fairway Formula Fertilizer Plus Crabgrass Preventer. This formula has everything your lawn needs and more. The 200-species weedkiller is a bonus, and it even keeps crabgrass off of your lawn. This fertilizer is excellent for constant feeding throughout the season.
- The runner up to this product is the Preen One Lawncare Weed and Feed formulation. This product is another premium choice that will suit any garden. This fertilizer only needs application once every eight weeks, and it’s suitable for the first two feedings of the season.
- If you’re strapped for cash this season, then look at the GreenView Weed and Feed formula. This product has almost everything the more expensive Fairway formula but at a fraction of the cost. Pick up a bag for under $20 and fertilize your lawn today.
Robin owns his own Landscape Gardening company based in the UK and has over 10 years professional experience working outdoors, creating beautiful landscapes for his clients in the UK. He is also a keen garden-grower and maintains his own fruit and vegetable gardens. He also has a level 3 Certificate in Practical Horticulture from The Royal Horticultural Society and is currently working on his first book about gardening. Contact him at [email protected]
The Best Weed and Feeds of 2022
Get your lawn looking healthy and green by selecting the right product for your grass.
By Debbie Wolfe | Updated May 30, 2022 12:00 PM
BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Keeping your lawn looking great means that you need to weed frequently, and fertilize at the right times of the year. If your lawn looks a bit drab and weedy, bring it back to life with weed and feed fertilizers and herbicides. Designed to introduce essential nutrients into the ground that accelerate the growth of your grass, these products help your lawn grow thick and healthy, and with no weeds.
Take a look at our guide to help you choose the right type of lawn products that will work on your grass, and our top picks for the best weed and feed options for purchase today.
- BEST OVERALL:Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK:GreenView Weed & Feed
- UPGRADE PICK:BioAdvanced All-in-One Weed & Feed
- BEST COOL SEASON:GreenView Fairway Formula
- BEST WARM SEASON:Scotts Turf Southern Triple Action
- BEST FOR WEED PREVENTION:Preen One LawnCare
- BEST LIQUID:Scotts Liquid Turf Builder Weed Control
Before You Buy
Maintaining a healthy lawn includes mowing, weeding, watering, and fertilizing. However, fertilizing isn’t always necessary. Over-fertilizing your lawn will make the grass grow more vigorously, causing you to have to mow more frequently or lead to run-off which ends up in your local watershed.
Excessive fertilizing can result in lawn burn, which is when the nitrogen and salt levels in the soil are too high and cause yellow to brown strips or patches of dead grass. A lawn, as with any type of plant, only needs fertilizing if the soil lacks the vital nutrients to help it grow. In situations like these, fertilizing your soil is essential.
Types of Weed and Feed
Weed and feed comes in two forms: liquid and granular. Although the liquid forms are easier to apply and provide faster results, it’s more economical to use the granular form. Spray or liquid weed and feed are designed for small yards. Granular weed and feed covers more area, often 5,000 square feet or more, and are available in 18-lb bags and larger. Granular versions offer a better value for your money, but you do need to water your lawn after application for it to penetrate the grass.
Some weed and feed feature slow-release formulas so you don’t have to fertilize as often. However, to achieve good results plan on treating your lawn at least once every eight weeks from the start of spring.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Weed and Feed
Type of Turf Grass
The best weed and feed product for your lawn depends on the type of grass you have. Grass species have different nutrient requirements, so not all of them are safe for every species of grass. Using the wrong product can damage your grass. In general, grass species are divided into two categories: warm season and cool season. The seasons do not refer to the time of year, but the climate and average soil temperature range.
- Warm-season turfgrasses grow best with average soil temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm-season grasses thrive in warmer climates found in the Southeastern and Southwestern United States and include Bahia grass, Bermuda grass, carpet grass, Saint Augustine grass, and zoysia grass (Japanese lawn grass).
- Cool-season turfgrasses grow best with average soil temperatures between 60 and 75 Fahrenheit. Cool-season grasses thrive in the cooler climates of the Midwest and Northern regions of the United States. Some cool-season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall and hard fescue.
Selecting a fertilizer and weed killer that’s compatible with your grass species will give you far better results.
To grow a lush lawn, your soil needs to have essential nutrients. Fertilizers temporarily add nutrients to the soil. Fertilizers denote their nutrient ratios as NPK. This denotation represents the percentage of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) in the product. This is how the nutrients help grass:
- Nitrogen helps the grass to grow properly and develop a green color.
- Phosphorus helps to develop strong root systems.
- Potassium protects plants from disease, drought, and cold.
There are at least 11 states that ban phosphorus fertilizer use or sale. Luckily, many lawn weed and feed products available have adapted to this and have removed phosphorus from the product. Don’t worry—the weed and feed will still green up and thicken the grass without the additional phosphorus.
Fertilizers can also contain secondary elements and micronutrients needed for healthy growth such as sulfur, calcium, magnesium, boron, iron, molybdenum, zinc, copper, chloride, nickel, and manganese. To find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs can be determined by conducting a soil test. You can either purchase a test to use at home or take a soil sample to your local cooperative extension testing office.
Many fertilizers also have built-in herbicides or weed preventatives. Some products are better at killing certain types of common weeds and pests than others. In general, most weed and feed target common types of broadleaf weeds including plantain, chickweed, creeping charlie, dandelions, and clover.
Weed preventers, or pre-emergent weed killers, block weed seeds that are already in the soil, like crabgrass, poa annua, chickweed, and henbit, from germinating. Identify the type of weeds that are infesting your lawn and then make sure you choose a product that’s made to take care of it.
Our Top Picks
The following list takes into account the above considerations to narrow the field to some of the most effective weed and feeds on the market. This list includes both liquid and granular weed treatments for improving your lawn.
The Best Weed Killers for Your Lawn for 2022
Wondering how to choose the best weed killer for your lawn? Read on to learn how weed killers work, how to apply these products, and our recommendations for the top weed killers.
If your lawn is getting out of control with weeds, hand pulling them just isn’t going to cut it. Sure, you can tug out a few by the root, but it may be difficult and time-consuming to do that for your entire yard. That’s where weed killers come in, often the best method for lawn weed control.
There are tons of lawn weed killers on the market, so it may be difficult to choose the exact right one for your lawn. The This Old House Reviews Team has rounded up the top weed killers for 2022—and how to choose them. For extensive weed control and lawn care, we recommend considering a lawn company like TruGreen.
Before you can choose the proper weed killer, you’ll have to determine exactly what type of weed you’re dealing with. Different weed types require different treatments—what’s effective for one may do little or no damage to another.
There are three main categories of weeds: broadleaf, grassy, and grass-like.
1. Broadleaf weeds
These weeds have broad, flat leaves, so it’s unlikely you’ll mistake them for grass. They thrive in soil that’s lacking key nutrients, and they come in different types—annual, biennial, and perennial, so different broadleaf weed varieties require different chemicals depending on their life cycle.
Examples of broadleaf weeds include dandelions, ground ivy, clover, chickweed, dollarweed, thistle, and oxalis.
2. Grassy weeds
Grassy weeds have leaves that look like grass blades, and they grow one at a time. Examples of grassy weeks include crabgrass, quackgrass, goosegrass, and foxtail.
3. Grass-like weeds
This weed type resembles grass, but its leaves are more tube-like and triangular than flat. Examples of grass-like weeks include garlic, nutsedge, and wild onion.
How Weed Killers Work
Weed killers work by using chemicals that kill the weed or prevent its growth. There are a variety of different herbicide types to treat weeds at different stages of their life cycle—or before they even sprout. Here are the main characteristics to consider when choosing your specific weed killer.
Pre- or post-emergent
Pre-emergent weed killers target weed seedlings before they get a chance to sprout. If weeds have already popped up, this type won’t help. Post-emergent weed killers are designed to eradicate weeds in their active growing season. You apply post-emergent weed killers directly to the plants’ leaves.
Selective or non-selective
This aspect is critical. Selective weed killers eliminate weeds without harming beneficial plants nearby, while non-selective herbicides will damage all nearby plants, even if they’re beneficial.
Systemic or topical
Systemic weed killers attack the entire plant, including the roots. Topical herbicides, on the other hand, only kill the areas where the weed killer is applied.
Persistent or non-persistent
Persistent weed killers stay active after you apply them to prevent future weeds. Non-persistent weed killers don’t offer ongoing weed control.
How to Apply Weed Killer
Even if you select the right weed killer, applying it incorrectly can make your efforts fruitless, and the wrong application can cause complications.
Many weed killers need to be diluted with water and put in a spray bottle. The product’s label will explain precisely how much water and weed killer you’ll need to combine. Some weed killers, however, come in granular form. Solid weed killers must be applied with a spreader.
When applying weed killer, timing is everything. You don’t want to apply weed killer immediately after mowing your lawn since that could harm your tender grass. The same goes for fertilizer. In both cases, wait several days before applying weed killer.
The weather also plays a role in when to apply weed killer. Applying weed killer when it’s too hot can stress your grass, and applying it right too soon before it rains means it can wash away before it gets absorbed.
The 3 Best Weed Killers
Here are the top three best weed killers for 2022.
This powerful, fast-acting weed killer battles the exterior part of the weeds it contacts as well as the root systems. It kills stubborn weeds very efficiently, and spraying weeds selectively will ensure your lawn stays intact.
Preen Garden Weed Preventer
This pre-emergent, selective weed killer offers residual effects, with ingredients remaining active in the soil for three months after application. Preen prevents nearly 30 broadleaf weed varieties without hurting nearby plants.
Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed
Scotts’ most powerful weed and feed thickens grass while crowding out weeds. It’s especially effective against dandelions and clover. The company offers a satisfaction guarantee, promising your money back if you aren’t satisfied with your results.
Top Recommended Professional Lawn Care Company: TruGreen
If you’re battling stubborn weeds or confused about what weed killer is best, it may be time to call in the experts. The This Old House Reviews Team’s top selection for lawn care, TruGreen, offers both pre and post-emergent weed control.
The specialists at TruGreen can create a custom-made plan to restore your lawn to its former health and make sure it can compete against future weeds. The lawn care company offers five annual plans with varying levels of coverage in every state except for Alaska and Hawaii.
*First application. See quote for terms and conditions.
How to Prevent Weeds
When it comes to tackling weeds, the best defense is a good offense. You should always take these steps to keep your grass hardy and robust, reducing the chances of weeds taking over.
- Water deeply and infrequently—If you want your grass to have strong, deep roots, you need to water deeply and infrequently instead of choosing shallow, daily watering. With deep, sturdy roots, your grass can grow nice and thick and compete with weeds that may try to grow.
- Mow high—Weeds need sunlight to grow. If you let your grass blades grow taller by setting your lawn mower to the first or second highest setting, the grass will grow tall enough to cast shade on any weed seeds, preventing them from sprouting.
- Feed regularly—Stressed lawns are more susceptible to being crowded by weeds. Feeding regularly will keep your lawn lush and make it less hospitable to enterprising weeds.
Our Rating Methodology
To provide readers with the most objective, accurate, and detailed recommendations, the This Old House Reviews Team continually researches lawn care service companies on the market. We take the following steps to obtain up-to-date information about the industry and each company we review:
- Analyze more than 100 customer reviews from third-party review sites, such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google Reviews, for each company
- Secret-shop for lawn care plans and packages to get a sense of cost, offered services, and the overall shopping experience for prospective customers
- Speak with representatives on the phone to simulate the customer service experience from each provider
- Update information on a regular basis to ensure the most accurate information when plans or services change with each company
We use the data from our research to build an in-depth rating system that allows us to score lawn care providers on a 100-point scale. Here are the factors in our evaluation and their designated scores:
- Plan options (30): As one of the most important factors for homeowners shopping for a lawn care service, this one is weighted heavily based on each company’s lawn coverage. Companies that offer more options, such as irrigation, weed control, seeding, and aeration services in addition to a general plan, score higher than others.
- Trustworthiness (30): Each company’s reputation is another significant factor for homeowners to consider before signing up for a plan. We scored providers based on their BBB score, accreditation, and offered guarantees available with each purchase.
- Additional Benefits (20): We gave extra points to companies that provide a few additional services and benefits with their offered plans, such as organic treatments, pest control services, and a mobile app for digital communication and plan management.
- Customer Service (10): In this rating category, we awarded points to customer-focused lawn care service providers who offer weekend availability and easy communication through phones, online chats, and online resources.
- Availability (10): We also scored companies based on their overall availability, rewarding those that are nationally available over local companies only operating in select cities or ZIP codes.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at [email protected].