Scotts Weed & Feed Safety. Two-in-one products that feed grass while killing weeds are a win-win solution for busy families who want an easy-to-maintain lawn that feels and looks great. Products such as Scotts Weed & Feed are safe to use every six to eight weeks if you follow manufacturer instructions. Keep … Thicken your lawn while clearing out over 50 types of weeds (as listed) with Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed3. It offers up to 2X more powerful dandelion and clover control (vs. previous formula). The Weedgrip Technology grips the weeds you see—and the ones you don't. Do not use on St. Augustinegrass, Floratam, dic Scotts 4 step lawn approach doesn’t provide what your lawn truly needs to look and perform its best. Learn what’s missing from Scotts Lawn Program and the issues it can cause.
Scotts Weed & Feed Safety
Two-in-one products that feed grass while killing weeds are a win-win solution for busy families who want an easy-to-maintain lawn that feels and looks great. Products such as Scotts Weed & Feed are safe to use every six to eight weeks if you follow manufacturer instructions. Keep off treated grass for 24 hours, allowing the fertilizer-herbicide combo to penetrate. Rinse the area thoroughly with spray nozzle or sprinkler. Let dry and let the lawn party begin.
The Marysville, Ohio-based company offers several combined fertilizer-herbicide products including Scotts Bonus S Weed & Feed, Scotts Turf Builder with Halts Crabgrass Preventer, Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed and Scotts Winterizer with Plus 2 Weed Control. It’s important to pick the product suited to your specific type of grass and weeds. The packaging for each product lists active and inert ingredients and may include urea, atrazine, ammonium phosphate, potassium sulfate, ammonium sulfate and nuisance dust.
Label instructions, warnings and the manufacturer’s Material Safety Data Sheets are your first line of protection. Read thoroughly. For example, you’ll see that urea powder causes nausea, vomiting and diarrhea if ingested. Obviously you want to prevent anyone from eating the stuff, including grazing animals with access to the lawn or grass clippings. Prolonged exposure to urea dust or excessive inhalation irritates the respiratory tract and can trigger breathing problems, particularly for people with asthma. You can also use the online U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Household Products Database to help you make healthy decisions for your family and environment.
For Lawns Only
Weed & Feed isn’t safe for ornamental plants or groundcovers. Keep applications at least 18 to 24 inches away from edible plants. Don’t let granules come in contact with exposed tree roots or foliage. Keep all traffic off the lawn until the product has been in place for 24 hours, has then been watered in and has dried. Wait six to eight weeks before planting ornamental trees and one year before planting vegetable or herb gardens in any treated area. Scotts garden consultants advise that if you accidentally spread the product in an edible garden, pull up, bag and dispose of annual plants. Give perennials in the garden plot a full year to recover.
Too much of a good thing scorches grass and contaminates groundwater as unused chemicals are washed away. If you accidentally overapply, water the lawn 1 inch per week for two to three weeks to aid recovery. Use a spreader for consistent application. Recommended settings for some spreaders are listed on Scotts’ bags. If yours isn’t, you can figure it out by emptying the recommended amount for 1,000 square feet, such as a 50-by-20 foot area, into the spreader. Use a midpoint spreader setting. If you run out of product before you finish in the test area set the spreader lower; if there’s some left, set it higher.
Scotts® Turf Builder® Weed & Feed₃
Thicken your lawn while clearing out over 50 types of weeds (as listed) with Scotts Turf Builder Weed & Feed3. It offers up to 2X more powerful dandelion and clover control (vs. previous formula). The Weedgrip Technology grips the weeds you see—and the ones you don’t. Do not use on St. Augustinegrass, Floratam, dichondra, lippia, carpetgrass, or bentgrass lawns. Apply with a Scotts drop, broadcast, or rotary spreader to a wet lawn during any season to thicken your lawn and crowd out weeds. Covers up to 14,000 sq. ft.
Offers up to 2X more powerful weed control in your lawn (versus prior formulation) to clear out dandelion, clover and other common weeds.
WeedGrip Technology grips the weeds you see and the ones you don’t to make room for strong, green grass to grow.
The 4 Big Problems with the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care Approach: DIY Concerns for Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, & N. Kentucky
People like things that are easy and for good reason. Our lives are already so busy, the last thing that we want to do is waste unnecessary time on tasks that can be simplified.
That’s exactly why the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is so popular. Scotts LawnService is capitalizing on your desire to have a simplified and easy-to-follow program that takes the guesswork out of your lawn care.
The trouble is, the program is severely lacking.
It’s not even close to everything that your lawn needs to look and perform its best. In order to give you a sense of what’s missing, let’s walk through each of the steps in this 4 step lawn care program and fill in the missing elements.
Step 1 (Problem 1)
The first step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is crabgrass preventer and lawn food. The program advises getting an application down some time “on or before Easter.”
First and foremost, that timeline is concerning. We understand that Scotts is attempting to simplify the program by using a holiday that you’ll remember but the date of Easter changes every year.
The timing of when you get crabgrass preventer (or more specifically, “pre-emergent”) down is absolutely critical to its success. It has less to do with a specific date as it does the soil temperatures and we are watching those closely to ensure that we’re starting the program at the ideal time.
It’s important to put the product down prior to crabgrass seeds beginning to germinate since the product works by forming a barrier that prevents it from growing.
Another problem with Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care is that one application is probably not enough to prevent a weed that is as persistent and unceasing as crabgrass.
At Oasis, we apply two rounds of crabgrass pre-emergent due to its tenacity. In the spring, we’re also prone to getting a lot of rain and that can breakdown the product to some degree. By putting down two applications, we ensure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent this stubborn weed.
Of course, if it does break through, we also include spot-spraying of post-emergent crabgrass control in our program to knock it back. Addressing breakthrough is a key element that the Scotts program is missing. Even the best crabgrass prevention efforts are not 100% effective.
Step 2 (Problem 2)
The next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is weed control plus lawn food. The biggest problem with the product needed for step two is that it’s a granular weed control product which is far less effective than a liquid weed control product—particularly one that is professional grade.
With this store-bought product from Scotts, the lawn must be wet when you apply it with no rain in the immediate forecast. Scotts is upfront about that. They say their product must be applied on a “calm day, on a damp lawn, and when rain is not expected for at least 24 hours.”
But what a pain to have to wait for these ideal weather conditions when you likely have work or other things to attend to. If you only have your weekends to work on your lawn, finding this ideal day may be challenging.
Plus, even if you apply when the conditions are just right, research from Ohio State University shows that store-bought (non-professional-grade) products are only 40 percent effective as compared to professional-grade weed control products. When weeds are often one of homeowners’ biggest complaints, why accept 40 percent effectiveness?
It’s also worth mentioning the timeline of Step Two, which is to apply “near Memorial Day.” By Memorial Day, you are already going to have so many weeds. That is on the late side to start aggressively attacking weeds as you ought to be.
Step 3 (Problem 3)
Now we’re at the mid-summer point and the next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is lawn food with iron.
But your lawn needs so much more than just lawn food. This is really the time when your lawn care program should be attacking crabgrass breakthrough as well as nutsedge and summer annual weeds, which requires their own specialized treatments.
At this time, your lawn care program should also be including grub control and treatment for surface-feeding insects, which can truly wreak havoc on your turf if not dealt with.
The Scotts 4-step program never gets into addressing lawn insects, which are a serious threat.
Step 4 (Problem 4)
The final step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program features a product for Fall Lawn Food. It does not address weeds, which absolutely need to be treated again.
The bottom line is that from steps 1 through 4, this program is very incomplete. It is missing quite a bit, including a focus on soil health, which is truly the secret to a fantastic lawn.
At Oasis, we’re focused on soil health throughout the entire program, utilizing bionutrition that has a significant impact on the overall results.
The Truth? 4 Step Lawn Care is a Bit Misleading
In theory, the idea of a simple 4-step program sounds nice. Scotts did everything they could to simplify the program and make it sound easy for do-it-yourselfers. However, it’s also quite misleading in that it’s marketed as being a complete program when it’s really not. It’s missing so many important services and when you start adding them in, it’s not all that simple (or cost-effective) after all.
How Much Does 4 Step Lawn Care Really Cost?
Speaking of cost, it adds up quicker than you might think. The bags alone are $110 on Amazon, but that’s assuming you don’t need to buy more than that. If you have a larger lawn, you will.
You can expect a cheap spreader to cost $60 to $90, and that’s not even for a good-quality one. The costs start to add up quickly and for what is likely going to give you sub-par results, you have to question whether it’s worth it.
No 4 Step Lawn Care Guarantee
Plus, there are no guarantees. If it doesn’t work, what’s your recourse? Scotts is not going to refund you for purchasing all of the bags.
When you work with a professional lawn care company, they’re going to stand behind their work. If weeds don’t die after spraying them, they’ll return to take care of them.
Working with a pro eliminates the hassles as well. Let’s be honest, it’s a pain to have to go out and buy these products—not to mention having to worry about the timeline for applications. That’s why we find that Oasis Turf & Tree customers really don’t hire us to make their lawn beautiful (even though we do), they hire us to take away their worries.
As simple as 4 step lawn care may sound, you probably don’t want to have to worry about doing any of it yourself. You’d rather have a professional who knows exactly what your lawn needs (and when), take the reins. Fortunately, when you hand over your lawn care needs to Oasis Turf & Tree, you get to hand over your worries, too.
Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams!