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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

It’s the right time to fertilize – But not with Weed & Feed!

Why use something else? The heavily advertised and trendy "weed & feed" fertilizers usually contain atrazine, a toxic chemical herbicide that is effective at killing your trees and shrubs, in addition to weeds. A chemical like atrazine can’t tell the difference between plants you like and those you don’t.  
Another interesting point about these products is that non-organic people agree that these products should not be used together. Although the "chemicals are OK" people have no problem with synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, they do admit that the two ingredients in these products aren't suitable to be applied at the same time. The pre-emergent herbicide part of the products needs to be applied about 2 months earlier than the soluble fertilizer part of the products. That’s why it’s called pre-emergent.

 Plus, I can’t emphasize strongly enough that the poison atrazine should not be used on lawns at all, because the roots of trees cover the entire property of most lots. It can kill or weaken them.

This time of year, I suggest a cheaper, balanced fertilizer. Yes, your weeds will be fertilized too. But there are far more effective products for getting rid of them. The “weed” part of Weed & Feed is a total waste of your money.



Owen Yost, in addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, whos worked in north Texas for over 30 years.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at


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