Scotts 4 step lawn approach doesn’t provide what your lawn truly needs to look and perform its best. Learn what’s missing from Scotts Lawn Program and the issues it can cause. Scotts has two different weed and feed products: Scotts Lawn Pro Super Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control, and Scotts Super Bonus S Weed and Feed. (As with other chemical lawn applications you must be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions). Weed and feed does just that–it feeds the lawn to promote root … Learn how long it takes Scotts Weed and Feed to work to make sure you apply the right amount at the right times.
The 4 Big Problems with the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care Approach: DIY Concerns for Cincinnati, Dayton, OH, & N. Kentucky
People like things that are easy and for good reason. Our lives are already so busy, the last thing that we want to do is waste unnecessary time on tasks that can be simplified.
That’s exactly why the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is so popular. Scotts LawnService is capitalizing on your desire to have a simplified and easy-to-follow program that takes the guesswork out of your lawn care.
The trouble is, the program is severely lacking.
It’s not even close to everything that your lawn needs to look and perform its best. In order to give you a sense of what’s missing, let’s walk through each of the steps in this 4 step lawn care program and fill in the missing elements.
Step 1 (Problem 1)
The first step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is crabgrass preventer and lawn food. The program advises getting an application down some time “on or before Easter.”
First and foremost, that timeline is concerning. We understand that Scotts is attempting to simplify the program by using a holiday that you’ll remember but the date of Easter changes every year.
The timing of when you get crabgrass preventer (or more specifically, “pre-emergent”) down is absolutely critical to its success. It has less to do with a specific date as it does the soil temperatures and we are watching those closely to ensure that we’re starting the program at the ideal time.
It’s important to put the product down prior to crabgrass seeds beginning to germinate since the product works by forming a barrier that prevents it from growing.
Another problem with Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care is that one application is probably not enough to prevent a weed that is as persistent and unceasing as crabgrass.
At Oasis, we apply two rounds of crabgrass pre-emergent due to its tenacity. In the spring, we’re also prone to getting a lot of rain and that can breakdown the product to some degree. By putting down two applications, we ensure that we’re doing everything we can to prevent this stubborn weed.
Of course, if it does break through, we also include spot-spraying of post-emergent crabgrass control in our program to knock it back. Addressing breakthrough is a key element that the Scotts program is missing. Even the best crabgrass prevention efforts are not 100% effective.
Step 2 (Problem 2)
The next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is weed control plus lawn food. The biggest problem with the product needed for step two is that it’s a granular weed control product which is far less effective than a liquid weed control product—particularly one that is professional grade.
With this store-bought product from Scotts, the lawn must be wet when you apply it with no rain in the immediate forecast. Scotts is upfront about that. They say their product must be applied on a “calm day, on a damp lawn, and when rain is not expected for at least 24 hours.”
But what a pain to have to wait for these ideal weather conditions when you likely have work or other things to attend to. If you only have your weekends to work on your lawn, finding this ideal day may be challenging.
Plus, even if you apply when the conditions are just right, research from Ohio State University shows that store-bought (non-professional-grade) products are only 40 percent effective as compared to professional-grade weed control products. When weeds are often one of homeowners’ biggest complaints, why accept 40 percent effectiveness?
It’s also worth mentioning the timeline of Step Two, which is to apply “near Memorial Day.” By Memorial Day, you are already going to have so many weeds. That is on the late side to start aggressively attacking weeds as you ought to be.
Step 3 (Problem 3)
Now we’re at the mid-summer point and the next step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program is lawn food with iron.
But your lawn needs so much more than just lawn food. This is really the time when your lawn care program should be attacking crabgrass breakthrough as well as nutsedge and summer annual weeds, which requires their own specialized treatments.
At this time, your lawn care program should also be including grub control and treatment for surface-feeding insects, which can truly wreak havoc on your turf if not dealt with.
The Scotts 4-step program never gets into addressing lawn insects, which are a serious threat.
Step 4 (Problem 4)
The final step in the Scotts 4 Step Lawn Care program features a product for Fall Lawn Food. It does not address weeds, which absolutely need to be treated again.
The bottom line is that from steps 1 through 4, this program is very incomplete. It is missing quite a bit, including a focus on soil health, which is truly the secret to a fantastic lawn.
At Oasis, we’re focused on soil health throughout the entire program, utilizing bionutrition that has a significant impact on the overall results.
The Truth? 4 Step Lawn Care is a Bit Misleading
In theory, the idea of a simple 4-step program sounds nice. Scotts did everything they could to simplify the program and make it sound easy for do-it-yourselfers. However, it’s also quite misleading in that it’s marketed as being a complete program when it’s really not. It’s missing so many important services and when you start adding them in, it’s not all that simple (or cost-effective) after all.
How Much Does 4 Step Lawn Care Really Cost?
Speaking of cost, it adds up quicker than you might think. The bags alone are $110 on Amazon, but that’s assuming you don’t need to buy more than that. If you have a larger lawn, you will.
You can expect a cheap spreader to cost $60 to $90, and that’s not even for a good-quality one. The costs start to add up quickly and for what is likely going to give you sub-par results, you have to question whether it’s worth it.
No 4 Step Lawn Care Guarantee
Plus, there are no guarantees. If it doesn’t work, what’s your recourse? Scotts is not going to refund you for purchasing all of the bags.
When you work with a professional lawn care company, they’re going to stand behind their work. If weeds don’t die after spraying them, they’ll return to take care of them.
Working with a pro eliminates the hassles as well. Let’s be honest, it’s a pain to have to go out and buy these products—not to mention having to worry about the timeline for applications. That’s why we find that Oasis Turf & Tree customers really don’t hire us to make their lawn beautiful (even though we do), they hire us to take away their worries.
As simple as 4 step lawn care may sound, you probably don’t want to have to worry about doing any of it yourself. You’d rather have a professional who knows exactly what your lawn needs (and when), take the reins. Fortunately, when you hand over your lawn care needs to Oasis Turf & Tree, you get to hand over your worries, too.
Want to learn more about professional lawn care services for your Cincinnati, Dayton, Ohio, or Northern Kentucky home? Request your quote, choose the lawn care program that’s right for you, and then sit back and relax as the pros help you get the lawn of your dreams!
How to Apply Scotts Weed & Feed
Scotts has two different weed and feed products: Scotts Lawn Pro Super Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control, and Scotts Super Bonus S Weed and Feed. (As with other chemical lawn applications you must be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions). Weed and feed does just that–it feeds the lawn to promote root growth and lawn density, and also kills dandelions and other lawn weeds. Scotts Plus 2 should only be used twice during the growing season, and when dandelions and other lawn weeds are growing. The Super Bonus can be applied anytime weeds are growing. Be sure to read the packaging label as both products can be harmful to certain types of grass and should not be used on them.
Check the weather forecast before applying the Scotts product. Rain should not be forecasted for at least 24 hours after applying the fertilizer. Do not water your lawn for 24 hours after applying the weed and feed. Also, the fertilizer should be applied when there is little or no wind–otherwise there is a possibility that the fertilizer will be blown on plants and shrubs.
- Scotts has two different weed and feed products: Scotts Lawn Pro Super Turf Builder with Plus 2 Weed Control, and Scotts Super Bonus S Weed and Feed.
- ( Scotts Plus 2 should only be used twice during the growing season, and when dandelions and other lawn weeds are growing.
Check the grass to make sure that it is slightly wet from the morning dew. If the grass is dry you will need to sprinkle it lightly before applying the fertilizer. The moisture enables the fertilizer to stick to the blades of grass and to the weeds.
Set the gauge on the spreader according to the setting gauge chart on the bag of Scotts Weed and Feed. There are two types of spreaders, rotary or broadcast spreaders and drop spreaders. The spreaders have settings on them to control how much fertilizer is dropped. The correct setting will be listed on the fertilizer bag.
- Check the grass to make sure that it is slightly wet from the morning dew.
- The correct setting will be listed on the fertilizer bag.
Fill the hopper with fertilizer. Fill it while on a sidewalk or driveway as you do not want to get a concentrated amount of fertilizer on the lawn should you spill some.
Apply the fertilizer following the directions on your spreader. Do not overlap your application as it will apply too much fertilizer in one area and there is a possibility of burning the grass. Do not stop in one spot with the release lever open, as this will also send a concentrated amount of fertilizer in one spot–burning the grass.
When the lawn is complete, sweep away any fertilizer that has gotten on the sidewalk or driveway. Also, rinse out your spreader and allow it to dry.
- Fill the hopper with fertilizer.
- Do not overlap your application as it will apply too much fertilizer in one area and there is a possibility of burning the grass.
Wash your hands thoroughly after working with fertilizer. Grass should not touch the bottom of the spreader when applying the fertilizer. Therefore, be sure to mow any tall grass before putting down the weed and feed. Do not apply to newly seeded lawns.
Keep children and pets off of the grass after applying fertilizer for at least 24 hours (until after you water the lawn).
How Long Does Scotts Weed and Feed Take to Work?
It may take up to 14 days to see full weed-killing results from Scotts Weed and Feed. However, the effects of the fertilizer component in the weed and feed will begin to work in as little as 1–5 days, with additional results for several weeks afterward.
The active ingredients in Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed are Dicamba and Mecropop, which are both post-emergent herbicides that attack established weeds in your lawn without harming the grass. These herbicides work by attacking plant systems to kill weeds down to the root. This process takes time but yields great results.
Table of Contents
How to Apply Scotts Weed and Feed for Best Results
To get the most out of your weed and feed, it’s essential to apply the product to your lawn at the right time and under the right conditions. Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed performs best when applied according to these guidelines:
- Temperatures are 60–90℉.
- The lawn is damp (from dew or light sprinkling) but not wet.
- A lawn spreader is used to evenly distribute the product.
- Do not water the lawn for 24 hours after application.
- Avoid mowing for 48 hours after application.
A damp lawn provides the best surface for the herbicide to stick to weed leaves, which helps the weed control product infiltrate the plants and begin killing them. This provides a huge boost in its effectiveness. Just make sure your lawn isn’t so wet that the product washes away.
Signs Scotts Weed and Feed is Working
How will you know if your lawn care mission was a success? In order to determine if your Scott’s Weed and Feed application is delivering results, look for these signs:
- 1–5 Days: Greener grass that appears to be growing thicker and faster.
- 7 Days: Initial yellowing and wilting of weeds in the grass.
- 14 Days: Most weeds in the lawn are brown, dead, and easily pulled out by hand.
- 30 Days: Most broadleaf weeds in the lawn are dead. The grass is much more green and lush than before.
By following the application for Scotts Weed and Feed, you will initially see your grass growth surge as broadleaf weeds begin to wilt. Over time, the weeds will die as the grass grows thicker, taking over places where weeds previously grew.
How Long Does Scotts Weed and Feed Take to Absorb?
It can take up to 24 hours for Scotts Weed and Feed to be completely absorbed into weed systems. This is the reason it’s important to avoid watering and/or mowing shortly after applying weed and feed.
Although most of the herbicides in Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed are absorbed within 24 hours, the chemicals still require time to work their way through the plant and kill it. Just because the herbicide has been absorbed doesn’t mean it’s done working. Remain patient as the product works to wipe out weeds.
Can You Water after Spreading Weed and Feed?
Wait 24-48 hours before watering your lawn after spreading Scotts Weed and Feed. If you water too soon after application, you risk washing the herbicide off plant leaves. Watering too soon after application can seriously diminish the effectiveness of the product.
- Avoid watering for 24 hours after spreading weed and feed.
- Do not spread weed and feed if rain is forecasted to fall within 24 hours.
- Water the day before spreading weed and feed, to ensure the lawn is damp but not wet.
Rain can wash away your weed control product just like a lawn sprinkler. If rain is likely to fall within 24 hours of applying weed and feed to your yard, wait to apply another day. If you’re worried about your lawn drying out, water the day before spreading weed and feed. This will keep the lawn moist, causing the weed and feed to stick to plant leaves and maintain grass health.
How Soon Can You Mow after Spreading Weed and Feed?
Allow 48 hours to pass after weed and feed application before mowing a lawn. Mowing can not only unevenly distribute fertilizer and herbicide, it can even throw weed and feed into garden areas, where the herbicide ingredients can harm vegetables and flowering plants.
- Wait 48 hours before mowing.
- Mowing too soon can spread weed and feed onto garden plants, potentially killing them.
- Fertilizer may be spread unevenly by mowing.
The fertilizer in Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed performs best when allowed a full 48 hours to break down and enter the soil. For best results in killing weeds and building a healthier lawn, hold off on mowing after application.
How Soon Will Scotts Weed and Feed Show Results?
Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed does two things at once: feeds your yard and kills weeds. You will begin to see a greener, healthier grass in 1–5 days, with full results in 4–6 weeks. On the weed control front, Scotts will begin to kill weeds within 7 days but will show complete results in 14 days.
When applied correctly, weed and feed will deliver a big impact by both killing weeds and boosting your lawn’s performance. All it requires is patience and correct application to get the most out of the product.