WEED AND FEED for Lawn – 5 Reasons Not to Use It!

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 its use

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.
We recommend hand-weeding or liquid weed control or Call Surf & Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC and we’ll take care of it for you!


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 were present. We recommend hand weeding or liquid weed control or call Surf &Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC and we’ll take care of it for you!

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 and bedding plants or garden plants
  • Do not apply on or under the branch spread (root zone) of trees, shrubs, bedding plants, flowers or garden plants
  • Do not apply by hand or with 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; the 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 and Feed products is common among house owners, which results in higher levels of pesticides present in the soil to be taken up by your tree thus 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 harshest time to apply, and any damage in the early spring can affect the tree’s health for the entire growing season. Healthy trees can usually tolerate one Weed and 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 trees 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 washed 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. Run off and drift from your WEED AND FEEDed 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 bio-accumulative 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 chemical. 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 tri-state region of NH, VT and MA, we are happy to talk with you about your lawn. Our lawn experts know exactly when to apply fertilizers properly and we use the best products in the market that area specifically designed for the northeast’s climate.

We are also experts in applying the correct amount of fertilizer at the right time. We cannot tell you how many times we have seen burned lawns from over-applications by homeowners. For weeks, we only use spot spray weed control treatments when needed, we never spot spray for weeds where there are none!

As we care for our environment, we have to do all we are able to do to be good stewards, and that means designing programs that work in harmony with nature so that you can have a healthy green lawn.

If you are just not into hand-weeding, email or call Surf & Turf Landscape Specialist, LLC today and we’ll discuss the perfect weed control and/or lawn fertilization program for you.