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Thread: What do you believe is the best weed and feed for lawns in the upper midwest?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Wayland, MA
    Posts
    1,906
    None.

    If I fertilize I just need to cut it more often, if I apply weed killer it would kill the clover, crocus, scilla, and violets (and, dare I say it, dandelions) I try to encourage in the lawn. We keep bees and maintaining as wide a diversity as possible of abundant flowers, especially in early spring seems wise. Plus it's really pretty.

    I do use a crabgrass pre-emergent once every few years to keep the stuff at bay.

    Home lawn fertilizer is a major source of nitrogen pollution that screws up our streams and ponds, and as far as I can tell is completely unnecessary. Clover stays much greener through the summer and puts nitrogen into the soil to support the grasses there. Plus the bees love it.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    3,551
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    if I apply weed killer it would kill the clover, crocus, scilla, and violets (and, dare I say it, dandelions) I try to encourage in the lawn.
    It doesn't kill that stuff if you don't spray that stuff. My lawn has a lot of clover in it; I just don't spray it.
    If you like weeds, then I guess you are all set.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    NW Indiana
    Posts
    2,496
    Many broad leaf weed sprays will not kill clover and you need a different one for clover.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,589

    Spraying to kill

    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    ... if I apply weed killer it would kill the clover, crocus, scilla, and violets (and, dare I say it, dandelions) I try to encourage in the lawn. We keep bees and maintaining as wide a diversity as possible of abundant flowers, especially in early spring seems wise. Plus it's really pretty.
    ...
    Clover stays much greener through the summer and puts nitrogen into the soil to support the grasses there. Plus the bees love it.
    Reminds me of a neighbor I had years ago who said he was happy as long as it was green instead of brown.

    I've never sprayed my lawn for weeds nor fertilized it. This is not a golf course. I have some areas around the farm with huge amounts of white clover which I encourage just because of the bees. In the peak I don't mow but where I have to mow I set the blades high to get the tall grass and weeds and leave most of the clover. The horses/donkeys/llamas love the clover. Some people try to kill it in the pastures but clover is fine unless moldy, such as in moldy bales of hay.

    But I do spray the pastures with 2-4-D when the buttercup gets out of hand. That nasty stuff will take over everything around here and the problem is nothing will eat it, not even goats which will eat almost everything. It's so foul that if I mow it my eyes burn from whatever compound is released. If it gets bad I'll use a boom sprayer in the spring and the buttercup is gone for years. Spot spraying with a backpack gets the isolated plants.

    I used to fight dandelions by digging them up one at a time but the honeybees like them so much I quit. I see only a few so far this year but they've been heavy in the local bradford pear trees, weeping cherry, the peach and pear, and maple trees. It's amazing how much pollen they are bringing in on a warm day. (70 yesterday) What a wonderful time of the year! (I hope the snow is melting for you who live in the frozen north!)

    JKJ

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Berkshire County in Western Ma
    Posts
    188
    Beekeeper here. I don't spray anything in my yard. In fact, when I started mowing less in some sections, I was amazed at the interesting flowers that were just waiting for the chance to grow. I understand some people like a lush lawn, and depending on where you live there are ordinances about keeping the grass mowed to a certain height etc. I like seeing the bees visiting the varieties of clover, dandelions, creeping charlie, crocuses and other flowers. I also have a soft spot for plantain and other "weeds"

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    820
    My yard looks like a Monet painting in the spring. The bluets by the thousands, Indian paintbrush,violets, just keep coming. I also have moss and many mushrooms in the late summer, fall.
    I hay my yard for my vegetable garden. Let the flowers grow up to 18" in large sections, after coming to seed; Ithen mow them down for the summer flowers and red clover to follow.
    Bees, butterflys and hummingbirds are our summer friends.

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,589
    Plant some golden rain trees! There are thousands of bees in mine from sunup to sundown for a month every year.

    BEE_golden_rain_tree_comp.jpg bee_goldenrain_P6230988ecSMALL.jpg bee_golden_rain_3.jpg

    I have two and a neighbor down the road has one.

    I can mail some seeds.

    JKJ

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    820
    Sounds like a nice tree John. My hydrangea tree is 15 feet around and 10 feet tall. It produces thousands of flowers for the bees in late summer. They love the Holly too.

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    E TN, near Knoxville
    Posts
    9,589
    Quote Originally Posted by michael langman View Post
    Sounds like a nice tree John. My hydrangea tree is 15 feet around and 10 feet tall. It produces thousands of flowers for the bees in late summer. They love the Holly too.
    We have several big oak leaf hydrangeas so I know what you mean!

    I have one big holly maybe 35' high - on a quiet morning during the bloom I can hear the bees from 40' away!

    This is especially enjoyable for me because when I moved here and before I started keeping bees I never saw a single bee around the farm.

    JKJ

  10. #25
    There are a number of oak leaf hydrangas, one of the best of the large ones is ALICE. One of many Dirr introductions.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Putney, Vermont
    Posts
    820
    Yes, it gives you a good feeling when you know you are supporting so many insects and birds and they acnowledge it to you in appreciation. The bees are wild on my property, but they are completely docile around me and we just go about our business together.
    Every time I go outside or come home from somewhere numerous birds say hello to me and seem to feel relief from my absence.
    A great time of year for sure.

  12. #27
    I use products produced by Scott's

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    1,423
    Back when HGTV was about helping homeowners instead of amateur real estate investors, they had a regular program with a gardening "expert". I recall him saying "think of your yard as a meadow instead of a lawn. I like to encourage diversity in what grows there." It was said as a joke but there was more than a little truth in it.

  14. I'm using Melnor 65078-AMZ XT Turbo for 1,5 year. I can't complain, everything is fine. Power/duration of work/price are ok for me. all the other things I do myself together with my wife.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    26
    sorry if it's a bit late but i hope it might help

    Quote Originally Posted by William Batdorf View Post
    I use products manufactured by Lebanon Seaboard. Not sure if their products are available in you local area. I buy from a locally owned pro turf products business.
    In Maryland, when I do fertilize, I use Lebanon's Greenview Fairway formula (fert only), it's about 60% slow release, lasts about 3 months, and is a uniform product (not separate fertilizers). The Fairway formulas have a two application approach, once in the spring and once in the fall.

    Most of the time I only apply it in the fall at a lower rate if the lawn needs it

    You can get it on line from Greenview and from garden centers, I've not seen it in the borgs.

    Get a soil test first to see what you need, maybe the ph also needs adjusting.

    That said, you could go the organic route, from like Espoma and Dr.Earth, but some "organic" fertilizers are processed chicken poo, feather meal, or treated sewage.
    Last edited by Mike Soaper; 05-27-2020 at 1:24 PM.

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