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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
- 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.
- Scotts Green Max Lawn Food is a dual-action fertilizer and iron formula that feeds your lawn and provides deep greening in just 3 days
- This lawn care product contains 5% iron, a micronutrient that enhances the greening process for fast results
- Apply this fertilizer plus iron supplement to any grass type in the spring, summer, or fall
- Guaranteed not to stain concrete, driveways, or other surfaces surrounding your lawn (when used as directed)
- One 16.67 lb. bag of Scotts Green Max Lawn Food covers 5,000 sq. ft.
- True Organic Liquid Lawn Fertilizer: Contains 32 oz of CDFA, OMRI Listed liquid fertilizer for organic gardening NPK 4-0-1
- How To Use: Apply monthly for rapid green-up. Our 32 fl oz bottle covers up to 2,000 sq ft.
- Made With 100% Organic and Natural Ingredients: True Organic plant fertilizers exceed industry requirements for clean sourcing and testing for pathogens and are pet friendly
- Our Specialty: We manufacture all of our products in the USA for the highest quality, ethically sourced, organic plant foods and fertilizers
- Farm To Table: Our plant fertilizers offer more farm grade, certified premium organic content than any plant food sold today to regenerate the soil and produce healthier fruits and vegetables
- 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.
- High Phosphorus, High Potassium Lawn Food: If your lawn is showing symptoms of a Phosphorus and Potassium deficiency or if you want to maintain lawn health then this is the correct fertilizer for you!
- Made With High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn to its top potential with quality liquid lawn Nutrients.
- Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This high Phosphorus & Potassium Lawn Food gives your lawn the nutrients it needs for strong root development, vigor, and strength.
- Can Be Used on All Grass Types: Including Bermuda, St. Augustine, Zoysia, Buffalo, Centipede, Palmetto & Bluegrass Lawns.
- Easy to Use: Our 3-18-18 Lawn Fertilizer Food comes with a ready-to-use hose end sprayer that applies the perfect ratio of product for lawn applications. Covers up to 3,200 square feet, when using the attached sprayer.
- Great Starter Fertilizer: High Phosphorus and Potassium Lawn Food provides essential Phosphorus to promote plant development, and is highly recommended when establishing a lawn.
Last update on 2023-11-04 / 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
- 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
- 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
- 64-OUNCE BOTTLE: high-capacity poly bottle with a wide opening and easy screw top, quickly remove the lid to add your preferred seed, salt, fertilizer, etc. and simply screw back into place
- TURF AND SALT: year-round use; for steps, sidewalks and small paths in the winter; grass patches, shaded areas, gardens, and small sections the rest of the year
- 3 OPENINGS IN LID: twist lid to choose small, large and wide openings; each designed to fit different particulates like ice melt, salt, fertilizer, grass seed, sand and most pelletized products
- LARGE HANDLE: easy to grip, scoop and fill; accommodates small and large-sized hands, with or without gloves for use any time of the year
- PORTABLE: keep it on a shelf, in a closet or in the car and pull it out when it’s needed; you can even store it with product inside when not in use
- Capacity: 85 lbs. ; 1/4 Acre (14, 000 sq. Ft)
- Spread width: up to 10Ft. Spread
- Wheels: 10" Pneumatic tires
- Assembly: some assembly required; a video instruction Guide is available to assist with the assembly process
- Operations: cable flow control
- 3 Year Limited Warranty
Last update on 2023-11-05 / 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.