If you’ve dreamt of a lush green lawn you saw somewhere and you’re wondering what the heck they did to get such a beautiful lawn, this article is for you.
Lush green lawns can occur naturally or they can be induced. When they occur naturally, you may find some parts of the lawn looking scrawny. If you induce it, you need to use the right fertilizer on it.
We sampled a few lawn fertilizers in our search for the best lawn fertilizer. In the lines below, we shared our thoughts about the fertilizers selected.
#1. Best Lawn Fertilizer – Super Juice All in One Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
The Super Juice All-In-One Soluble Lawn Fertilizer gives your lawn a lot of food for a relatively good price.
It’s a dry mix of well-balanced nutrients that are great for new or old lawns.
Even recently scarified-lawns will need one of this to grow lush.
With this lawn fertilizer, you can cover up to 43,560 sq. ft. of your lawn. It is available in the ratio 14-2-4.
#2. Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer – LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer
If the best lawn fertilizer we listed above doesn’t appeal to you for any reason whatsoever, then this will.
It’s the LawnStar NPK fertilizer which has a better mix ratio and is already in liquid form.
The LawnStar NPK Fertilizer is available in the ratio 16-4-8 and can cover lawns up to 16,000 sq. ft.
It’s a great choice for all grass types irrespective of your location.
Buying Lawn Fertilizers: What You Should Know
There are a few things that you must take into consideration when you want to start adding a lawn fertilizer to your lawn.
Determine the Surface Area of Your Lawn
This is arguably the first thing you need to do.
It gives you an idea of the amount of lawn fertilizer that will be sufficient for your lawn.
To know the surface area of your lawn, please refer to the plan for the building.
If the building plan isn’t available, you can measure the length and width of the lawn to get it.
Do A Soil Test
Take your soil and test it. This test will indicate the nutrients that are missing in the soil and also give you an idea of the soil’s current pH. With these, you can be sure to know the type of nutrients the fertilizer you’re about to buy contains.
The Type of Lawn Fertilizer
There are different types of lawn fertilizers.
They are often made to be suitable for different soil pH and weather conditions. Let’s find out what they are.
- Liquid Fertilizers – As the name implies, liquid fertilizers are fertilizers in liquid form. They require a sprayer to be applied to the lawn. Lawns absorb nutrients from liquid fertilizers easily since they are already in soluble form and are absorbed by the soil easily and quickly.
- Time Release Fertilizers – This type of fertilizer is used only once on the lawn. Then over a period of time, they release nutrients into the soil and your lawn grass absorbs it to remain healthy and look lush.
- Granular Fertilizers – Granular fertilizers are fertilizers shaped in small granules. They work like time-release fertilizers as they only need to be applied once and then they will gradually dissolve into the ground.
- Organic/Synthetic Fertilizers – Organic fertilizers are fertilizers made from natural sources without the addition of any chemicals. On the other hand, synthetic fertilizers are the exact opposite of organic fertilizers as they are often synthesized.
- Starter Fertilizers – Starter fertilizers are also known as “winterizers“. They are good for application on newly seeded lawns as they help promote root growth. They often provide nutrient for the lawn in winter if applied correctly.
- Gradual Release Fertilizer – Gradual release fertilizers are designed to release nutrients slowly into the soil to prevent loss of nutrients as a result of being washed away.
- Weed & Feed Fertilizers – They are the type of fertilizers that kill certain weeds and in return, add nutrients to the grass. Dandelions and crabgrass shiver at the sight of this type of fertilizer.
What Type of Grass Do You Have On Your Lawn
It’s also important to know what type of grass you have on your lawn.
For people living in the western and southern parts of the United States, the Bermuda grass is common in that region.
Other common grasses there include Centipede, Bahia as well as Zoysia.
For other places in the Midwest and northeastern parts, the Kentucky bluegrass, Tall Fescue, and Rye are predominant. They are often referred to as cool-season grasses and need less fertilizer care.
Knowing the type of grass you have in your lawn can guide you when you’re choosing a fertilizer. Make sure to take a look at the product description of your fertilizer to make sure it’s meant for the kind of grass you have.
Method of Application
How do you intend to apply the fertilizer on your lawn?
Using a spreader or a sprayer?
Picking a method of application is important especially if you are like to apply lawn fertilizers in the summer.
If you’re not going for a summer camp or vacation with the family, then you can choose to apply it yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be out of town, a gradual-release or a time-release fertilizer will be a better option.
Know The Numbers
For most of us, the fertilizers we buy usually comes with three bold numbers on their product packaging.
These numbers are significant and should be taken seriously.
Earlier on, we mentioned that you need to do a soil test to know the nutrients missing in the soil. With its knowledge, you’ll know what nutrients should be dominant in the fertilizer you’re buying.
So here’s a breakdown of the three numbers.
- First Number – This shows the percentage of Nitrogen in the fertilizer.
- Second Number – It shows the amount of phosphate in the fertilizer.
- Third Number – The third number shows the amount of potash in the fertilizer.
To further give you a clearer picture, take a look at this.
If the number on your product’s packaging is 20-10-10, then it simply refers to 30% Nitrogen, 15% Phosphate, and 15% Potash respectively.
Each of the elements has a major role to play on your lawn. For instance, Nitrogen is good for grass as it makes it greener and enhances foliar growth.
Phosphorus and potash, on the other hand, encourage flowering and even enhances the ability of the grass to access the nitrogen that is available to it.
Adding the right amount of nutrients to your lawn is the first step towards having a green healthy lawn.
Lawn Fertilizers Review
Ready to feed your lawn the fine stuff that keeps them healthy, sturdy and fat? Let’s get right in.
#1. Best Lawn Fertilizer – Super Juice All in One Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
Type: Dry Mix
Coverage: 43,560 sq. ft.
Features: dry mix balanced nutrients in ratio 14-2-4, one bag can cover an area of 43,560 sq. ft. and comes in re-sealable packaging, dry mix requires water and hose-end sprayer for application and works on all grass types.
Our top pick for the best lawn fertilizer is the Super Juice All in One Soluble Lawn Fertilizer. This lawn fertilizer is an embodiment of the three essential nutrients of plants in a semi-balanced ratio.
It is available in the 14-2-4 ratio, although you can use it at half strength in the 7-1-2 ratio. When used in the 14-2-4 ratio, a bag of this soluble lawn food is capable of covering an area of up to 43,560 sq. ft.
That’s pretty impressive and for homeowners with large lawns, it’s a great way to save on expenses around the home.
The Super Juice All in One Soluble Lawn Fertilizer doesn’t only contain NPK. There are also small traces of other important nutrients like magnesium, sulfur, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc.
In addition to that, the fertilizer also contains traces of Humid Acid which is gotten from potassium humate.
The combination of all the nutrients in this fertilizer gives your lawn a new look within 2 weeks of application. Based on its checklist of nutrients, you can use it as a primary fertilizer or as a supplement for other fertilizers you are using.
This fertilizer isn’t meant to be applied near storm drains or drainage ditches or near any water source. In addition to that, if you check the weather forecast and heavy rain is predicted, please don’t apply it to your lawn.
To apply it to the lawn, you first need to dissolve it in warm water before application. The fertilizer is pet-friendly and is odorless.
#2. Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer – LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer
Type: Liquid lawn fertilizer
Coverage: 16,000 sq. ft.
Features: liquid fertilizer with a ratio of 16-4-8, can cover an area of up to 16,000 sq. ft, contains balanced nutrients, fast and slow-release nitrogen mix, great for all grass types.
If the dry mix lawn fertilizer we reviewed above doesn’t cut it for you, this probably will. Say hi to the LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer, a liquid fertilizer solution with all the ingredients you need on your lawn.
Like the dry mix fertilizer we reviewed above, it contains NPK in the ratio 16-4-8. It can cover an area of 16,000 sq. ft. for each gallon you purchase. In addition to that, it contains other nutrients such as sulfuric acid.
The nitrogen present in this lawn fertilizer is a combination of 10% urea nitrogen and 6% urea triazine solution.
These nutrients induce faster grass growth and root development and make the grass greener on all sides. Since it’s good for all grass types, you’ll not have any problems applying it and seeing results on your lawn.
One thing that makes this liquid fertilizer stand out is the presence of three parts nitrogen. The first two parts are released slowly into the lawn – you won’t see any immediate results to that effect.
As for the other two parts, they’re fast release nitrogen and their effects on the grass become visible within a short while.
The LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer is available in two sizes, 1 gallon or 1 quart. This fertilizer is part of LawnStar’s array of plant food and fertilizers.
Type: Dry mix
Coverage: 15,000 sq. ft.
Features: Dry mix lawn food, can cover an area of about 15,000 sq. ft, it contains mostly Nitrogen in the ratio 28-6-3, can be applied to any type of grass, improves root strength and helps repair lawn damage as a result of heat.
When it comes to plant-food and fertilizers, Scotts is a name you can trust. Little wonder the Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food made it to our list of the best lawn fertilizers.
The Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food is refined to deliver results in a matter of days. With it, your lawn will become strong and will have deep roots.
In addition to that, it will also improve the ability of your lawn to assimilate nutrients and water with ease. And of course, your lawn will receive the much-needed succor to heal from damages caused by heat, drought or other activities on the lawn.
If grass type is an issue of concern to you, you don’t need to worry anymore. This lawn fertilizer is good for application on all grass types.
Application is easy as it is just added to a good fertilizer spreader like the Scotts Turf Builder Edgeguard Mini Broadcast Spreader. You can also use any other good spreader you know.
With respect to the coverage area, this fertilizer is enough to cover a lawn of about 15,000 sq. ft. It has a mix ratio of 28-6-3, thus almost making it a nitrogen dominated fertilizer.
If you’re looking for Nitrogen only fertilizers, we reviewed some like the LawnStar Green-Up Lawn Supplement in the latter part of this review.
According to product instructions, the Scotts Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food works best when you feed it to your lawn during fall. This makes the lawn ready to look lush by springtime.
#4. Best Starter Fertilizer – GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer
Type: Dry mix
Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.
Features: Dry mix starter fertilizer with a well-balanced ratio of 10-18-10, one bag can cover a lawn of up to 5,000 sq. ft. and contains immediate and time-release nitrogen nutrients
If you’ve ever asked yourself what the best starter fertilizer for your lawn is, this particular review is for you. This GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer is good for new lawns or reseeded lawns.
For those of us who are oblivious of what a starter fertilizer is, it simply refers to the fertilizer applied close to seeds or plants when they’re just beginning to grow.
The GreenView 2131254 Starter Fertilizer is designed with such a scenario in mind since it is geared towards lawns which are just beginning to grow. With the addition of this fertilizer, good root growth is induced.
It keeps the lawn growing firm and strong for the next few weeks – up to 8 weeks. By this time, you’d have seen the results of your efforts.
The fertilizer contains NPK in a very balanced ratio of 10-18-10. As per its coverage ability, this 16lbs sized pack is capable of providing nutrients for a lawn as large as 5,000 sq. ft.
On the other hand, there’s a larger size which can provide nutrients for a 15,000 sq. ft. sized lawn. Thus, you are assured that your new lawn will get the much-desired nutrients easily.
For application, the lawn needs to have grown up and mowed twice or thrice using a good lawnmower or string trimmer. After this, you can then apply the fertilizer.
For optimal performance on your lawn, this fertilizer shouldn’t be applied near a water source. Also, it should not be applied if there’s a heavy rain forecast to prevent washing away of nutrients.
GreenView provides a lot of instructions including spreader settings on the product packaging to help you get the best out of this starter fertilizer for lawns.
Coverage: 3,500 sq. ft.
Features: liquid lawn fertilizer capable of covering an area of about 3,500 sq. ft. and contains NPK in the ratio 3-18-18, designed to feed lawns that are deficient in phosphorus and potash.
For lawns that have more nitrogen than they need, the Ultimate 3-18-18 NPK- Lawn Food is a lawn fertilizer with a low amount of nitrogen. As we earlier mentioned, it is specifically designed for lawns that are showing signs of phosphorus and potassium deficiency.
It is available as a liquid fertilizer that comes in a 1-quart container. The content is in the ratio of 3-18-18 with nitrogen being the least since it’s focused more on other nutrients.
With respect to the coverage area, 1 quart of this fertilizer can be used to fertilize a lawn of up to 3,500 sq. ft.
To make application of this fertilizer easy for you, you only need to attach a garden hose to the head and point the spray head to the direction you want to spray the fertilizer.
With the addition of this lawn fertilizer, the grass begins to gain more strength and have better-developed roots. Let’s not also forget to mention that the Ultimate 3-18-18 NPK- Lawn Food is okay for use on all grass types.
In addition to that, if you choose to use it to spray your lawn in spring, that’s fine. It’s okay for spraying spring and early fall. Just make sure there won’t be a heavy rain after you’ve applied it to your lawn.
Lest we forget, the fertilizer is safe for pets.
#6. Phosphorus-Free Lawn Fertilizer – Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK
Coverage: 3,200 sq. ft.
Features: No phosphorus in this fertilizer, can be used on a lawn of up to 3,200 sq. ft. and contains nitrogen and potash, works on all grass types, children and pet safe.
If your lawn soil has too much phosphorus, there’s an increased likelihood that the grass will become stunted in their growth.
In other to checkmate this, it’s advisable to test soil for phosphorus levels and apply a lawn fertilizer that doesn’t contain phosphorus. To that effect, we’ve included a phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer.
It’s called the Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK lawn fertilizer.
The Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK is a combination of only Nitrogen and potash in the ratio 15-0-15. It’s made by Simple Lawn Solutions, the same group that made the Ultimate Lawn Food we reviewed above.
This lawn fertilizer is meant for use on all grass types and is available in liquid form. In addition to that, there are three sizes available and the 1-quart container can be used to fertilize a lawn of about 3,200 sq. ft.
The Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK provides your lawn with good nutrients for a much darker green color. Also, it enhances the humic and fulvic acid conditions of the soil on your lawn.
Applying the fertilizer on a lawn is easy, thanks to the easy-to-use spray head that only requires a hose to supply water.
#7. Nitrogen Only Lawn Fertilizer – LawnStar Green-Up Lawn Supplement
Coverage: 4,000 sq. ft.
Features: lawn fertilizer containing only nitrogen, can serve areas of up to 4000 sq. ft. and is in liquid form, induces greenness of lawn from tip to root, works on all grass types.
Earlier on, we made reference to the LawnStar Green-Up Lawn Supplement as a viable option for anyone looking for nitrogen-only lawn fertilizer.
Since it’s nitrogen only fertilizer, most of the result you’ll achieve will be towards having a greener lawn. This lawn fertilizer is mostly geared towards people who have lawns that look brownish.
As you already know, its combined ratio is at 12-0-0. The nitrogen content isn’t as higher than normal and as such the likelihood of having excess nitrogen on your lawn is reduced.
This 1-quart container is enough to treat a lawn of up to 4,000 sq. ft. and it is easy to apply. For easy application, it comes with a spray nozzle which requires a hose to be attached at the other end and you get to work immediately.
If you’ve applied other NPK fertilizers that are rich in other nutrients other than nitrogen, you can add this fertilizer as a supplement to.
For instance, if you added the LawnStar 0-0-29 NPK Liquid Fertilizer which contains only potash or the Ultimate 3-18-18 NPK- Lawn Food which has only a small amount of nitrogen, you should use this LawnStar Green-Up Lawn Supplement to supplement them.
For parts of your lawn that have patches, you should reseed those areas and add this fertilizer.
Type: Dry mix
Coverage: 600 sq. ft.
Features: comes in a small-sized pack which can cover an area of about 600 sq. ft. and it is in dry mix form, it contains NPK in the ratio 30-0-6, fit for getting greener lawns.
The Miracle-Gro 1001834 Soluble Fertilizer is also another nitrogen-only lawn fertilizer. It has a more powerful nitrogen content than the LawnStar Green-up Lawn Supplement which we reviewed above.
For the Miracle-Gro, it contains nitrogen in the ratio 30-0-6, showing clearly that it’s focused on helping you get a lush green lawn. As we expected, it is perfect for feeding all grass types.
Easy application is out of the equation if you’re buying this lawn fertilizer as it’s in dry mix form. You’ll have to use a feeder like the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder to apply this on your lawn.
This pack is small and is mostly perfect for small-sized and postage stamp lawns as the case may be. It covers an area of 600 sq. ft. only.
The Miracle-Gro 1001834 Soluble Fertilizer will work well as a supplement to other balanced lawn fertilizers that you have added to your lawn.
Considering the fact that the nitrogen level is high, it’s advisable to apply only smaller quantities of this fertilizer to your lawn after a proper soil test has been done on your lawn.
#9. Potash Only Lawn Fertilizer – LawnStar 0-0-29 NPK Liquid Fertilizer
Coverage: 24,000 sq. ft.
Features: contains only potassium only and is available in liquid form, takes care of lawns that are growing stunted, one gallon of it can be used to fertilize a lawn with an area of 24,000 sq. ft.
If you notice that your lawn is becoming yellowish-green and is growing slowly, then it’s an indication that it may need potassium which is a very important growth catalyst for lawns.
While Nitrogen does the work of making the lawn look greener, potassium focuses on ensuring proper growth of the grass.
The LawnStar 0-0-29 NPK Liquid Fertilizer is our top pick for the best potassium only lawn fertilizer. It is available in liquid form as against the dry mix we expected to see.
This fertilizer is made from bioavailable potassium acetate – what we simply know as potassium in NPK. Its mix ratio is 0-0-29 and it is okay to be used on all grass types.
As you’d expect, it’s compatible with other fertilizers that add other nutrients to the soil. For instance, if you use the Miracle-Gro 1001834 Soluble Fertilizer which contains only nitrogen, you can add this to your lawn to supplement it.
With respect to the coverage area, one gallon of this LawnStar 0-0-29 NPK Liquid Fertilizer can be applied to a lawn of about 24,000 sq. ft. On the other hand, the 1-quart container will fertilize up to 6,000 sq. ft.
Applying this to your lawn can be a little demanding as you’ll need a tank with a sprayer to do the job. It would have been much better if it came with a spray nozzle head.
Type: Dry Mix
Coverage: 5,000 sq. ft.
Features: Balanced NPK fertilizer, comes in dry mix form, increases turf quality with its slow-release nitrogen, devoid of fertilizer coatings.
We’re wrapping up this review of the best lawn fertilizers with the review of the PGF All in One Complete Lawn Fertilizer. It’s from a well-known brand and is a balanced mixture of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the ratio 16-4-8.
This fertilizer is devoid of some of the fertilizer coatings which are present in a lot of fertilizers.
It’s not harmful per se, but it can easily be damaged by lawn mowers when you’re mowing the lawn leading to release of too many nutrients at once and a sudden burst in growth.
The PGF All in One Complete Lawn Fertilizer is available in dry mix form and requires just a sprayer or spreader for application. This single pack can be used to fertilize up to 5,000 sq. ft. of lawn space.
You also combine this fertilizer with some other fertilizers on your lawn.
When applying this fertilizer to the lawn, make sure to remove the droplets from the concrete driveways/walkways to prevent the iron present in it from staining the concrete.
FAQs: Lawn Fertilizers
We tried to answer some of the questions you may have regarding lawn fertilizers in this section of the article. To start with, we took a look at the much-debated battle between liquid lawn fertilizers and granular type.
Liquid lawn fertilizer vs. granular: which is better?
There has been so much debate between the efficacy of liquid and granular lawn fertilizers. In the course of our review above, we found out that fertilizers were mostly available in these two forms.
The answer to this question is hinged on some important factors that are themselves, dependent on other factors.
Price-wise, granular lawn fertilizers seem to be a cost-effective option. In addition to that, they are useful for lawns that don’t need the immediate release of nutrients from the fertilizer.
And of course, the issue of frequent application is eliminated given the time it takes for the granules of the fertilizer to be fully assimilated into the soil. Application is mostly by means of spreaders or hand dispersal as you wish.
On the other hand, liquid lawn fertilizers are good for lawns that need immediate nutrients. They begin to act on your lawn as soon as they come in contact with your grass.
To apply liquid fertilizer, you might need to add the fertilizer to a given amount of water. And you’ll need a hose or a sprayer to apply the fertilizer.
In addition to this, there’s also the increased likelihood of applying the liquid fertilizer over and over again with a short period of time.
In summary, the truth remains that both forms of fertilizer are good and can even be used interchangeably.
Will lawn fertilizer kill weeds?
Most of the lawn fertilizers available on the market won’t kill weeds. Instead, we suggest using other methods to remove weeds from your lawn.
Will applying lawn fertilizer cure patches?
Applying lawn fertilizer to an area of your lawn that has patches will not cause the patch to get cured. Instead, we suggest seeding the area in question with new seeds and then applying fertilizer to it after it must have grown a little on its own.
Is lawn fertilizer safe for pets?
Not all lawn fertilizers are safe for pets.
However, most manufacturers make pet-friendly lawn fertilizers. You can easily identify a pet-friendly lawn fertilizer by taking a look at the product packaging.
It suffices to say that all the lawn fertilizers you saw above are all safe for pets. Thus, your dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, etc. are free to get on the lawn.
Remember to take a look at the product leaflet or description for confirmation.
Can lawn fertilizer be applied in the rain?
This is a pretty funny question someone asked in a forum. Whether it was for fun or not, we’d like to answer it.
As we stated earlier in this article, lawn fertilizer application should be done with a weather forecast in mind. This will save you the stress of having to reapply your lawn fertilizer after the rain.
If it’s raining and you apply fertilizer – especially the granular type – you’re simply tossing it away as most of it will be carried away by rainwater into the drainage.
This will cause your lawn to remain as it is before application. And in turn, it will cost you money and the time to reapply the fertilizer on the lawn again.
In summary, it’s a totally bad idea to apply fertilizer in the rain.
Can you use lawn fertilizer on plants?
This certainly depends on the type of plant you intend to use it on. But yes, you can use lawn fertilizer on plants. However, you MUST take into consideration the NPK numbers as well as the other contents of the fertilizer such as iron, manganese, etc.
For instance, if you want to use lawn fertilizer on your flowers, use one that is rich in nitrogen since it promotes growth and greenness of plants.
In reverse, for plants that you need fruits from, there should be a lower concentration of nitrogen. Do you now understand the picture?
Don’t forget to conduct a soil test on the soil you want to apply the fertilizer. It’s VERY IMPORTANT.
Which lawn fertilizer is good to be used in spring?
Most lawn fertilizer manufacturers mark their products as safe for spring or fall.
So if you want a lawn fertilizer you can use in spring, look out for it on the product packaging and descriptions.
When is it safe to apply winterizer lawn fertilizer?
There is no predefined time to begin application of winter fertilizers in lawns. However, most people begin to apply in late October and even early in November.
You can apply them in early September as you wish.
Be sure to check out forecasts for winter beforehand considering the recent changes in climate.
Which lawn fertilizer is high in Nitrogen?
Based on the NPK ratio, if the first number is high, then the fertilizer in question is high in Nitrogen.
For instance, if the number on the packaging says 24-6-8, then it means there’s a high percentage of nitrogen and a lower percentage of phosphorus and potash respectively.
If you’re tired of feeling awry whenever you see a lush green lawn, then you should try and give your lawn some food. It’s important to know the level of nutrients in your soil before you choose a lawn fertilizer to buy.
And after that, you should trim the lawn if it’s overgrown before applying fresh fertilizer to it. Wait back and watch it happen.