There are many organic experts with videos on YouTube explaining how to create organic herbicides. You should try to create one yourself if you do not feel like purchasing one from Amazon or your local gardening store.
If you like flame throwers, you now have the opportunity to purchase one that actually has a good use. A flame weeder is essentially a flame torch. It allows you to burn to death every weed that is giving your nightmares on your lawn.
Weed ‘n feed fertilizers are not recommended for five key reasons.
One of the most commonly used ingredients in the market of herbicides is horticultural white vinegar. It kills weeds fast. Corn gluten is also a common ingredient in organic herbicides.
Make your own weed killer
Answer: Yes, it can but it is not recommended.
Also known as weed ‘n feed, this special type of fertilizer is sold by many sellers online and in brick and mortar stores despite having substances that are not very friendly to humans. It is estimated that about 30 million pounds of this type of fertilizer is applied to lawns, parks, and cemeteries across the United States.
While applying a weed ‘n feed fertilizer can improve your lawn significantly because it is fertilizer and a weed killer, in the long-term the product will affect your lawn negatively. This is because continuously applying excessive herbicide on your lawn means you are adding chemicals that are not needed and not being used by your grass.
Natural weed control
However, if you choose to use organic herbicides, you should read about organic herbicides keenly because some of them can also kill grass.
As the chemicals continue accumulating in your lawn’s topsoil, they will get to a toxic level and kill beneficial bacteria and fungi in it resulting in poor grass/ lawn health.
And unless your weeds are running rampant, try spot spraying them in the fall instead of putting down herbicide over your entire lawn. That’s just one small step you can take for sustainability.
Then there’s the fertilizer. It should be mostly nitrogen, and I’ll admit that it can really green up the grass in a hurry. But it can also fuel lush top growth at the expense of roots, and you want those roots going deep for moisture so the grass can outcompete weeds during the hot, dry summer months to come. That lush top growth also means you’ll need to mow more often and deal with more clippings.
ITHACA, N.Y. – It’s a sure sign of spring: The robins return and millions of lawn owners head out to apply fertilizer and weed- killers to their lawns – a rite widely known as “weed and feed.”
Other weed and feed products are designed for late-spring application. They contain herbicides designed to kill actively growing broadleaf weeds like dandelions. But if you want to kill broadleaf weeds, these herbicides are much more effective if you apply them in fall. At that time, the weeds are storing up reserves for winter and moving nutrients from the leaves to the roots. They move the herbicide to the roots at the same time, resulting in a better kill.
Editors note: Rossi is a turf specialist and associate professor in the Department of Horticulture, Cornell University. This is the first in a series where Rossi debunks common lawn myths. His advice targets cool-season grass growing regions in the Northeast, but may be applicable in regions with similar growing conditions.
But here’s the problem: Early spring probably isn’t the best time for you to fertilize your grass or apply herbicides unless you have a history of weed problems.
Trouble is, this assumes that you’ve got weed seeds in your soil ready to sprout. If you’ve been using pre-emergent herbicides regularly or otherwise doing a good job of controlling weeds and keeping them from going to seed, you may have exhausted the supply of weed seeds in the soil. If that’s the case, applying pre-emergent herbicides is like clapping your hands to keep the lions away.
If you’re going to apply fertilizer, Memorial Day and Labor Day are better times to do it. And with recent restrictions on phosphorus fertilizer in many areas and the lack of evidence that potassium will improve your lawn in most circumstances, shop around for fertilizers that are all nitrogen.
Let’s start with the herbicides. Weed and feed products designed for early-spring application usually contain pre-emergent herbicides. They work by preventing weed seeds from sprouting, and they can be an effective way to control crabgrass and some broadleaf weeds.
The lawn improvement marketplace is full of convenient weed and feed products. However, these mixtures do not kill established weeds; rather they use preemergent herbicides to impede weed germination. If you have an established weed problem, avoid the weed and feed mixtures and use the spot spray strategy. Overall, using herbicides and fertilizers separately allows you to control their application closely for the best lawn care.
After spraying the weeds with herbicide, it is good practice to wait at least one week before fertilizing. In fact, your grass needs fertilizing even through the fall and winter. A good rule of thumb is fertilizing at least four times a year, such as every two months during fall, winter and spring. Skipping fertilization during the summer is often practiced because the water to wash the nutrients into the soil, whether from rainfall or watering, may evaporate quickly and impede the fertilizer’s performance.
Your lawn may not look like a professionally maintained park if it has dandelions and other weeds scattered around it. If you plan to use weed killers to deal with the weeds and fertilizers to make the grass lush, you need to apply them in the right order for the best results.
Relying on herbicides for constant weed control is not the best way to maintain your lawn. A healthy, thick grass structure creates a barrier to germinating weed seeds because sunlight cannot penetrate through the blades to stimulate seed growth. Grass blades should stand at least 2 inches tall to retain this barrier against weed seedlings. In addition, keeping a pH meter handy to test your soil is a practical strategy for maintaining your soil. If your soil stays at a pH of 7.0, the grass has the best environment for thick and lush growth.
Improving Soil Health
Spraying weeds with a safe herbicide is the first course of action to improve your lawn. Weeds steal water and nutrients from your grass, especially because both plants’ roots populate the first few inches of the soil. If you have bare spots across portions of your lawn, you can till these areas to bring any weed seeds to the surface. Apply a preemergent herbicide to the bare soil and wait the recommended period of time before reseeding with the appropriate grass species. Bare spots less than the size of your hand will fill in naturally. Spray any weeds that appear with an herbicide, such as a glyphosate product, to stop further weed growth.
Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities.