You see it everywhere. You see the stuff sitting on pallets in front of the supermarket. Weed and Feed. Fertilizer and weed control in one bag. They promise the world, but what they deliver is a whole different story.
The True Story
Many non-organic landscapers agree that weed and feed products are not a good idea. In fact, those who really know their stuff will tell you that the two products that make up the weed and feed mix should not even be applied at the same time. Most of these products contain atrazine. Atrazine is a powerful herbicide that targets broadleaf weeds. That includes your ornamental plantings such as trees and shrubs. Pre-emergents, by and large, should be applied about two months earlier than the soluble fertilizers that make up the feed part of the weed and feed product. Considering the fact that if you have trees on your residential lot, the root system for those trees probably covers your entire lot, so you are, in effect, poisoning your trees every time you apply one of these products.
What the Makers Say
Here is a short excerpt from the label of a popular brand of weed and feed product.
“Do not use under
trees, shrubs, bedding plants, or garden plants.”
“Do not apply on or under the branch spread (rootzone) of trees, shrubs, bedding plants, flowers, or garden plants.”
“Do not apply by hand or hand-held rotary devices.”
“Do not apply this product in a way that will contact any person either directly or through drift.”
“Runoff and drift from treated areas may be hazardous to aquatic organisms in neighboring areas.”
“This product is toxic to aquatic invertebrates.”
Weed and feed products should be avoided entirely for the health of your landscape, yourself, and your family. There are plenty of organic products commercially available that work, as well as the synthetic fertilizers and weed controls.
For more information about the dangers to you and the ecosystem posed by organic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, visit our website at https://www.westtexasorganicgardening.com.
Links and Resources
For more information about organic gardening, lifestyles, and living, visit our website at West Texas Organic Gardening.
If you found the information here helpful, you might also find these articles on our website of interest.
If you have more specific questions or problems, you can contact us using the contact form on our website. You can also post your question to our community forum at this page; West Texas Organic Gardening Community Forum.
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