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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Weed-and-Feed Products

Some fertilizer products contain preemergent or postemergent herbicides for weed control, usually crabgrass prevention or control of broadleaf weeds.

When to use these products

  • Use only when the lawn has a known weed problem, not every time you fertilize.
  • Apply when you have observed high numbers of weeds and are sure treatment is necessary. With preemergent products, this means relying upon weed populations observed the previous year.

What to watch out for

  • Be sure the active ingredient in the product is one that will control the weed species that is causing your problems and also that the timing is right.
  • It is useless to apply preemergent herbicides after target weeds have emerged.
  • Be aware that certain broadleaf herbicides, such as dicamba (found in several weed-and-feed products) and triclopyr can be absorbed by tree roots growing in lawns and may injure trees if applied too close to the tree drip line.
  • Precautions are always listed on the herbicide label.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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