It’s every homeowner’s dream to have a lush, green, and healthy lawn devoid of dead, yellowed and sparse grass. Attaining that dream, however, necessitates caring and nurturing your lawn by feeding it with the right nutrients and minerals as often as recommended. Your lawns and the plants in it require a proper balance of not only minerals and nutrients but also moisture, shade, and type of soil. It’s here that lawn fertilizers enter the scene. They offer a blend of the most important minerals – nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K) – to ensure your plants thrive and grow to their full potential.
Our Top 3 Picks
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- Osmocote +
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- Superior Lawn
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Considering the difficulty the vast majority of homeowners and greenhorns face in choosing the most suitable lawn fertilizer, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to impart on you the requisite knowledge to enable you to make an independent, informed decision.
10 Best Lawn Fertilizers
1. Miracle-Gro 1001233 All Purpose Plant Food
Growing that beautiful, green garden that has always been elusive doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, as the Miracle-Gro 1001233 patently proves. It’s one of the best cost-effective options that comes with a convenient built-in shake dispenser on the container to enable you quickly, easily, and evenly distribute the formula to all your plants. The fast-acting lawn fertilizer will ensure your plants grow big and beautiful, thanks to the formula that boasts a high concentration of natural ingredients that aim at nourishing the microbes in the soil. A brief and comprehensive review of the lawn fertilizer follows in the subsequent paragraphs.
The high mineral content, together with the fact that it comes with a convenient liquid format makes it quite easy and quick to apply to various plants in and around the house. It's a versatile choice that works wonderfully with flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and houseplants. For the best results, the manufacturer recommends applying the product every one to two weeks. And unlike cheap, off-brand models on the market, using the lawn fertilizer is very easy. All you have to do is thoroughly mix the product in the watering can before proceeding to water your plants the normal way.
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Applying it in strict adherence to the manufacturer’s recommendation gives the best results and eliminates the likelihood of the burning the plants. Also, because of the product’s formula of 24-8-16 NPK ratio, it’s imperative that you don’t overfeed the plants as that would negative the whole point of buying a lawn fertilizer in the first place. The lawn fertilizer boasts a high nitrogen concentration that greatly encourages root growth, and will help your plants, shrubs, vegetables, and flowers grow green and to their full potential.
The Miracle-Gro 1001233 is an excellent choice for the homeowner in search of a lawn fertilizer that balances affordability and performance. It’s versatile, easy to use, and fast-acting. You’ll love it.
Comes in several sizes
Cost-effective and provides impressive coverage
Not ideal for nurturing new growth
9. Osmocote Plus Outdoor and Indoor Smart-Release Plant Food
The fact that this product is fortified with up to 11 essential nutrients deservingly earns it a spot on the list of best lawn fertilizers on the market. It’s also a versatile choice that works effectively and easily with virtually all varieties of plants. Plus, it’s selection that impervious to seasonal changes and is safe to use provided you strictly follow the user instructions.
It differs from its competitors in the sense that it comes with nutrient granules with a semi-permeable resin coating. The thin design of the coating allows for the effortless penetration of water into the granule, thereby dissolving the encapsulated nutrients. The release of the nutrients is however dependent on weather changes. Higher temperatures encourage quicker and copious release of the nutrients while colder temperatures achieve the exact opposite. Of course after all the nutrients leave the semi-permeable resin it remains undissolved.
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While the bag weighs a paltry one pound, the blend of 11 different mineral and nutrients is enough to boost the growth and health of your lawn for approximately six months. It has a slow-release mechanism which means the nutrients and minerals will be released slowly over the six month period, therefore conveniently avoiding burning your plants
and lawn. Neither do you run the risk of wilting your leaves due to an overexposure to nitrogen, as is often the case with some poorly composed lawn fertilizers on the market.
And applying it to your lawn is much easier and quicker than other varieties. You won’t have to use a bunch of tools. All you have to do is add it to the soil and ensure it properly mixes with the top layer. The smart release granules and the slow-release mechanism makes the lawn fertilizer one of the best money can buy.
Compatible with several plant varieties
Impervious to harsh growing conditions
Perfect for both indoor and outdoor plants
Safe for kids and pets
Has an advantageous slow-release mechanism
Pellets can stay for a long time before dissolving
Has one of the highest per-pound costs
3. Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 NPK
Using the Superior Nitrogen & Potash 15-0-15 comes with a myriad of benefits, both to the user and their lawns. For one, it features a budget-friendly price tag that won’t dent your pocket and secondly, it boasts compatibility with a wide range of grass types including but not limited to Bermuda, Fescue, and St. Augustine. The formula is laden with a broad range of micronutrients including those from seaweed and fish all of which are designed to ensure the optimal survival of the soil microbes, which in turn provides for stronger root development.
The product is a perfect choice for use on lawns showing symptoms of nitrogen and potassium deficiency. Being a 15-0-15 phosphorous-free liquid lawn food nutritional supplement, it works all around the clock from the second of application to drastically improve the health of your lawn. The professional and seamless combination of nitrogen, potassium and humic/fulvic acid substantially intensifies green and growth and provides the most essential nutrients to ensure the grass remains strong and healthy during growth.
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Besides intensifying growth, humic/fulvic acid is also perfect for conditioning the soil and helps with the quick, efficient, and even distribution of food all through the plant cell.
It should also be up your alley if you're looking for a lawn fertilizer you can apply quickly and easily. The bottle is designed for quick and even application with a coverage of up to 3,200 square feet, making it a solid choice for users with small to average-sized lawns. The formula is safe and pure and devoid of any harsh chemicals that would otherwise stress your lawn and grass. It's also safe for children and pets.
The Superior Nitrogen & Potash has several attendant advantages. For one, it’s pocket-friendly. To this add a high-performance and effective nutrition profile that devoid of phosphate. It's a great deal that will drastically rejuvenate the health of the weak and malnourished grass.
It’s 100% organic and safe
Perfect for all grass types
Facilitates root and blade development
4. Milorganite 0636
The list would not be complete if we didn’t mention another high-end lawn fertilizer; the Milorganite 0636. The brand’s prudent decision to use heat-dried microbes to make it provides for the effortless penetration and quick rejuvenation of the soil. The result strong, healthy and quickly growing plants. Another highlight, which can swing either positively or negatively depending on your perspective, is the attendant smell that keeps intruders such as rabbits at bay.
The highly nutritious profile of it takes the time, effort, and guesswork away from growing one of the thickest, greenest, and most lush lawns in the world. Because it is made primarily from heat-dried microbes, the lawn fertilizer works best on a lawn with a robust root system, helping the user quickly attain that elusive green-looking lawn they've always admired. And since it boasts a high nitrogen content, it's a perfect choice for promoting top growth. The 4 percent added iron, on the other hand, works by giving your lawn the deep green colour, guaranteed to make your lawn the envy of the neighbourhood in no time at all.
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The Milorganite 0636 contains no harmful chemicals. You can safely and confidently apply it in the presence of children and pets. Also because it is an all-purpose option, you can use it on shrubs, trees, flowers, vegetables, and even on golf courses. Like our previous pick, this lawn fertilizer is also an all-season choice that can be applied at any time in the course of the growing season and is impervious to changes in climatic conditions.
An additional impressive feature is the slow-release mechanism that guarantees durable outcomes of up to two months, conveniently translating to fewer applications. A 36-pound package should provide a coverage of up to 2,500 square feet, making it perfect for small lawns.
If you're looking for an option that rapidly penetrates the soil and boasts a high organic nitrogen content, look no further than the Milorganite 0636. If you can ignore the unpleasant fertilizer smell, you’ll its versatility and quick action.
Purely organic, hence safe
Has iron for intensified greening
Designed for all season application
5. Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore
The fact that this option contains only plant-based nutrients instead of poultry litter or bio-solids means it doesn’t expose your lawn, plants, trees, shrubs, and flowers to any harm. Neither will you have to contend with strong odours reminiscent of using manures. And the results are surprisingly rapid considering that the lawn fertilizer works by feeding beneficial bacteria, fungi, and soil microbes. After just a few weeks of consistent use, you’ll be surprised by how green and lush your lawn will turn.
With a fertilizer analysis of 10-0-6, it works all around the clock from the first day of application in order for the substances in the soil balance properly, resulting to a healthy and green lawn in an average of 4 days. The lawn fertilizer is similarly an economical and effective choice. A single bag gives a coverage of 5,000 sq/f, therefore an ideal choice for medium-sized lawns. After an even and diligent application, you can now rest easy, confident in the knowledge the lawn is now able to survive droughts, diseases, distressing conditions.
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Like mentioned earlier, fungi and bacteria in the soil play a crucial role in making your lawn lush and green. Consequently, it ensures the best possible results by feeding the two, enabling to get the food required by the lawn. In addition to intensifying the growth of strong and green grass, it also stops the growth of weeds which, among other factors, makes it ideal for use on a wide range of grass types. Because the product doesn’t use any salt-based chemicals, there is no likelihood of it chemically burning your lawn plants.
For homeowners looking for an inexpensive way of making their lawns greener and lusher, take another look at this option. It’s an ideal choice for lawns with an already established root system. And it’s safe to use around or in the presence of kids and pets. So that’s another concrete reason to strongly consider it.
Easy to use
Doesn’t harm or burn grass/lawn
Perfect for high-traffic yards
A little expensive
6. Jobe's Organics
The Jobe’s Organics Bone Meal Fertilizer is yet another perfect choice for homeowners looking for an option with a knack for quickly stimulating the growth of roots. The product is recommended for use on bulbs, vegetables, and flowering plants. With a fertilizer analysis of 2-14-15, it provides your lawn with all the phosphorous and calcium required for a strong and healthy growth. Another unique selling point of the lawn fertilizer is that it's made entirely out of an organic bone meal, enabling it to effortlessly and quickly promote sturdy root systems and stimulate bigger, better fruits and blooms.
It boasts a perfectly concentrated formula that starts work almost instantly to rejuvenate your garden, keeping it alive through the drought, rough climatic conditions, and extreme weather changes. It provides the love and care your plants need for a fuller and greener life. And it's a versatile and solid choice that works just as amazing with plants, tubers, bulbs, shrubs, and flowers as it does with food plants like vegetables.
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The certification of this product by the USDA should give you the peace of mind and confidence to apply it liberally knowing that it's free of any chemicals that would otherwise stress your lawn and even burn your plants. The lawn fertilizer has 2 percent, 14 percent, and 15 percent nitrogen, phosphate, and calcium, respectively, making it one of the most nutrient-rich option on our list.
As for directions of use, the manufacturer recommends applying it after every 12 weeks or once a season to achieve the best results. It also comes in its granulated "prilled" form to minimize dust as the user applies it. Besides, we like mentioned earlier, it's a safe and perfect choice for the lawn all plants on it. Plus, it's compatible with virtually all kinds of fertilizer spreaders.
The Jobe's Organics Bone Meal is without a double one of the best keys to healthy and green plants. It’s cost-effective, easy to apply, and boasts an effective fertilizer formula for the quick grown of plants.
Promotes root growth
It’s not an all-season choice
7. Scotts Turf Builder 5,000-sq ft
The Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food makes short and relatively quick work of building the greenest, thickest, and most attractive lawn. Its formulation with the brand's exclusive All-in-One Particles allows it to green and feed your lawn uniformly. After a few days of consistent use, you'll grass will grow conspicuously thick, a process that also helps crowd out needs weeds while strengthening lawn. The result is formidable protection against any future problems. And did we mention it's an all-season lawn fertilizer?
As it indicates right on the package, it features a superior fertilizer analysis aimed at making your lawn strong so it withstands any future problems. It rapidly builds robust and sturdy roots capable of withstanding stresses occasioned by unpredictable and sudden weather changes and other unforeseen circumstances.
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Regularly feeding your lawn substantially improves its water and nutrients absorption capabilities, and the difference between your lawn and an unfed one will be glaring after just a few weeks. The fertilizer is also designed to improve your lawn’s efficiency at utilizing the available water, which reduces watering frequency while achieving the same positive results.
And the icing on the cake is that it is suitable for use with a wide range of grass types. Whether you are growing Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, St. Augustine, Bermuda, or Tall Fescue, the results are remarkably similar across the board. Like our previous picks, this option helps with the growth of stronger and deeper roots capable of maximum absorption of water and nutrients. A single bag gives you a coverage of approximately 5000 square feet, meaning that it’s an ideal for medium-sized lawns. It’s recommended the homeowner uses a spreader when applying it to ensure an even application on every nook and cranny of the lawn.
The Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food provides a quick, efficient, and cost-effective way of reviving a lacklustre lawn. It has the perfect fertilizer analysis that promises the strongest roots and healthiest plants. At its price, it’s an unbeatable deal.
Doesn’t have phosphorous
Enhances root growth
Facilitates absorption of nutrients and water
Very effective and quick results
8. Espoma ELF20
The Espoma ELF20 is no different from other lawn fertilizers. In fact, it comes in such a mundane package you could be tempted to overlook it outright with a dismissive wave of the hand. However, take a second at it and you realize it features one of the best fertilizer analysis on the market. It’s also an all-season lawn food boasting between two and four times the normal coverage of natural lawn foods. The 18-0-3 formula promises and invariably delivers quick greening and durable feeding.
First off, the Espoma ELF20 is 100 percent organic, meaning that unlike cheap, off-brand models masquerading as lawn fertilizers on the market, it's free of any chemicals that would harm your plants and lawn or garden. It's also safe to use around or in the presence of children and pets
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An additional advantage of using an organic option is that it poses no harm water runoff, which pairs nicely with the fact that it doesn't have phosphorous, not even in trace amounts. The absence of phosphorous, however, means that it won't assist with root growth and development, meaning it's only ideal for lawns with an already established root system.
Unlike some of our previous picks, this food has the advantage, or disadvantage depending on how you look at it, of having a slow-release mechanism. The delayed gratification will see the blue pellets take their time on the soil surface before making their way into the soil with frequent watering. A little patience is later rewarded with strong and deep roots not to mention thick, green, and long leaves.
With such multifold benefits, it’s not a surprise the Espoma ELF20 is an all-time favourite of homeowners looking to revive their unfed and weak lawns. Aside from the delayed gratification, this lawn fertilizer works like a charm.
Eco-friendly and all organic
Prevents weed growth
Safe for children and pets
Doesn’t encourage root growth and development
2. Scotts 26007B
The Scotts 26007B is the epitome of versatility. In addition to nourishing the microbes in the soil for quick, strong, and beautiful growth, the product also kills and prevents weeds from growing. Moving forward, your plants won't have to compete with any weeds for water and other growth-enhancing nutrients, and neither will you have to prune them out yourself.
Being an all-season option, the lawn fertilizer works by feeding and strengthening your lawn, and establishing a rock-solid foundation to ensure the roots of your plants grow deep and strong for maximum nutrients absorption. The infusion of it with the brand's All-in-One Particle technology substantially facilitates uniform greening and feeding which effectively brings to an end an unsightly situation where some plants are a lot greener than others. Like our previous pick, the lawn fertilizer is effective on all types of plants, including grass.
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And unlike some complex and less effective options on the market, the Scotts 26007B is quite a cinch to use. A 13.42-pound bag has a coverage of up to 4000 square feet, which makes it perfect for homeowners with small- to medium-sized lawns. And you’re at liberty to apply it on both wet and dry lawns, which makes a true all-season option. For uniform application on an expansive lawn, it’s highly recommended the user takes advantage of the brand’s EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader.
Still, applying it when the temperatures are soaring past 90 degrees Fahrenheit exposes your plants to lots of stress. To arrest that possibility, make a point of watering them immediately after applying it. Additionally, for best results, apply the feed between a 6 to 8 weeks window. The 32-0-4 NPK formula means the product doesn't come with an expiry date and can be applied easily and sparing for as long as it takes.
If you want a pocket-friend option to feed and strengthen your lawn, the Scotts 26007B Turf Builder Southern Triple Action comes highly recommended. It helps increase water and nutrient absorption and is an all-season choice for thoroughly fertilizing your lawn.
Safe for pets and children
It’s an all-season choice
Necessitates using a spreader
10. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - for New Grass
Rounding up the list of ten of the best lawn fertilizers on the market is yet another high-quality product from the highly reputed and customer trusted brand Scotts. Unlike other models that you can use with already existing grass, the Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food is ideal for growing new grass
. Using it according to the brand’s instruction promises you grass that’s 70 percent thicker and growing 35 percent faster than unfed grass. And best of all, it won’t dent your pockets with exorbitant prices like models on the markets, making it an ideal choice for users working on a budget.
The difference between this product and other models in terms of performance is glaring. It gets new grass growing quickly with its immensely beneficial fertilizer analysis that contains all the essential nutrients and minerals for a healthy growth. The 24-25-4 fertilizer ratio encourages the quick and strong development of the roots and the leaves, or blades. Compared to your neighbour's unfed lawn, yours will soon be turning your neighbour green with envy.
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It is also a versatile one. In addition to new grass, the product is also perfect for a wide range of other grass types, including but not limited to Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Tall Fescue.
For best results, the manufacturer recommends watering your lawn at least once per day to ensure the soil remains moist. Regularly feed it to maintain its thick, green look. Mowing is only recommended when the grass reaches a height of 3-inches. The bag is earmarked for a 1000 square foot area. If you have a bigger lawn, you’re going to need several of these bags.
In all, that the product a pocket-friendly lawn fertilizer containing all the essential nutrients and minerals for the quick, healthy, and strong growth of grass. It's a flexible choice that will bear the same amazing results for a broad range of grass types. It quickly enhances root and blade development thereby improving absorption, enabling the grass to withstand adverse weather conditions and changes.
Perfect for new grass
Promotes root and blade growth
Compatible with virtually all grass types
Doesn’t require watering after you apply it
Coverage of 1,000 square feet is small
Criteria for Choosing the Best Lawn Fertilizers
The quality of a lawn fertilizer may not seem like a worthy consideration but it’s a big deal. Obviously, using a high-quality lawn fertilizer on one lawn and a substandard one another will achieve very different results. A high-quality product guarantees a quickly growing, healthy, and green lawn that in turn occasions big, beautiful and thriving flowers.
To this end, keep in mind the overall quality of your choice, including the consistency and presence of all the essential minerals and nutrients.
Choosing an ideal lawn fertilizer involves considering the constituent elements to gain a better understanding of its ingredients. In addition to having high-quality ingredients, the product needs to be deficient of any materials or substances that would be inimical to the health of the lawn, the plants in it, and the user.
No one wants to expose themselves and their loved ones to dangerous chemicals for the sake of having a green, lush, and healthy lawn, and we bet neither do you. As a health-conscious user, make a point of verifying the safety of the ingredients to your pets and children before committing your hard earned money.
As mentioned above, you have the choice of going for the highest quality and safest lawn fertilizer the market has to offer so as to not expose yourself and your family to any harm. Closely related to that is the choice you have to make between using lawn fertilizers made from purely organic matter, or purely synthetic materials or a combination of both.
The market is filled to the brim with varieties to meet an individual’s unique needs, and so does our list. Irrespective of your choice, expect to find some high-quality options boasting incredible consistency aimed at rejuvenating lawns and a wide range of grass types.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is there a specific fertilizer to water ratio to observe when applying lawn fertilizers?
A: The ratio varies from one product to another and in some cases you don’t need water at all. Check the instructions on the package before proceeding.
Q: What does the NPK value mean and what do I make of it?
A: The NPK value is an indication of the percent of macronutrients present in the package and it’s expressed as a percentage of weight. N stands for nitrogen, P for phosphorous, while K stands for potassium. As an example, a lawn fertilizer with the NPK value of 20-5-10 means the package has 20% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 15% potassium.
Attaining a picture perfect lawn dotted with several lush, green and healthy plants requires effort and patience. However, with the right lawn fertilizer, you don’t have to hold your breath for years. Luckily, our list features some of the best the market has to offer. They are effective, cost-effective, and very easy to use.
After a few weeks of consistent use, they should rejuvenate your lawn and the plants on it. Happy shopping.