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how long to wait to seed after weed killer

Although you can’t spread grass seed at the same time you spray your lawn with Weed B Gon, other options exist to treat your lawn for weeds at the same time you plant seed. These typically come in the form of weed and feed products that offer fertilizer along with the herbicide. Look for products specifically designed to be spread with grass seed, often noted on the label as a starter fertilizer plus weed control.

When fighting grassy weeds, you must wait a little longer to plant your grass seed, whether you’re seeding your entire lawn, overseeding or treating bare patches. With the Weed B Gone Plus Crabgrass Control, wait at least four weeks to plant seed. Because this is specially formulated to stop grassy weed seeds from germinating, it also can stop your regular grass seed from growing.

Keeping your lawn weed-free is a constant battle that uses cultural practices, such as deep waterings, to encourage grass to choke out weeds, as well as chemical products, such as using Weed B Gon, to kill weeds before they start. These chemicals often kill grass seed as well, keeping it from germinating along with the weed seeds, so wait before you sow your seed.

Weed and Seed Together

How long you must wait to plant grass seed after treating your lawn with a Scotts Weed B Gon product depends on which product you use. When fighting broadleaf weeds such as dandelions with the basic Weed B Gon weed killer, wait at least three weeks to sow your grass seed. This product specifically targets the seeds of broadleaf weeds, but it can stop or slow down your grass seed’s germination as well.

When you’ve already planted your grass seed and want to apply a pre-emergent herbicide to keep weeds from competing with your new grass for water and nutrients, have a little patience. Applying a weed-control product such as Weed B Gon too soon can kill young grass. Instead, wait until you’ve mowed the new grass at least three times before using herbicides on your lawn.

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Pre-emergence weed killers prevent seeds from sprouting. They create a chemical barrier on the soil surface that suppresses seed development. What this means is, if you sow your own seed after applying a pre-emergence weed killer, the seed isn’t likely to grow. However, some pre-emergence products only affect grassy weeds, so you can safely sow most vegetable and flower seeds after applying these herbicides. The same doesn’t apply to reseeding or overseeding your lawn. Grass seed won’t sprout until a pre-emergence weed killer has decayed and become ineffective. For example, it isn’t safe to sow lawn seed until four months after applying a crabgrass preventer.

It makes sense to be cautious about sowing seed after using weed killer. Certain herbicides can harm sprouting seeds and young plants. However, while you must wait several months to sow seed after applying some weed killers, you only need to wait a few days after applying others. The reason for this difference lies in the effect of the active chemicals in the individual products. Read the label carefully and follow all the directions when applying a weed killer.

You can sow seeds in as little as a week or even sooner after spraying glyphosate, a systemic, nonselective weed killer. Glyphosate moves from the leaves to the roots of plants, destroying the entire plant, but leaving no residue in the soil. The chemical affects many types of plants, including weeds, grasses and desirable plants, but after the liquid is absorbed into the plant, it doesn’t pose any further threat. You can safely sow ornamental flower seeds a day after spraying with glyphosate and grass and vegetable seeds, three days after, even though the herbicide takes up to seven days to destroy weeds. If you remove the dying weeds too soon, live roots could remain in the soil, ready to regrow. Another systemic weed killer that doesn’t affect seeds is pelargonic acid.

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Pre-Emergence Weed Killers and Sowing Seed

Sowing seed after applying a pre-emergence weed killer disturbs the chemical barrier on the soil surface, which means that weed seeds may germinate too.

Many selective weed killers leave little or no trace in the soil, and they target certain plants while leaving others unharmed. Generally, these types of herbicides destroy either grassy weeds or broadleaf weeds. You can safely sow most seeds in your vegetable or flower patch a day after applying selective herbicides, such as sethoxydim, clethodim and bentazon, for grassy weeds. These herbicides only affect your desired plants if the plants belong to the grass family. For lawns, herbicides that destroy broadleaf weeds are effective, but it isn’t safe to reseed until a month after applying these products, unless the label states differently.

Pre-emergent weed and feed is applied in early spring so the herbicide is in place before the undesirable weeds germinate. Pre-emergent herbicide works by inhibiting germination. It must be watered with at least one-half inch of water to move the chemical from the surface into the soil. Post-emergent herbicides, however, must be applied while the weeds are actively growing because for the chemical to work, the herbicide must be absorbed into the plant.

You want a beautiful lawn for your family to enjoy, but it’s no longer enough to just mow it. You have to fertilize, water, kill weeds and then reseed any bare spots. Using a weed and feed product saved you some time, so now you’re ready to plant some grass seed. You may have to wait a bit longer, though, depending on the type of weed and feed product you used.

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Weed and feed products consist of fertilizers such as nitrogen or potassium, and a pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide. If the weed and feed is designed for spring application, it contains a pre-emergent. If it is designed for later in the growing season, it incorporates a post-emergent herbicide. Knowing which one you are using is important because the herbicides affect plants in significantly different ways.

How They Work

Since weed and feed products are designed to prevent germination — or to eradicate a living plant — they can, for the most part, have a similar effect on young turf grass. The only exception is the pre-emergent herbicide siduron, which is actually used to assist in seed germination. When using a pre-emergent that does not contain siduron, wait a minimum of two months before seeding. If using a product designed for broadleaf weeds, read the label carefully, because the active ingredient in these post-emergent herbicides have a wider range for the waiting period. Grass can be planted in as little as one month after application for products using 2,4-D to as much as six months for atrazine-based products.

When you are ready to seed your lawn, use a garden rake to remove debris and to break up the surface to ensure the seed comes into contact with the soil. Broadcast the seeds in two directions to ensure complete coverage, and water the ground lightly and often for up to two weeks — keeping the soil moist. Once seedlings have established, gradually reduce the frequency of the watering, but lengthen the amount of time per watering. This will encourage a deep root system for your grass.