How Lawn Fertilizer Helps in Weed Control

Maintaining a lush, green landscape takes a lot of work. Unfortunately, even the most well-kept lawn encounters occasional weed issues, and it can somehow be frustrating to find a weed or two sprouting up along with your desired grass.

Lawn fertilizers are essential in promoting healthy grass growth. But beyond the benefits for the grass itself, proper fertilization also aids in weed control. A well-fertilized soil grows into a thick, green landscape with little room for weeds to grow. It provides the necessary nutrients to support the grass in outcompeting weeds for sunlight, water, air, and nutrition.


Why You Should Fertilize Your Lawn to Prevent Weed Growth

Read further to learn how an effective fertilizer program prevents weed growth while nourishing your grass.

Nitrogen in Fertilizer Makes the Soil Less Appealing to Weeds

Nitrogen, found in many grass fertilizers, encourages lush, dense growth and boosts disease resistance. However, using the right amount of nitrogen is crucial, as excess nitrogen can benefit certain lawn weeds, such as broadleaf weeds. On the other hand, the presence of clover may suggest a nitrogen deficiency. 

Feeding your lawn with the right amount of nitrogen fertilizer not only improves your lawn's overall health but also serves as a natural weed control method, preventing weeds from thriving on your property.

Lawn Fertilizer Encourages Dense Growth

Fertilizers aid in developing a stronger root system for the lawn, improving its ability to absorb water and essential nutrients. Consequently, it contributes to a healthier, denser lawn with heightened weed resistance. 

By providing the right balance of nutrients, fertilizers promote lush and dense growth, making it difficult for weeds to grow and thrive.

Fertilizer Promotes Spring Green-Up

Fertilizing in the fall allows warm-season grasses to absorb essential nutrients to prepare for winter and store them until spring. Once the weather improves and grass emerges from dormancy, these stored nutrients will fuel rapid new growth, outcompeting weeds for resources. 

By facilitating an accelerated green-up, lawn fertilizer creates a favorable environment for grass to thrive with little room for weeds to take root.


Fertilizer Tips for Effective Weed Control

While optimal plant nutrition contributes to vigorous grass growth, it may also inadvertently boost weed growth. Weeds can take up nutrients faster than grass in early growth stages, depleting the soil of nutrients necessary for sustained and healthy grass development.

Fertilizer Placement

Getting nutrients deeper into the soil is, therefore, necessary to ensure that grass, instead of weeds, can access them. This method promotes better contact between the nutrients and the roots and minimizes the risk of surface-level nutrient uptake by lawn weeds. It reduces the chances of weeds outcompeting grass for fertilizer access, fostering a healthy and dense lawn with limited opportunities for weed growth.

Fertilizer Timing

Applying fertilizer to coincide with your grass's peak growth season effectively gives it a competitive edge over weeds. For warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Zoysia, and St. Augustine, feeding fertilizer in late spring to early fall will maximize nutrient uptake, resulting in a denser and healthier lawn.

Fertilization and Weed Control

Incorporating pre-emergent herbicides into your lawn care routine is also a proactive strategy to prevent weed growth. These specialized weed-killer products are formulated to target specific weeds, such as crabgrass, chickweed, and dandelion, while safeguarding your desired plants, including grass and shrubs.



Overall, fertilizing your lawn serves as a foundation for effective weed control. A well-balanced fertilizer provides essential nutrients to promote healthy grass growth—a dense, vigorous lawn that naturally outcompetes weeds. 

For homeowners treating their lawns, integrating fertilizers with targeted weed control measures, such as pre-emergent weed preventers, not only nourishes your grass but also creates an environment where weeds struggle to thrive.

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