Like our bodies, grass also needs food to thrive. Planting and watering grass simply isn’t enough to keep it healthy. Fertilizer is necessary for a lush and green lawn. While the process may be slightly time-consuming, it isn’t difficult, and the reward of a beautiful lawn is worth the investment of your time and money.
Knowing the type of fertilizer to use and when to fertilize can be tricky. That is where this guide will come in handy. We’ve put together for you the information you need to understand how fertilizer works, a basic plan to follow, a buying guide and reviews for the best fertilizer for grass.
Things to Consider
Know your grass: this will help you determine when you should fertilize:
- Warm Season Grass. Avoid fertilizing during the hottest summer months; apply once in early spring, again in late spring and then a third time during late summer.
- Cool Season Grass. Fertilize twice in the fall and again during the spring.
There are also options for how you fertilize. Be sure to follow directions carefully for each of these types:
- Broadcast Spreader. A walk behind spreader best used for large areas.
- Drop spreader. Similar to a broadcast spreader but meant to drop fertilizer in smaller, more concentrated areas.
- Handheld Spreader. Designed for patchy areas and small lawns.
Top 10 Fertilizers for Grasses Comparison
|1. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - WinterGuard Fall Lawn Food, 5,000-sq ft||5,000 square feet||$$||4.6|
|2. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food - 5 lbs (Not Sold in MD, NJ) ||4,000 square feet||$$||4.5|
|3. GreenView Fall Lawn Food, 16 lb. bag Covers 5000 sq. ft||5,000 square feet||$$||4.4|
|4. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food, 5,000-sq ft (Lawn Fertilizer) ||5,000 square feet||$$||4.4|
|5. Safer Brand 9333 Ringer Lawn Fertilizer - 25 Pounds||5,000 square feet||$$$||4.3|
|6. Scotts Natural Lawn Food - 2,500-sq ft||2,500 – 4,000 square feet||$$$||4.2|
|7. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food - Starter Food for New Grass, 1,000-sq ft||1,000 square feet||$||4.2|
|8. Jonathan Green 11351 Mag-I-Cal Pelletized Calcium Fertilizer, 45-Pound ||Up to 10,000 square feet||$$$$||4.1|
|9. Organics Rx Sea Kelp 100 Seaweed Fertilizer, 32 fl. oz.||Not Specified||$||4.1|
|10. Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer, 36-Pound||2,500 square feet||$$$||4.0|
Understanding the key components that make fertilizer work is important. If you want the best lawn fertilizer, you want a product that has the following ingredients:
- Nitrogen. The most important element your lawn needs to grow green, dense and healthy grass.
- Potassium. Necessary for toughening foliage and roots.
- Phosphorous. It works underground to encourage healthy root growth.
Store bought fertilizer should contain these three key elements but in different amounts. If you understand which type of grass you have, you’ll be able to determine how much of each element is needed.
Choosing a type of fertilizer is largely a matter of personal preference, and there are several to choose from:
- Granular. A popular choice because of its longevity and ease of use; easy to use with spreaders; some formulas are time-release, or fast-release so read product information before purchase.
- Organic. Made with fish emulsion and once living organisms; can be applied with a rake, spreader or by hand; breaks down slowly; works well to improve texture and density of grass.
- Liquid. Typically concentrated; easy to apply with a hose and spray bottle.
- Synthetic. Chemically produced; can penetrate soil quicker for fast results; poor longevity and requires frequent applications.
Be sure to check your local regulations regarding the types of fertilizer allowed and the rules for how often it can be applied.
Top 3 Best Fertilizer for Grass Reviews
Scotts Turf Builder is probably the best fertilizer for grass on our list. It is suitable for all lawns/grass types. It helps to improve your lawn’s ability to absorb nutrients and water. It also helps strengthen roots. You can get 5,000 square feet of coverage, which is equal to 10 yards.
You’ll also find this fertilizer works well to repair damage from drought and heat. It is recommended by Scotts that you apply this product once during early fall and then again 6 – 8 weeks later. Two applications should protect your lawn all winter.
One thing to consider. This product can react to humidity and clog a spreader so avoid applying during excessively humid weather. Aside from that, this is an affordable product with great results. If you follow directions carefully, you can expect beautiful, healthy grass. NOTE: This product is not sold in Pinellas County, Florida.
This fertilizer is safe for all grass types and can be applied anytime during the season your grass is growing. One 5-pound box will cover 5,000 square feet. It can be used for established or newly seeded lawns as well as those with poor growth that need revitalization.
This Miracle Gro fertilizer has a high nitrogen content and also contains chelated iron. These two ingredients will ensure a dense, green lawn. Because it is a water-soluble formula, you’ll get the best results by applying with a sprayer. Read and follow all directions.
You can expect results fairly quickly with this fertilizer, and there should be no burn marks on your lawn. If you are looking for an easy-to-use product that is budget-friendly, this is a good option. NOTE: This is not sold in Maryland or New Jersey.
GreenView has developed a technology they call GreenSmart. It is their special blend of ingredients meant to enhance growth while at the same time revitalizing the soil with nutrients. This 16-pound bag will cover 5,000 square feet, and it is that you apply with a spreader.
This food is a mix of slow and quick release formulas. It should be applied during fall months to promote spring growth and is best suited for established lawns and not for newly seeded lawns. It will also work well on brown or patchy spots. One application will last up to 8 weeks.
It is the least expensive of our top 3 products. If you are searching for a fertilizer that is simple to use, works with any grass and yields fast results by way of greener and healthier grass, then give this one a try.