Scotts Weed And Seed

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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. Read customer questions about Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 and get help with Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 Grass seed can resist disease and fungus while quickly turning your lawn green. We researched the top options for warm climates, heavy traffic, and more.

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.

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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!

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 – Questions & Answers

Will Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 harm my dog?
My dog eats grass sometimes. I’m concerned about my dog’s health and don’t want him to get sick or even die after fertilizing my lawn. Should I just quit fertilizing?

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 is safe for pets when it is used according to the product label. You want to make sure pets are not in the area while applying the product. Once the treated areas dry completely, chewing or eating grass will not be harmful and your pet can resume normal activity within the area.

It is recommended not to mow within 2 days before or after application of Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3.

It is recommended that you wait at least one month after an application of Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 to reseed.

According to the product label, you do not want to water the lawn within 24 hours after application of Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3.

After applying Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3, weed stems will usually begin to twist and curl in several days, but a month or more may be required to see full control.

When is the best time to apply Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 to my lawn, and how often can I use it?

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 is a fertilizer and post-emergent herbicide, so it is designed to be used in late Spring when target weeds are young and actively growing. You can reapply after at least 30 days as long as your turf is listed as safe. Do not make more than 2 applications per year. In the fall, do not treat centipede after the first of October and do not treat bahia after the first of November. Wait at least one month after using this product to seed, sod, or plant grass sprigs. Please refer to the product label for complete instructions.

7 Best Grass Seed Products to Restore a Patchy Lawn

The winner is the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix

Theresa Holland is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, cleaning, and bedding. She shares her favorite life hacks on her blog The Taboo Textbook.

Barbara Gillette is a master gardener, herbalist, beekeeper, and journalist. She has 30 years of experience propagating and growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and ornamentals.

Sarah Scott is a fact-checker and researcher who has worked in the custom home building industry in sales, marketing, and design.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Spruce / Laurey W. Glenn

Grass seed can grow a lawn from scratch, make existing turf thicker, or target unsightly bald patches and brown spots. We researched and tested grass seed from the top brands, evaluating ease of use, effectiveness, and formulation.

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Our top pick, the Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix, is a versatile blend that stands up well to drought and disease and can seed up to 8,000 square feet of lawn—an eighth of a football field.

Here is the best grass seed for sprucing up your yard.

Best Overall: Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix

Courtesy of Amazon

Thrives in sun and shade

Holds up in droughts and cold winters

Not suited for Southern lawns

Who else recommends it? Bob Vila also picked Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun and Shade Mix.

What do buyers say? 82% of 29,000+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix thrives in scorching sunlight or densely shaded conditions, making it our top choice. This fine-bladed grass mix can even hold up in droughts and cold winters. It begins to grow in five to ten days; you can mow it after blades reach three inches in height. For optimum growth, water your lawn twice daily for three weeks.

Each individual seed, wrapped in a special WaterSmart Plus coating, absorbs twice the amount of water as its uncoated counterparts. The coating also protects your seedlings from various lawn diseases, and feeds them essential nutrients to jump-start growth. Although this mix tolerates extreme weather changes, Scott’s does not recommend using it in Southern states.

Sun Tolerance: Dense Shade to Full Sun | Climate: Drought, Cold Winters | Size: Up to 8,000 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine

Best for Shade: Pennington One Step Complete for Dense Shade Areas

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Formulated with mulch and fertilizer

Great for spot treatments or larger areas

Suited for Midwestern lawns

Not for warm-season lawns

Pennington One Step Complete blends the brand’s Smart Seed with mulch and professional-grade fertilizer, allowing the lawn to thrive in densely shaded areas. This all-in-one grass seed sprouts seedlings in as little as two weeks, even in the tricky corners of your lawn that don’t see more than two to four hours of direct sunlight a day. Whether you’re growing a lawn from scratch or just looking to patch up sparse areas, this ultra-absorbent mixture is a quick and easy solution for achieving a lush, spot-free yard.

Sun Tolerance: Dense Shade | Climate: Cool-season | Size: 125 square feet | Grass Texture: Medium

Best for Full Sun: JB Instant Lawn Signature Sunny Premium Lawn Seed

Courtesy of Lowe’s

Works with new and existing lawns

Comes in various sizes

Not suited for Midwestern lawns

JB Instant Lawn’s Sunny Blend is formulated for direct sunlight. It loves clear skies and flourishes in non-shaded areas with daily sun exposure of six or more hours. The brand’s signature perennial ryegrass seed produces thick, sod-quality lawns with fine blades and a deep green hue. You can plant it with your existing grass, or use to grow a lawn from scratch with a germination period of seven to ten days.

Sun Tolerance: Full Sun | Climate: Cool-season | Size: 1,000 square feet (max overseeding coverage area), 600 square feet (max new seeding coverage area) | Grass Texture: Fine

Best for Cool Season: Barenbrug Winter Wonderlawn Super Over Seeding Grass Seed

Courtesy of Tractor Supply

Thrives in sun and partial shade

Stands up to heavy traffic

Not suited for Northern lawns

For the chillier season, keep a bag of Winter Wonderlawn on hand. Containing a blend of Italian and perennial ryegrass, the mixture is ideal for overseeding your lawn during the coldest months.

This grass seed establishes quickly and germinates within four days, even in fall and winter. After a few weeks, expect a dense growth of fine-bladed grass, with a deep green color.

Sun Tolerance: Full Sun and Partial Shade | Climate: Southern | Size: 2,500 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine

Best for Warm Season: Water Saver Lawn Seed Mixture with Turf-Type Tall Fescue and RFT

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Thrives in sun and shade

Tolerates drought conditions

Not suited for Southern lawns

Water Saver contains a mixture of turf-quality tall fescue and RFT (rhizomatous tall fescue) seeds. The blend has a gorgeous color, a nice texture, and stands up to various diseases.

This lawn seed establishes quickly, roots deeply, and retains water, allowing it to tolerate high temps and drought conditions. It thrives in the sun or shade, and thanks to its deep roots, you can mow it shorter than other varieties.

Sun Tolerance: Full Sun and Partial Shade | Climate: Hot and Dry | Size: 1,000 square feet | Grass Texture: Coarse

Best Fast-Growing: Vigoro Fast Grass Seed Mix

Courtesy of The Home Depot

Great for spot treatments

Thrives in sun and shade

Only for existing lawns

Anytime you need speedy ground cover, erosion control, or want to repair patches in your yard, this is your best bet. Vigoro Fast Grass Mix germinates impressively quickly, and sprouts in as little as three days.

The seed works in sunny and shady areas, and produces lush, green grass with semi-fine blades and virtually no weeds. It’s ideal for temporarily filling in bare spots and, depending on when and where you plant it, you might see continued growth.

Sun Tolerance: Sun and Shade | Climate: Any | Size: 750 square feet | Grass Texture: Fine to Medium

Best Bermuda grass: Sta-Green Grass Seed Bermuda grass

Courtesy of Lowe’s

Grows back annually

99 percent weed-free

Longer germination period

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Bermuda grass is a warm-weather perennial , meaning it flourishes in spring and summer, and grows back annually. This grass seed from Sta-Green contains a premium blend of 99 percent weed-free Bermuda grass.

The germination period is longer than other species (about two to three weeks). But thanks to a special QuickGrow2X coating, the mixture grows faster than other Bermuda grasses and resists disease. Soon enough, you can expect a beautiful lawn, with medium-textured grass that’s dense, lush, and feels good between your toes.

Sun Tolerance: Full Sun | Climate: Southern, Dry | Size: 5,000 square feet (max overseeding coverage area), 2,500 square feet (max new seeding coverage area) | Grass Texture: Fine to Medium

Best for Heavy Traffic: Jonathan Green Black Beauty Heavy Traffic Premium Grass Seed Mixture

Courtesy of Amazon

Stands up to heavy traffic

Resists weeds and insects

Comes in various sizes

Not suited for densely shaded areas

If you have kids, pets, or an otherwise busy household, we recommend Jonathan Green Black Beauty. The brand’s Heavy Traffic Premium Mixture contains a healthy blend of fescue and perennial ryegrass seeds. Fescue emits an amino acid that naturally acts as a herbicide, so it curbs emerging crabgrass and broadleaf weed seedlings. Not only that, but this reliable formula stands up to abrasion and naturally resists insects.

Sun Tolerance: Partial Sun | Climate: Hard Wear | Size: 1,200 square feet | Grass Texture: Coarse

Scotts Turf Builder Grass Seed Sun & Shade Mix is the best grass seed overall. The seeds’ special coating makes them more absorbent, allowing your turf to thrive year-round in sun or shade. However, if you have pets or kids and want something that can grow with heavy foot traffic, Jonathan Green Black Beauty Heavy Traffic Premium Grass Seed Mixture might be a better choice.

What to Look For When Buying Grass Seed

Climate

One of the most important things to keep in mind when buying grass seed is the climate, as some blends do better in certain regions. For instance, Bermuda grass is native to the southern hemisphere, so it thrives in the South and the Southwestern United States.

That being said, some grass species (such as fescue and ryegrass) can grow in a variety of climates. Be sure to check the product description before purchasing grass seed to confirm it can grow where you live.

Sun Exposure

Another thing to consider is the level of sun exposure your seedlings get. Species such as Bermuda grass and some types of ryegrass need at least a few hours of sunlight a day to thrive, whereas fescue can grow in densely shaded areas.

Some mixes are formulated to grow in sun or shade, any time of year. Check the product information before buying grass seed to make sure it’s suitable for the amount of sunlight your yard gets.

Maintenance

If you’re in the market for low-maintenance grass seed, look for an option that contains fertilizer. That way, your seedlings have the nourishment they need to grow quickly and flourish. Some blends also contain mulch, which helps keep the soil healthy, retains water, and prevents weed growth.

Speaking of weed growth, you may consider grass seed that specifically indicates it’s a weed-free (or 99 percent weed-free) formula. Additionally, some seeds are individually coated with a special substance that makes them more absorbent, meaning you don’t need to water as often, and disease resistant.

The best time to plant grass seed depends on the type of seed and the climate. However, since most mixtures germinate when temperatures aren’t too hot or cold, planting in the fall for a cool-season grass and spring for a warm-season grass is typically ideal. Seedlings thrive in semi-warm soil, with moderate daytime temperatures and slightly cooler evenings.

To prepare the soil for grass seed, start by removing any sticks, large rocks, and weeds from the surface. Then, break up the soil with a spade, hoe, garden fork, or core aerator, continuing to remove rocks and debris as you go. If your grass seed lacks fertilizer, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil before planting.

The goal is to keep the top layer of soil moist at all times, so water grass seed once or twice a day until it germinates. How much and how often depends on where you live and what the weather is like. When your seedlings reach about an inch tall, you can switch to watering every other day. After a few weeks, when the grass has established, weekly or bi-weekly watering should suffice.

Why Trust The Spruce?

The Spruce contributor Theresa Holland is an experienced commerce writer, with several years of experience covering home improvement. She’s spent countless hours researching yard care and landscaping products, not only for the content she writes but also for personal use. You can see more of her home-related stories on MyDomaine.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

The Best Grass Seed for the Northeast of 2022. Bob Vila. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/best-grass-seed-for-northeast/

Rocha, Inês et al. Seed Coating: A Tool for Delivering Beneficial Microbes to Agricultural Crops. Frontiers in Plant Science, vol. 10. pp. 1357, 2019. doi:10.3389/fpls.2019.01357

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