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There are many lawn feeding products available on the market, but it is not always easy to decide what type is best for you and your lawn.
If you have a mulching mower, the chances are that your lawn doesn’t need feeding at all, as your mower will cut the grass into very small pieces and return them back to the soil, adding essential nutrients and moisture. This mulching process organically fertilizes your lawn during each mowing session.
If you do not have a mulching mower or a robotic mower that is designed to mulch too, you will need to use lawn food / fertilizer on a regular basis to enhance and maintain the health of your lawn and prevent moss and disease.
A good time to start fertilizing your lawn is during the Spring, after the lawn has gone through some abuse and hardship over the Winter months. At this time it is likely to need a boost for the start of the growing season. Thereafter it should be used based on your lawn’s specific needs, but generally lawn fertilizers should be re-applied in Summer and Fall again.
Types of Lawn Food / Fertilizer
As mentioned above, you can feed your lawn organically or synthetically. Organic fertilizers are long-lasting and better for the health of your lawn, however if you do not have a mulching mower nor want to make your own fertilizer at home (can be time consuming) organic fertilizers can be a little costly.
The alternative is to turn to synthetic lawn fertilizers if you want to maintain the health of your lawn and prevent weeds and disease.
Just remember that with both types of lawn food / fertilizer you will need to ensure that the application is correct, as providing a mix that is too strong can actually damage or burn your lawn. If in doubt, use a weaker mix, you can always re-apply at a later date, if needed.
Lawn Food Fertilizer Numbers Explained
Generally, you will notice that there are 3 numbers mentioned on the packaging of your lawn food. These indicate the amount of ingredients including Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K).
Nitrogen is for lush, green grass growth.
Phosphorus is for strengthening the roots and promoting growth.
Potassium is for all around well-being and promotes a more tolerant lawn.
So, for example, a mix of 22-0-10 means 22% Nitrogen, 0% Phosphorus and 10% Potassium will be present amongst other essential material to enable spreading and slow release.
Best Lawn Food / Fertilizer
As there are many products to choose from, below I have included the best-selling synthetic and organic lawn fertilizers. Note that some of them not only feed the lawn making it strong, green and healthy, but also prevent unwanted issues with moss and weeds.
Best Selling Lawn Food
- Instantly feeds all grass types
- Encourages a soft green carpet of grass that will be the pride of the neighborhood
- Feeds up to 7,200 sq. ft.
- The fast way to a thick, green lawn
- For use with the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder
- Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food feeds and strengthens grass to help protect against future problems
- Fertilizer builds strong, deep roots and improves the lawn's ability to absorb water and nutrients (vs. unfed lawn)
- Apply lawn care product to a wet or dry lawn
- Grass fertilizer works on any grass type
- One 12.5 lb. bag of Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food covers 5,000 sq. ft.
- Complete NPK Lawn Food: 16-4-8 is the perfect blend of key macronutrients. This lawn liquid food turf fertilizer also contains Seaweed & Fish.
- Contains High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn with pure liquid Nutrients in a ready to use sprayer
- Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This complete Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash formula gives your grass greening & growth while providing nutrients for lush lawns
- All Grass types: Including Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Buffalo, Centipede, Florida Palmetto, Bahia, Fescue, Ryegrass & Kentucky Bluegrass
- Produced In The United States: 16-4-8 is manufactured in the United States of America, by a family owned business with 25 years of former experience in the commercial professional turf industry.
- Blended with 16% Nitrogen. Nitrogen is a major component of chlorophyll where plants get their green coloring. Nitrogen encourages vigorous growth for the development of a dense attractive lawn.
- Fertilizer for use on all lawns
- Strengthens against heat and drought
- For a lush, thick deep green lawn
- Quick greening
- Extended feeding for up to 3 months
- Feeds for deep greening in just 3 days
- Dual-action, 2-in-1 formula feeds and supplements with iron
- Guaranteed not to stain when used as directed
- Apply to any grass type
- Recommended for many lawns as part of the Scotts Lawn Care Plan
- OK to re-enter lawn immediately after product is applied
Last update on 2023-06-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Time to Feed Your Lawn
Application Once Per Year
Different lawn foods are designed to be administered at different times of the year. If you want to just fertilize your lawn once each year, then I would suggest to do this in the early Fall between August to September. Just make sure that the nighttime temperature is around 65 (F) for a few consecutive nights and that rainfall is forecast within a few days after the application.
Fertilizing in the Fall, when the grass is still growing, will benefit your lawn throughout various seasons in the year. This includes strengthening the roots during the Summer heat, enabling the grass to withstand the stresses of a cold Winter and boosting growth and root development earlier in the Spring.
Some lawn food will need to be applied as often as every 4 to 6 weeks and these normally come in the form of a powder that is dissolved in water and applied to your lawn. Liquid lawn food does not last as long as granule based food, hence the need to re-apply on a regular basis.
Advantages of Synthetic Lawn Food
Fast acting with visible results within 3 days
Many products available in different forms (granules, liquid), so you are able to choose what is suitable for you and your lawn
If granule fertilizer is used, you can use a lawn spreader to assist with equal distribution, achieving consistent coverage
Lawn fertilizers can also prevent weeds and moss in your lawn
Promote the health and strength of your lawn, resulting in a greener and thicker lawn
Disadvantages of Synthetic Lawn Food
Can be a little costly
Provide short-term solution
Will need to be used on a regular basis
If the mix is too strong the lawn may get damaged (always follow the instructions on the box)
It may be difficult to see what part of the lawn has already been fertilized if done manually, with a varying degree of dosage
In summary, it is worth investing in a lawn spreader to ensure a systematic and consistent distribution, they are inexpensive and can be used repeatedly for spreading various materials in your yard, not only lawn fertilizers.
Best Lawn Spreader
As I have been talking about lawn spreaders, I though it would be a good idea to briefly explain what they are and their benefits. You can of course purchase a walk behind spreader, a tow behind spreader, a handheld spreader depending on your requirements and size of your yard, but remember they can be used for spreading sand, salt, grass seed etc. not just lawn fertilizers. They are reasonably priced, versatile and will for sure achieve great results at a fraction of the time. What’s more the coverage will be equal preventing incorrect dosage and possible damage.
- Use the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard Mini Broadcast Spreader to apply Scotts lawn care products
- Comes pre-calibrated and fully assembled with a fold-down handle for easy storage
- Scotts exclusive EdgeGuard Technology keeps lawn product off landscaping, driveways, and sidewalks
- Features redesigned hopper and agitator for smoother product funneling and consistent coverage
- Holds up to 5,000 sq. ft. of Scotts lawn product, including grass seed and fertilizer - ideal for treating smaller areas
- Battery-powered spreader you can use year round—designed to spread grass seed, lawn fertilizer and weed control products
- Designed to cover up to 2, 500 sq. ft. using Scotts lawn care product
- 5-foot broadcast with control of EdgeGuard Technology
- Our most advanced spreader yet, powered by 4 AA batteries with 23 settings for unbeatable accuracy
- Perfect for lawn seed, fertilizer and weed control products
- Your Ideal Lawn Helper: Spreading compost with VEVOR's mulch spreader has never been easier! You will provide essential nutrients for your lawn, flowers, plants, and garden. Use our compost spreader to build a wonderful dream garden and lawn. Get ready to see your plants thrive!
- Spreading with Ease: This peat moss spreader is composed of powder-coated steel that is corrosion-proof and rust-proof, ensuring long-lasting use. It features a 24" steel basket, making it more time-saving and labor-saving than the traditional method, spreading your needed soil in no time. The manure spreader can run smoothly on different terrains, such as slopes, uneven surfaces and others.
- Upgraded Side Latches: You will be in constant control while spreading compost! The peat moss roller is designed with two of the latest side latches that will not be crushed during rolling on the lawn. The unique design ensures the basket remains closed during tipping and tumbling operations, making it durable and tidy.
- Adjustable Handle: Are you tired of restrictions? Well, get ready to decide what you can do! The handle pole of our lawn spreader has two adjustable heights of 41.1" and 43.1", ensuring comfortable use for different people. It's pretty convenient to adjust the height by screwing out the bolt.
- Different Ways to Spread: No one like to wobble through the day! Get ready to work confidently. The topdressing spreader runs smoothly on different terrains, like slopes and uneven surfaces. This soil spreader is ideal for spreading topdressings on the lawn , such as compost, manure, dirt, peat moss and topsoil to weed your plant.
- 【Efficient & Even Spread】Featuring a roller with intensive diamond-shaped mesh, the compost spreader will break up large chunks and promote even spreading. Besides, it adopts double-sided locking clasp to avoid damage and leakage during rolling. And the rounded roller ends help avoid damage to the lawn when turning.
- 【Upgrade U-shaped Handle】Equipped with a humanized u-shaped handle, you could smoothly push or pull the peat moss spreader on your lawn. The handle will release you from bending down to fertilizing. Besides, the handle allows you to hang the compost spreader on the wall for storage.
- 【Heavy Duty Metal Frame】Constructed of heavy metal frame, the compost garden spreader is deformation resistant, durable and sturdy. Besides, it is sprayed with green finish, making it stylish and not easy to rust. The lightweight material makes lawn care easier, non-slip and comfortable.
- 【Create Fertile Lawn & Garden】The peat moss spreader comes with a large filling door, making it easy for you to add any fertilizer you like to feed your plants. Moreover, it has 2.7 Cb. Ft large capacity, allowing you to fill it with peat moss, compost, sand, top soil in large quantities.
- 【Easy to Assemble in 3 Steps】With detailed instruction, the assembly of the soil compost spreader is a breeze for you. After receiving the package, you just need to prepare all the necessaries, assemble the u-shaped rod and finally install the handle to finish the assembly.
- Perfect handheld spreader for small yards
- Great for year-round use to weed, seed, fertilize, and apply ice melt
- Engineered for smooth, even coverage
- Adjustable arm support helps provide maximum comfort
- Holds up to 1,500 sq ft of Scotts lawn products
Last update on 2023-05-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
From this article you can see that lawn fertilizers should be used as part of your on-going lawn maintenance schedule. It is recommended that you at least apply during Spring and Fall, to provide necessary nutrients and strength for the tougher seasons ahead.
Applying organic or synthetic lawn fertilizers does not only provide health benefits for your lawn, they will also make your lawn thicker, greener and will help to reduce weeds and moss. What’s not to like?
Yes, you can also make your own homemade fertilizer, if you have the time available and are happy to patiently wait for months before they can be applied.
Using off the shelf organic or synthetic lawn fertilizers provides a quick solution to an identified issue or can, and should, be used as a preventative measure to maintain that healthy and green lawn you can enjoy and be proud off.
Organic and slow-release synthetic lawn food is long-lasting and means that you only need to provide treatment periodically throughout the year. Just remember, that lawn food is not suitable for all types of grass such as St. Augustine grass in Florida, for example.
If you have any questions, please feel free to use the comment’s box below. If you are thinking about purchasing a new lawn mower, why not head over to my quick-to-use selection tool that will pick your perfect mower based on your unique requirements. What’s more it only takes a few seconds, start by clicking the image link below.