Everyone dreams of having a green and lush lawn, but you may need to give nature a small boost. Even if your lawn has everything it needs in place to grow a thick and green lawn, it may need a little encouragement. This is where the best lawn fertilizer comes in. It can liven up your lawn and kickstart the growing process, especially in the spring after a long dormant period.
We understand that finding lawn fertilizer can be a challenging task, so we’ve done the research for you. We’ve rounded up the top 10 best lawn fertilizers and provided mini reviews of each one for you. Additionally, our short buyer’s guide will highlight what you should consider when you start comparing lawn care products.
- 1. Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food
- 2. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
- 3. Milorganite 0636 Organic Fertilizer
- 4. GreenView Fall Lawn Food
- 5. Extreme Grass Growth Lawn Booster
- 6. Espoma Organic All Season Lawn Fertilizers
- 7. Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer
- 8. DiatomaceousEarth Food Grade
- 9. Dr. Earth Premium Gold All Purpose Fertilizer
- 10. Scotts Green Max Lawn Food
- Best Lawn Fertilizers – Buyer’s Lawn Care Guide
- Nutrient Value
- Application Process
- Grass Type
- Alternatives to Traditional Fertilizers
1. Miracle Gro All Purpose Plant Food
This comes backed by a very well-known and reputable brand. It works well on all-purpose compatible grasses and both outdoor and indoor plants. Labeled as a dry fertilizer, it will last for roughly two weeks after you apply it. It’s a water-soluble product, and it contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The ratio of these three key ingredients is 24-8-16. You get five pounds of fertilizer in each order.
This fertilizer won’t kill or burn your lawn, and is great if you have kids and pets that run around. You can use it to feed your trees, shrubs, vegetables, and houseplants every two weeks as well. This fertilizer ensures you’ll get big and bright blooms with lush grass, and it’ll sink down into the soil to go to the plant’s roots for fast improvement. You should see results within a few days of applying it to your lawn.
- Has a water-soluble formula
- Use with any type of watering can
- Guaranteed not to burn your lawn. Good for lawn care
- Not very cost-effective
- May have to apply it twice for it to work well
- Have to reapply it every two weeks
2. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food
Not only does this strengthen your lawn, but it also helps to reduce any future issues you may have with weeds or dead spots. Once you apply this fertilizer, it encourages your grass to grow deeper and stronger roots. In turn, this makes your lawn more resilient and resistant to weeds and pests. The fertilizers also help your lawn retain more water and absorb more nutrients, and this leads to a greener and thicker growth over the summer months.
The all-in-one particle technology in this fertilizer works to prevent brown and bare areas in your yard, including high-traffic areas. This product works well on all types of lawns, including areas where you have two or more types of grass growing. A single bag will fertilize up to 5,000 square feet, and you can buy a single, two, or four pack. Lightly watering it in will give you the best results.
- Works well with different weather conditions
- Enables lawns to deal with weeds
- Improves nutrient and water absorption
- Might need two applications to see a marked difference
- Have to water it in after you spread it
- Works better on northern grasses
3. Milorganite 0636 Organic Fertilizer
Anyone after an organic fertilizer should try Malorganite. This is the best fertilizer made out of organic nitrogen with heat-dried microbes. It’s a multi-purpose product that you can use on your lawn, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees without fear of burning them. Another bonus with this pick is that it’s safe to use around your children and pets, and this makes it a very versatile product. You can apply it at any time and it’ll work well to green up your lawn.
This lawn fertilizer suits all seasons, and you can use it both indoors and outdoors to keep your plants looking their best all year round. It comes packed with a high iron content that will cause your lawn and plants to turn a deep green color that looks healthy. You get 36 pounds of this fertilizer per order, and it helps cut down on the need to water your lawn every day because it improves the plant and grasse’s moisture retention capabilities.
- Works in all seasons
- Can use it as a seed carrier
- Packed with a high iron content
- Covers a relatively small area
- Not as potent as other picks
- Slightly more expensive for the amount you use
4. GreenView Fall Lawn Food
If you’re after lawn fertilizer for cooler weather, this is it. This formula promotes rapid growth by offering a no-phosphate enhanced product. When you apply it, this fertilizer sinks into the plant’s roots to improve how much nutrients they absorb, and this can help your grass grow much quicker and thicker over the course of a few weeks. Additionally, this fertilizer also helps with water retention to protect your grass from drought and heat, and this means it won’t burn as easy.
A single application of this lawn fertilizer will feed your grass for up to eight full weeks. It can work to enrich the soil with key nutrients to keep your grass looking much fuller for months at a time. You can choose from one bag that feeds up to 5,000 square feet, or there is a bag that feeds up to 15,000 square feet. It comes with a satisfaction guarantee or you get your money back.
- Can cover small, medium, and large lawns
- Feeds the lawn for eight weeks
- Protects against drought and heat
- Can’t apply when the temperatures fall below 60 degrees
- Has a strong scent that lingers
- Can take up to two weeks to see results
5. Extreme Grass Growth Lawn Booster
These lawn fertilizers has an NPK content of 20-4-8 that can give your lawn an excellent nutrient boost. The company is based in the United States, and this means that it uses the highest standards to produce this formula using high-quality ingredients. If you have newer grass, this fertilizer will do the trick to ensure it grows strong. It’s also very safe to use around your kids and pets because it uses a non-toxic spray concentrate. Not only will this help your grass grow taller, but it’ll thicken it up at the same time.
The formula has fulvic and humic acid to nourish your lawn, and this lawn fertilizer’s high phosphorus level will encourage strong root growth. It can help your grass become resistant to pests with each application. If you apply it when it’s warm out, you’ll see quicker results. However, it also works at a slow release pace in colder weather.
- Comes with a sprayer for easy application
- Natural and non-toxic formula
- Works well on all grass types
- Sprayer can clog
- Needs a specific temperature range to maximize growth
- Price for the amount you get
6. Espoma Organic All Season Lawn Fertilizers
Great lawn fertilizers for all seasons with a 18-0-3 formula. It has organic ingredients that are safe to use around your family and any pets you have, and it helps to turn your grass a lush and vibrant green. It’ll nourish your lawn for weeks after you apply it. You get 20 pounds of fertilizer when you buy it, and this is enough to cover up to 5,000 square feet. You sprinkle the granules onto your lawn and lightly water it in for the best results.
However, you shouldn’t expect instant results when you apply this fertilizer because it only uses organic ingredients. It’ll start working in a few weeks once it sinks deep into the soil. It starts working from the roots up to ensure your grass is well established. Your grass will grow thick and strong with repeat applications. It won’t burn your lawn if you accidentally apply too much, and it doesn’t contain phosphorus. This means you don’t have to worry about runoff.
- Can apply it during any season
- Safe for use around pets and kids
- Gives you long-lasting results
- Can take weeks to work
- Can’t encourage new root growth
- Need to apply a lot for it to work
7. Safer Brand 9334 Lawn Restore Fertilizer
This is an organic product that is odorless and uses high-quality ingredients. You’ll get a broad range of plant-based ingredients in each 25-pound bag. These lawn fertilizers has an NPK ratio of 10-0-6, and this combination will help your grass grow lush and green. It goes to the root of each blade of grass and helps to establish the roots, and this can stave off burning due to drought or dry conditions. It also helps with nutrient absorption.
One bag can cover up to 5,000 square feet. Once you apply these lawn fertilizers to your yard, give it four or five days. At this point, you should start to see your grass greening up and looking thicker. It’ll also help your lawn survive cold snaps. The odorless formula is safe to apply anywhere in your yard you need, and your kids or pets can walk on it without worrying about it.
- Works well in drought-heavy and cooler areas
- Has no odor or harsh chemicals
- Strengthens lawns from the roots out
- On the higher end of the price spectrum
- Not a consistent size
- More difficult to spread
8. DiatomaceousEarth Food Grade
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade is great if you want a company that fulfills every lawn supplement requirement the United States puts out. It follows strict quality control guidelines starting at choosing the ingredients all of the way through production to ensure you get a good product. It has an organic certification, and this makes it safe to use on your lawn with your family around. What’s more, you can use it for everything from pet care up to lawn fertilizers.
You get 10 pounds for $20 when you order these lawn fertilizers, and a little bit goes a long way. It comes in a powder form that you can mix with water and spray it on your lawn. You can also sprinkle it onto your lawn and water it in to get an even application. It has no odor, and there are no contaminants. Finally, this product comes in very sturdy packaging that will survive repeated use without breaking down.
- Food-grade lawn fertilizers
- Can use it in a broad range of applications
- Certified organic by the Organic Minerals Review Institute
- Has a messy application process
- Powdered form sticks to everything
- May have a black residue
9. Dr. Earth Premium Gold All Purpose Fertilizer
These lawn fertilizers contain a unique mix of fish meal, fish bone meal, potassium sulfate, calcium sulphate, spoil microbes, seaweed extract, and mycorrhizae. These ingredients will help to restore any lawn that is drying out or not as green as it should be within a few days after the initial application. You can use it on your lawn, around your shrubs, or on your ornamental trees without a problem. It can also deter the development of thatch by breaking it down.
Anyone who wants to promote a strong root system should try these lawn fertilizers. It introduces beneficial bacteria and fungi to the soil to encourage mineral formation that can make the grass grow thick and strong. Along with getting fast results, you only have to reapply this fertilizer once every three months. It’ll continue to feed your lawn all season long.
- Lasts for three months
- Starts working within days
- Deters thatch development
- Has a smell that lingers
- Need to use a lot per application
10. Scotts Green Max Lawn Food
The final choice on our list of the best lawn fertilizers comes from Scotts. You can purchase this fertilizer in packages that can cover 5,000 or 10,000 square feet per application, and it comes in Standard or Florida style. Once you apply it, you can start to see your grass greening up in as little as three days. It features a potent two-in-one formula that supplements and feeds your lawn while giving it a boost of iron that encourages strong growth all season long.
As long as you use these lawn fertilizers as directed, it won’t stain your clothes. You can apply it to any grass type without fear of burning it, and you can walk on the grass as soon as you apply it without it sticking to your clothing. It’s easy and quick to apply with a spreader, and this ensures that every area of your lawn gets an even amount of fertilizer.
- NPK formula of 27-0-2
- Works for 60 to 90 days
- Safe for all grass types
- Very specific application instructions
- Could burn more sensitive grass types
- Takes weeks to see improvements
Best Lawn Fertilizers – Buyer’s Lawn Care Guide
Fertilizer is a quick way to give your lawn a much-needed boost to help you have gorgeous grass all year round. However, there are several buying considerations you have to keep in mind when you start shopping for the best lawn fertilizers. Along with our reviews that allow you to compare products, this short buyer’s guide will highlight all of the important aspects you need to consider.
Carefully choosing lawn fertilizers will ensure that your grass has all of the nutrients it needs to put down strong roots and turn a lush green color.
Choose a Type
One of the first things you’ll notice when you start looking at the best lawn fertilizers is that it comes in two main types. There is a granular type and a liquid type. They both have good and not-so-good points associated with them. Picking one helps you knock out undesirable fertilizers right away.
- Granular – Granular fertilizer comes in water-soluble or quick-release formats. Quick-release granular fertilizer will last three or four weeks before you need to reapply it. Water-soluble granular fertilizer will last up to three months. Granular fertilizer goes on your lawn with a spreader, and it’s an easy way to ensure you get even coverage each time you apply it.
- Liquid – If you’re after a very fast-acting fertilizer, liquid is the way to go. They’re convenient, and you usually buy them in a concentrate form. You hook the concentrate up to a hose sprayer and cover your yard. The plants can absorb liquid fertilizer through the roots and leaves, and this means you can see results quicker. However, you have to reapply it every two or three weeks.
Organic or Synthetic
Depending on your preferences, the best lawn fertilizers can be either synthetic or organic. Synthetic is more powerful because it can contain stronger ingredients, but organic is usually considered to be much safer.
Organic fertilizer can go on your lawn, in your flower beds, and on your garden. It’s safe to use directly around your pets and family, and they can usually go on the yard as soon as you apply it. Since they have all-natural ingredients, it can take organic fertilizers longer to start working than synthetic ones. However, they have great long-term effects because they’re eco-friendly. They usually require fewer applications as well. This type of fertilizer is usually less expensive, and it’s more forgiving if you put too much on your lawn.
Synthetic fertilizer is very fast-acting, and it works well if you have a short amount of time to green up your lawn. If you’re on a budget, there are very cheap options available. If you want a stronger formula, this is usually the best lawn fertilizer type to choose. It can kill insects and weeds while improving your yard’s health. They have chemicals, and they contain an exact formula with the nutrients your lawn needs to grow and thrive. However, these chemicals can be harmful if they get around your pets and kids. So, you have to use them carefully.
Things like the weather, type of soil, and the time of year will dictate what is the best lawn fertilizer for your needs. It changes as the year goes on, and you want to stay on top of it to give your grass all of the nutrients it needs.
It’s a good idea to pay close attention to the nutrient content of your fertilizer. These are the numbers on the bag commonly referred to as the NPK ratio. The NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. They’ll be listed as ##-#-#. So, if a fertilizer has 10-05-5, you know the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium levels in the formula. Pay close attention to this number because it gives you a good indication on which nutrient levels will green up your lawn.
The best lawn fertilizers have an application process you have to follow to get the best results. If you choose organic fertilizers, they’re more forgiving and will still give you good results if you apply too much. Synthetic fertilizers have specific application requirements that can result in burning your grass if you’re not careful. One way to apply the fertilizer is to use a spreader and walk over your yard. You’ll have to water it in after you apply it. The second application process is using a liquid fertilizer with your hose and spray it over your yard. Some fertilizers tell you to avoid walking on it for a few hours after you apply it, and others allow you to walk on it right away.
There are northern and southern grasses. A lot of the best lawn fertilizers are too strong for southern grasses. Should you apply this fertilizer to your southern grass, it can burn or kill it. If the fertilizer you choose has a specific grass it works for, it’ll say right on the bag. If you’re not sure, try to get an all-purpose fertilizer. You can also look for an organic fertilizer over a synthetic one.
There are dozens of types of grasses, shrubs, and trees that won’t work well with all types of fertilizer. Northern grasses are generally more hardy than Southern grasses, and the fertilizer can create burned patches if you choose the wrong one.
Alternatives to Traditional Fertilizers
If you’re still not sure what you want with the best lawn fertilizer, you can try a few alternatives. These are natural things you can pick up at your local garden store. However, they’re relatively slow-acting. Slow release fertilizer avoids burning your roots. Additionally, you won’t see any huge changes straight away. You can try:
- Bone Meal – Bone meal is a byproduct of the meat packing industry. It has phosphorus and calcium in the formula, and this can give your lawn a boost.
- Blood Meal – Blood meal is another leftover from the meat packing industry. To get it, blood meal goes through a drying and steaming process, and it has high phosphorus levels.
- Peat Moss – Peat moss is something you commonly mix into the soil when you plant trees or shrubs because it lightens up heavy clay-like soils and aerates it If you have sandy soil, peat moss adds weight to prevent it from leaching nutrients out.
- Fish Emulsion – Fish emulsion is what’s left over from the fish processing industry. It’s organic, nontoxic, and very mild. If you have sensitive plants that will burn with traditional fertilizer, this is a great option.
- Composted Manure – You can toss composted manure into your compost pile to give it a boost, and it works to condition the soil.
- Compost – If you need to improve your soil, compost is a great all-around fertilizer option. It contains everything from plant remains to waste like egg shells or leftover food.
Compost and organic fertilizers are slow release options, but they’re a good option if you’re not sure which fertilizer you need. Avoid the weed and feed options.
Whichever fertilizer is the best lawn fertilizer for your needs, it’s important that you take your time and compare lawn care products. This will ensure that you get the best product for your needs. Pay close attention to the type of grass the fertilizer works with because some aren’t suitable for southern grasses. Take your time, make your pick, and enjoy green grass all season long.