Beautiful lush lawns are always owners’ pride. Who doesn’t love the soothing sight of a fresh green velvety lawn? We have all heard the quote, “the grass is greener where you water it!”. The effort you put in with the best lawn fertilizer is what makes the lawn a treat to the eyes.
Did you know that lawns have more purpose than just beautiful looks? Lawns have a positive effect on the environment too. Studies show that grasses increase the production of oxygen, prevent soil erosion, reduce the temperature, improve air quality, abate noise, and purify water. Wow! Now we all want to have a little lawn, don’t we? Lawn care is very important to have a healthy, lush lawn.
Is it enough if we water the lawn regularly? Well, it turns out that this is not enough. Grasses, like all other plants, need nutrients for their growth. While most of the nutrients that the grasses need come from the soil, they need more for healthy growth. This is where lawn fertilizers come to our rescue.
Lawn fertilizers come in various forms and types, so choosing the right fertilizer becomes an important criterion. Do not panic; we have all the information to guide you to choose the best product to grow and maintain a beautiful lawn.
Here is our pick of top 5 fertilizers and a comparison of their important features.
|Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer||
|Scotts 22305 Turf Builder Northern Lawn Food, 5M||
|Miracle-Gro All Purpose Water Soluble Lawn Food||
Easy to use
|Lawn Food Natural Liquid Fertilizer - Simple Lawn Solutions||
|Espoma ELF20 20-Pound Organic All Season Lawn Food||
1. Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer – Best Lawn Fertilizer for Spring
Design and Materials:
This fertilizer comes in a 36 lbs bag, which will give a 2500 sq ft coverage. This is an 85% organic granule fertilizer. It is made of heat-dried microbes and is prepared by recycling wastewater. It also contains 4% iron.
How does it work?
This is the most versatile fertilizer, a slow or controlled-release fertilizer. It has water insoluble Nitrogen, and the nutrients are released slowly to the soil. The salt-free formula prevents scorching of lawns in hot temperatures. The iron content makes the grass greener. The organic matter present in the Milorganite enriches the soil and improves the capacity to hold water.
It is a safe product, and you would not have to worry about your children and pets being on the lawn after the fertilizer has been applied.
Overall this is a very environment-friendly fertilizer made of natural ingredients that comply with EPA standards. Considering the product benefits and safety aspects, we rate this as a versatile must get fertilizer.
2. Scotts 22305 Turf Builder Northern Lawn Food, 5M – Best Lawn Fertilizer for Summer
Design and Materials:
The fertilizer comes in 12.5 lb bag, which gives a 5000sq ft coverage. This has a large content of Nitrogen. It does not contain any phosphorus.
How does it work?
The All Seasonal All-rounder-fertilizer. This is an excellent fertilizer to feed and strengthen your grass. This is a fast release fertilizer, and it promotes strong root growth. So there is better absorption of water and nutrients, promoting better growth. The all – in – one particle technology promotes even greening and feeding. Due to the large content of Nitrogen, you can observe the results quickly. As it does not have any phosphorous is advisable not to use the fertilizer on the newly planted lawn. The application of the fertilizer on a hot day may lead to burning, and the application of water immediately is recommended.
This fertilizer is a child and pet-friendly.
Overall this fertilizer with a large quantity of Nitrogen and zero phosphorus promotes good growth of the grass. It is eco-friendly and is even suitable for those who have no or very limited knowledge of the lawn. This fertilizer is suitable for usage on all types of grasses.
3. Miracle-GRO Water Soluble Lawn Food – Best Fall Fertilizer for Lawn
Design and Materials:
This quick fertilizer comes in 5 lbs pack. This is a synthetic fertilizer that contains a high percentage of nitrogen and chelated iron. This is a fast release fertilizer.
How does it work?
The high percentage of nitrogen and chelated iron in the fertilizer that produces a greener lawn within a few days of application. The product does not cause any burning if used according to the directions. The soluble nature allows feeding while watering, cutting the need for irrigation after application. This fertilizer is to be applied by foliar feeding mechanism, and the absorption is quick through leaves and roots. Due to the quick absorption, the fertilizer needs to be applied every 2-3 weeks.
Being a synthetic fertilizer, this product is not safe for pets. It is advisable to not allow pets into the lawn immediately after application.
This synthetic fertilizer can do wonders for the plant by promoting its overall growth. The application is very easy, as it can be combined with watering. The product is not very eco-friendly and can lead to pollution. The directions of usage have to be adhered to; excess usage may lead to grass burning.
4. Lawn Food Natural Liquid Fertilizer – Simple Lawn Solutions – Best Liquid Lawn Fertilizer
Design and Materials:
This is a 32-ounce all-natural liquid fertilizer, and it gives a 3200 sq ft coverage. It contains organic ingredients and also has seaweed and fish. The fertilizer has a large concentration of nitrogen. The ready to use hose-end sprayer makes the application easy.
How does it work?
This is a fast release fertilizer. The large concentration of Nitrogen promotes good growth and health of the grass. It is packed with essential nutrients and vitamins. Being a natural product, there is no limitation on the number of applications.
The product is safe for children and pets after it has dried.
This nontoxic natural liquid fertilizer comes in an easy to use package. It improves overall grass growth and health. It is eco-friendly, and the excess application does not harm the grass, making it a favorite product among lawn growers.
5. Espoma ELF20 20-Pound Organic All Season Lawn Food – Best Organic Lawn Fertilizer
Design and Materials:
This premium organic lawn food comes in a 20lbs package. This provides a 5000 sq ft coverage. It contains bio tone microbes, iron, and slow-release nitrogen.
How does it work?
The iron and slow-release nitrogen from animal waste promote green grass growth. The bio tone microbes help in improving the soil structure. The results may not be visible immediately, but once it penetrates into the soil, the roots grow stronger, and the grass becomes thick and lush. It does not burn the grass even in case of over application. It is recommended to do light watering after application.
Being organic, this product is very safe for kids and pets.
This is an organic all-season lawn food that can be used on any type of grass. It provides long-lasting nutrition and improves grass health and soil structure. This product is environmentally friendly, and one can use it in all seasons.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How does a lawn fertilizer work?
Lawns need nutrients to keep then lush, green, and healthy. Most of the time, the nutrients available in the soil are not sufficient for healthy growth. Rain or irrigation would have drained the nutrients from the soil. In these cases, the lawns will start to look dry, patchy, and unhealthy. The fertilizers help to bridge this gap by providing the essential nutrients required for the healthy growth of grass.
2. How to read the label of the fertilizer?
Most of the fertilizer bags or packs will have a label that mentions the percentage of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium, in that order. This is also is referred to as NPK percentage. For instance, if the label reads 16-5-10, this means that the fertilizer contains 16% nitrogen, 5% phosphorous, and 10% potassium. Based on the particular nutrient requirement of the grass, we can choose the right fertilizer.
3. What are the nutrients in the fertilizer?
Grasses need many micro and macronutrients to stay healthy. The primary macronutrients required include Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). This is the most common ingredient that is found in all lawn fertilizers. These three essential macronutrients required for grass growth are deficient in the soil, and lawn fertilizers fulfill this requirement. Nitrogen promotes green leafy growth by increasing the production of chlorophyll and protects the grass from insects and diseases. Phosphorous helps in energy transfer from roots to leaves and leaves to roots. They also help in root growth, which is very essential for the healthy growth of the grass. Potassium helps in the usage of water by the grass and gives it the required strength.
Fertilizers with a large quantity of nitrogen are ideal for growth. Though phosphorus and potassium are also required, they are required in smaller proportions.
4. When should the lawn be fertilized?
The factors that determine the schedule of fertilizer application shall include the type of grass, the health of the lawn and soil, the fertilizer used, and so on. The fertilizer product also will give information on when and at what intervals the fertilizer needs to be applied. The fertilizer companies also have online manuals or guides on lawn care, which should provide the schedule of application.
5. What are the types of fertilizers available?
Fertilizers are available in granular and liquid form. Also, they may be organic or synthetic. They also come in slow-release or fast release variants.
6. What are slow release and fast release fertilizer?
Slow-release fertilizers are also called water-insoluble nitrogen. The nitrogen is coated in resin or polymer, and it is slowly released upon watering or rain. The fast release fertilizer has water-soluble nitrogen, and the release is immediate. This is discussed more in detail in the buying guide below.
7. Can the same fertilizer be used for any plant?
Fertilizers intended for other plants may not work well with your lawns. Fertilizers specially formulated for lawn care will be the best.
8. How do I apply the fertilizer to the lawn?
Liquid fertilizers are to be diluted in water and applied with a liquid fertilizer applicator. Granular fertilizers can be spread by hand or using a rotary spreader. But make sure you use gloves as a safety measure and read the safety instructions carefully.
9. What is meant by fertilizer burn?
Fertilizer burn is caused when nutrients in excess of the requirement are applied, or the wrong fertilizer is applied. This can cause the grass to look brown, burnt, and wilted. In case of fertilizer burn, don’t give up hope, take additional care, and heavily water the grass for a few days to dilute the excess nutrients and drain it away.
10. How long can I store the fertilizer?
Fertilizers generally have an indefinite shelf life and can be stored as long as required. The product should contain details about the same. Remember to pack and seal the fertilizers well and store them carefully beyond the reach of children. The unused portion has to be stored in a cool, dry place.
Buyer’s Guide – How to choose the best lawn fertilizer?
Caring for your lawn can turn frustrating and demanding at times, with no end in sight. When you think you have done enough and await the lush green grass, you start to notice some patching or brown, dark spots in between or some weed or disease attack. You rush to the store, not knowing what to do, and there you get even more dejected. There are hundreds of products available in the market under various categories, and you have no clue what to get. Searches on the internet also flood you with information, but you still have no clarity. By now, the dark patches have taken over larger areas of your lawn, and the green patches are dwindling.
Below we will highlight some essential points that will guide you glide through a situation like this and which can turn your lush green lawn dream into reality.
Understanding the basics
We are now clear that lawns in addition to sunlight and water need fertilizers for a well-balanced growth. But the market is flooded with different fertilizers, so how do we know which one is ideal for our lawn. There are different factors that can help you identify the fertilizer that is required by your lawn:
1. Soil condition – the condition of your soil will determine the nutrients that are available and those that are lacking. It is advisable to take a soil sample and have the same analyzed for the nutrient levels and soil texture.
2. Type of Grass – Identifying the type of grass in your lawn or intended to be grown in the lawn will determine what nutrients are required for the growth. Different varieties of grasses may have different nutrient requirements. There are some fertilizers available in the market which can be used on all type of grasses.
Choosing the right fertilizer
The important thing to keep in mind is that you should provide the correct ratio of the essential macronutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium along with oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. The micronutrients such as calcium, manganese, iron, cobalt, copper, zinc, chlorine, nickel, boron and molybdenum though not required in large quantities are still essential to help to maintain grass health.
So based on the nutrient requirement of your lawn you can choose the mix with the right proportion.
Types of Fertilizers
1. Liquid Fertilizer
This generally comes in the form of liquid concentrate that needs to be diluted with water and applied or as water-soluble powder of synthetic chemicals. The powder mix is also to be diluted with water and applied. The liquid fertilizers are applied using spray bottles or sprinklers. They can be integrated with the watering process. The liquid fertilizers are quickly absorbed by the leaves and roots and the results are noticed very quickly. As liquid fertilizers may seep out quickly more frequent application is required.
PROS: Easy application – Quick absorption – Instant results.
CONS: Frequent application.
Be aware, it can drain deep into the soil and make it unavailable for grasses. Seepage into stormwater drains may cause pollution especially in the case of synthetic liquid fertilizers
2. Granular Fertilizer
This type of fertilizer comes in the form of granules. These are easier for even application as you can see where you are spreading them. They are generally a slow-release fertilizer. The slow absorption of these fertilizers makes them last longer and the frequency of application is less. This type of fertilizer ensures an evenly lush garden.
PROS: Cost-effective – Less frequent application – Uniform growth.
CONS: Delayed results.
3. Fast release nitrogen fertilizer
These are soluble nitrogen sources and they release nitrogen quickly to the soil and grass.
PROS: Quick results – Inexpensive.
CONS: Likely to burn grass more – Frequent applications required.
4. Slow or controlled-release nitrogen fertilizer
These fertilizers are manufactured by coating the nitrogen with polymer or resin. This works as a protective membrane and lengthens the release of nitrogen for absorption. These are water-insoluble nitrogen.
PROS: Uniform Growth – Loss through air and water is limited – Less frequent application – Less likely to burn the grass.
CONS: Comparatively expensive – Slow visible results.
5. Synthetic Fertilizer
These are made from chemicals. They generally produce quick results. These can be more effective and may also additionally kill insects and weeds that damage the lawns. The chemicals may not be too good for the environment and over-application may cause damage to the lawns. These may also not be very kid and pet-friendly. So exercise caution when you apply this type of fertilizer.
6. Organic Fertilizer
These are made from natural ingredients and are more environmentally friendly. These types of fertilizers make take a slightly longer time to act, but you will surely see the results. They can be applied any number of times and are less likely to cause damage to the grass. They are kid and pet-friendly too. They may be slightly more expensive than the synthetic version. They may attract pests and bugs.
The fertilizers have to be handled with utmost care and caution. To take care of our personal safety, it is advisable to wear gloves before handling the fertilizers. Also, kids and pets should be kept away from the fertilizers. They should be stored in a cool dry place far from the reach of children. Also after the application of the fertilizers, it is recommended to not allow children and pets to the lawn immediately.
While applying the fertilizers it is recommended that it should be evenly applied to get the best results. Over application can lead to grass burn and under application may not bring out the best growth results. Make sure to follow the instructions on the pack carefully.
Recommendation for the best lawn fertilizer 2020
Fertilizers are dependant on specific individual lawn requirements. We are however choosing the best fertilizer here on the basis of the general characteristics and ingredients of the fertilizer.
Our vote, at lawnguider.com, goes for Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer. This has a 100% organic formula and meets all EPA’s quality standards. It is environment friendly and completely safe for your children and pets too. The nitrogen and 4% iron content in the product will give your lawn the thick, lush, green grass. The repellant property of this product will keep all the bugs away. So happy gardening and we hope with these clear insights on lawn fertilizers you will grow a green lush lawn to your neighbor’s envy!