Weed and Feed?

Asked April 13, 2018, 12:06 PM EDT

hello! I am striving to have a pesticide free yard and garden. However, I understand weed and feed, and possibly the Moss removers are considered pesticides? Could you please suggest alternatives for this, as my husband does like his nice grass! Thank you!

Washington County Oregon lawns and turf organic weed control

2 Responses

Thank you for your question. So a couple of definitions. A pesticide is just something that kills a “pest,” which can be an unwanted plant, fungus, insect or animal. Pesticides can be ‘organic’ because they’re created by organisms (other than humans) and they can be as simple as some naturally-found chemicals like sulfur. ‘Non-organic” pesticides are created by humans and are regulated by the EPA (as well as some organic ones.) Weed and feed is a combination of a fertilizer (nutrients plants need) and a pesticide that kills plants with leaves, but not grasses. It’s easy to apply, but some yards don’t need both. Some moss removers are organic; some not. If you have moss in your lawn, it usually means that the soil is compacted (since moss has tiny roots, but grasses need a deeper soil for their roots), that the area is moist and/or shaded, or that there are places—large or small— that grass isn’t growing in and the moss just moves in. So, I’m not sure from your question which of these are facts (environment) and which are issues you want to address (feeding the grass, killing weeds, eliminating moss). Perhaps you can identify the ‘problem(s)’ and I’ll send you a couple of links to articles addressing each of these in a couple of minutes, for a little light weekend reading!

Chemical control of mosses

Managing mosses in lawns

Lawn care in Western Oregon

It is difficult to recommend an herbicide for broadleaf weeds (such as dandelion--for which digging is the best removal method) without knowing exactly what the weed is. So, taking some pictures and sending them will help us give you organic and non-organic recommendations for their control.

Hope this is helpful! Good luck!