The Best Lawn Fertilizers

Best image of lawn fertilizers
Photo: Lilly Miller Central Garden Brands Quart Fish Emul Fertilizer
UPDATED AUGUST 14, 2020

To help you find the perfect lawn fertilizer, we continuously put forth the effort to update and expand our list of recommendable lawn fertilizers. Our team collects, edits and publishes new information, in order to present it to you in an accurate, significant and neatly arranged way.

Best image of lawn fertilizers
Photo: Lilly Miller Central Garden Brands Quart Fish Emul Fertilizer

Our Picks

Safer Brand Ringer Restore image
Plant-based nutrients - no poultry litter or bio-solids
ScotchBlue Scotts Turf Builder Food image
Lawn fertilizer formulated to feed and strengthen your lawn and protect again...
Our Choice
Safer Brand Ringer Restore image
Plant-based nutrients - no poultry litter or bio-solids
Low Price
ScotchBlue Scotts Turf Builder Food image
Lawn fertilizer formulated to feed and strengthen your lawn and protect again...

8 Lawn Fertilizer Alternatives

Promotes healthy plant growth with 11 vitamins

Can be used on all indoor and outdoor plants

100-percent organic

Grow a beautiful vegetable garden

Flowers and foliage will be stronger and more colorful

Blooms will be more plentiful, fragrant and longer lasting

For all flowers, vegetables, trees, shrubs and house plants

Feeds up to 3 months

Formulated with Micronutrients to help plants grow stronger and be more productive

Complete NPK Lawn Food: 16-4-8 is the perfect blend of key macronutrients. This lawn li...

Contains High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn to health with pure liq...

Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This complete Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potas...

Fertilizes in 24 hours while controlling for weeds

Kills dandelions, clover and other major lawn weeds

Other weeds include buckhorn, chickweed, ground ivy, henbit, knotweed, lambsquarters, o...

Scotts Turf Builder Mini walk-behind broadcast spreader features Scotts exclusive EdgeG...

Designed to deliver superior results when used with Scotts fertilizer and grass seed pr...

Comes pre-calibrated and fully assembled with fold-down handle for easy storage

Triple Action kills, prevents and feeds

Kills the weeds you see and the ones you don't, including dandelions, chickweed, clover...

Prevents crabgrass for 4 months and feeds to build thick green lawns

3-in-1 solution for thin lawns, including seed, fertilizer and soil improver

Seed to fill gaps in your current lawn

Fertilizer for thicker, greener turf

Buying Guide

Want a healthier lawn, but don’t know where to start? Have no fear! There are a lot of different types of fertilizer on the market, and it can be quite daunting to figure out which one is right for you. The good news is, there is a logic to all of this that is actually pretty understandable even if you don’t have a green thumb. After you learn about the different types of fertilizers, try one of these recommended fertilizers and you’ll soon become the envy of your block.
The nutrients your lawn needs

All plants need a combination of three nutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Every fertilizer has a certain proportion of these nutrients, and different nutrients are important for different things. Nitrogen is important for growth, phosphorus encourages flowers and roots to grow, and potassium is a supporting nutrient.
The percentage of each nutrient will be listed on any fertilizer that you buy. It will look like three numbers, such as 18-6-12 or 5-10-5. The first number stands for nitrogen, since it’s the nutrient your lawn needs the most. The second number stands for phosphorus, and the third stands for potassium. Thus, these numbers are often called the “N-P-K ratio.”

Don’t worry, though — you don’t need to calculate the proper ratio of nutrients on your own. Different ratios are appropriate for broad categories of lawns — for example, a certain N-P-K ratio may be suitable for a specific age of grass, season or geographic location.

Here are some basic guidelines to go by:

For a new lawn, you’ll need more phosphorus to encourage the young grass to produce hardy roots. That means you want more phosphorus, so you want a fertilizer with more phosphorus and potassium than nitrogen. That means you want the second and third number to be bigger than the first. Think of this as a “small-big-big” ratio.

For an established lawn, you need more nitrogen than anything else. You need a “big-small-small” ratio.

A stressed lawn that’s preparing for extreme cold, frost or drought needs extra potassium — these are sometimes sold as “winterizing” fertilizers — so you need a “big-small-big” ratio.
Note that too much of one nutrient can throw your lawn out of balance in addition to being extremely harmful to the environment. If you’re in doubt about what your own lawn needs, never hesitate to ask a gardener.

Organic or synthetic?

Lawn fertilizers can be divided into two main types: organic and synthetic. Organic fertilizers are made of natural materials like cottonseed, seaweed, blood meal, green sand or alfalfa. These are high-nutrient ingredients that are found naturally and processed for you to use on your lawn. Organic fertilizers work especially well as a year-round, regular solution. They won’t work quite as well as a fast-acting solution to a dehydrated lawn, because they’re made of natural materials that take time to break down into the soil.

Synthetic fertilizers are also known as chemical fertilizers. They’re most commonly found in garden and lawn stores. They’re usually in granular or pellet form (more on that below), and they’re usually more potent and fast-acting because they contain concentrated forms of specific nutrients. For the same reason, they can more easily be tailored to specific uses since the N-P-K ratio can be manipulated to whatever is necessary for a particular season, plant or location. Chemical fertilizers can be useful in ways that an organic fertilizer is not: for example, if you need immediate nutrient flow, then a synthetic fertilizer can work well in the short-term.

However, synthetic formulas can also be dangerous for your lawn. Their effects are short-lived, and they diminish the fertility of the soil itself making it necessary to keep fertilizing over and over for the same effects (which is harmful for the environment).
Keep in mind that, while organic fertilizers are better for the environment in many ways, too much fertilizer is harmful no matter where it comes from. Organic fertilizer can be a pollutant, too!

Granular, pellet or water-soluble?

Fertilizers also come in different formulas. Many synthetic fertilizers come in pellet form and must be deposited onto the lawn and then released into the soil. Organic fertilizers often come in granular form. Other fertilizers come in liquid or water-soluble form. Pellets take time to dissolve into the soil, while water-soluble fertilizers dissolve rapidly. Either one of these formulas can be relatively easy to disperse over large distances.

Time-release, gradual release or manual release?

Some granular fertilizers are timed so that they automatically re-release their nutrients without needing to be reapplied. There are also gradual release fertilizers that release their nutrients slowly over a period of time, which helps prevent the nutrients from “burning” the lawn by adding too much of one nutrient at once. This will also help prevent the fertilizer from leaching away into the soil.
Manual release fertilizers are simply fertilizers that you add by hand or with a hose.

This category is mostly up to personal preference, though often certain types or brands of fertilizers only come in one formula. In specific cases, however, one formula can be especially beneficial. One main tip is that if you choose to go with a synthetic formula, you should make sure to buy a gradual release fertilizer, which will counteract some of the potentially harmful effects or chemical fertilizers described above.

How much? How often?

The amount of fertilizer that you should apply is completely dependent on the N-P-K ratio of the ingredients. If you’re using a nitrogen-heavy fertilizer, for instance, you don’t want to apply too much too quickly or you could damage your plants. This is true for all of the nutrients, in fact. The easiest way to get this right is to read the package’s label carefully, and follow the directions.
As far as how often to fertilize, the answer is dependent on your lawn and the fertilizer, but a good rule of thumb to follow is “not too often.” It’s better to use a gradual-release fertilizer than to over-apply.

Leave your clippings

A bonus tip: you can save money on fertilizing your lawn by leaving the clippings on the grass when you mow it. Usually you need to compost raw material before it will be of any use to plants, but in this case the combination of dried leaves and fresh glass clippings gets the job started for you. This method will improve the health of your soil and allow you to fertilize less often. This technique is also known as “grasscycling.”

Your lawn, your choice

Ultimately, the decision about which fertilizer to buy is up to you. Everybody makes mistakes with their lawn at some point. It’s part of the learning process, so try not to stress too much and trust your own senses. With a bit of basic knowledge, some highly recommended products and the willingness to ask for help, you’ll eventually find the lawn of your dreams.

Top Rated Lawn Fertilizers

If you're looking into finding the best rated lawn fertilizer, you should probable check out the Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer. We looked at various sources of reviews and found this one to have the best mix between review count and average rating stars.

Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer

The Lowest Price We Could Find

Often, going for the best price is a simple but good option. With a price of $10.79 (last checked this morning), we do not list any other lawn fertilizer cheaper than the Lilly Miller Central Garden Brands Quart Fish Emul Fertilizer. Just remember that it's not always the best option to go for the cheapest one.

Lilly Miller Central Garden Brands Quart Fish Emul Fertilizer

The Lawn Fertilizer With the Most Reviews

With at least 1238 reviews and counting, the Unco Industries Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings Organic Fertilizer might be another option to consider. This large amount of reviews signalizes that many people are using it, with most of them beeing satisfied.

High Quality Lawn Fertilizers

It's quite rare that the saying "You get what you pay for" turns out incorrect. If you have the money on the sideline, feel free to choose the most expensive item from our list: The Safer Brand Ringer Restore currently sells for $75.07.

Safer Brand Ringer Restore

The Lawn Fertilizer With the Most Clicks

If you trust us and our users, feel free to check out the Safer Brand Ringer Restore. Our statistics say that it is the most favorite Lawn Fertilizer from the list above.

Our Bestseller

If you're still undecided, I would recommend that you go with the masses and choose the top selling lawn fertilizer: The Miracle-Gro Shake 'n Feed Continuous Release All Purpose Plant Food is the hottest bestseller in this category right now.

Miracle-Gro Shake 'n Feed Continuous Release All Purpose Plant Food

Lawn Fertilizer Reviews

There are no reviews on lawn fertilizers, yet.
Be the first to write a review, or check for additional reviews in the Further Reading section below.

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Further Reading on Lawn Fertilizers

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about reviews, pros & cons and similar products.
Natural Lawn Care | Eartheasy Guides & Articles
Fertilizing in early fall promotes vigorous lawn growth the next spring. Use a Fertilizer with Time-Released, Water Insoluble Nitrogen. Convert Your Lawn to a Drought-Resistant, Low-Maintenance Eco-Lawn. Control Lawn Weeds with Corn Glut... ...
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Save 10% on mosquito, tick and flea control. Use Code: Bug18. 10% Off Summer Lawn Fertilizer Application A3. Protect Your Family With Safer Tick Control.‎Lawn Care · ‎Products For Purchase · ‎About Natural Alternative · ‎P... ...
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If you want your turf lawn to grow well, it is important to know and understand the pros and cons of both types of fertilizers. Fertilizers with quick release nitrogen readily provide the nutrients immediately to plants. They use water-s... ...
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Research

Do you want to know more about lawn fertilizers? Check out the links below to gain knowledge about the whole topic of lawn fertilizer products.

Useful Videos

Organic Lawn Fertilizer

More people are searching for natural, organic lawn fertilizers, but the term organic has often been misused. In this video Doc talks about the new organic ...

Disclaimer: This video was not made by us, but we found it interesting enough to embed it here.

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