10 Best Lawn Fertilizers of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
If you’re aiming for the greenest grass in the neighborhood, lawn fertilizer is essential. Even if you aren’t aiming for the greenest grass, a bit of fertilizer can be the difference between weather-resistant green grass, and the grass turns brown as soon as it gets cold.
Not all lawn fertilizer is made equal, though. What counts as “fertilizer” is quite vague. They can contain a whole host of chemicals, which may or may not be what your lawn needs. When choosing a fertilizer, it is essential to choose one that will work well for your yard.
In this article, we reviewed ten of the best fertilizers on the market so that you can choose the best one.
A Quick Comparison (Updated in 2023)
|Best Overall||The Andersons PGF Complete 16-4-8 Fertilizer||
|Best Value||Scotts 22305 Turf Lawn Food||
|Premium Choice||Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Liquid Fertilizer||
|Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food||
|Super Juice Soluble Lawn Fertilizer||
The 10 Best Lawn Fertilizers
1. The Andersons PGF Complete 16-4-8 Lawn Fertilizer – Best Overall
Out of all the lawn fertilizers we reviewed, The Andersons PGF Complete 16-4-8 Fertilizer is by far the best. It is made with superfine particulars, which allows you to spread it more evenly across your yard. This results in more evenly grown grass and prevents you from over fertilizing any one area. There is little nitrogen in this mixture. You can apply more per square foot because of this. You don’t have to worry as much about overdosing your yard.
This fertilizer is designed to release over about 8 weeks slowly. You can safely spread out your fertilizing sessions longer because of this, and, once again, you don’t have to worry so much about the fertilizer burning your yard. This formula contains mostly Humic DG, which enriches your soil and helps plants process the available nutrients better.
This formula also isn’t expensive when compared to some other formulas on the market. You can use this fertilizer in all seasons. One package can cover up to 5,000 square feet.
2. Scotts Turf ‘Lawn Food’ Grass Fertilizer – Best Value
As a cheaper option, the Scotts 22305 Turf Lawn Food may be the right choice. Like most fertilizers, it is formulated to feed and strengthen the growth in your yard. It can also make your grass a bit greener, which is a nice bonus. It is specifically formulated not to burn your yard, so it is much easier to dose your yard in general. You can use it on any grass type. This is an all-season formula so that you can use it all year round. This company does make season-specific formulas, though we did find that this one worked well in most cases.
One small pack works on 5,000 square feet of a lawn. You can purchase a bigger pack for 15,000 square feet. The bigger pack isn’t that much more expensive. You’ll save quite a bit by buying it if you have a bigger yard.
Despite the advertising, there is some possibility that this formula will burn your yard. It isn’t fool-proof. However, their customer service is excellent. So, if you need any help, they can be of great assistance.
Overall, we think this is one of the best lawn fertilizers for the money.
3. Simple Lawn Solutions Liquid Lawn Fertilizer – Premium Choice
If you have a bit of money to spend, Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Liquid Fertilizer is one of the best options on the market. However, it is also costly. Because of this, it isn’t going to be in most people’s budgets. It is a blend of nutrients and contains ingredients like seaweed and fish. It is in a liquid form, which some people prefer. Others don’t like using liquid fertilizers, though. It is mostly a matter of personal preference.
One gallon can treat up to 12,800 square feet. That is far more than most fertilizers can treat. For this reason, it doesn’t cost that much when you consider it treats double the space that most other formulas do.
This formula contains everything your yard needs, including nitrogen, phosphate, and potash. It is complete, nourishing your grass’s roots and increasing their color. You don’t need to use anything else alongside this fertilizer.
We also liked that this product is made in the United States, so it has to follow its regulations.
4. Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
Miracle-Go makes a lot of fertilizing products that are quite popular. Their Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Lawn Food is relatively similar and exceptionally high-quality. It instantly feeds all grass types. It encourages your grass to turn into a soft, green carpet. It is designed primarily to increase the color of the grass, not necessarily to grow it. Though it does help it grow a bit, that is not its primary purpose.
One package feeds up to 7,200 square feet. This is quite a bit more than most fertilizers. This, combined with a low price, makes this fertilizer extremely inexpensive. It is designed to be used in the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder, though you can use it in other feeders as well.
This formula is high in nitrogen and iron, which helps promote greener grass.
Some people did report that it left burn marks in their yard. You have to be careful with dosing, as it does contain a lot of nitrogen.
5. Super Juice Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
The Super Juice Soluble Lawn Fertilizer is expensive. However, it can treat a lot of land. It will treat up to one acre in its full concentrated rate. You can treat even more if you dilute it down further, of course. Just for reference, one acre is 43,560 square feet — that is way more than most other fertilizers. While it is expensive, a lot of the cost is just because it covers so much land. If you have a whole acre you need to treat, you’ll probably be best off getting this formula.
It is an all-in-one formula, so you don’t have to purchase any other products to keep your yard in tiptop shape. To apply it, you do need to add water. There are special hose attachments that are designed for this exact process. We highly recommend getting one if you decide to use this fertilizer, as it can be a bit difficult to use otherwise.
You can use this fertilizer at half-strength as well, which would allow it to treat two acres.
Our main problem with this fertilizer is that it just doesn’t work as well as some others. It does not provide the same results as some other options, which is why we rated it so low on our list.
6. LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Lawn Fertilizer
LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer is designed to be used on all grass types. It contains a balanced blend of nutrients that your grass needs to thrive. It can improve the color and growth rate. This formula is specifically designed for spring and summer. Because of this, it is a bit less versatile than some other options. However, if you’re looking for a fertilizer to use during the growing season, it can be a decent option.
We did like that this fertilizer uses high-quality ingredients, like seaweed, to deliver the nutrients. This allows the formula to work a little better than it might otherwise. The bottle comes ready-to-use. There is no mixing required. The bottle even comes with a hose-end sprayer attachment, which fits onto your standard garden hose. It makes dosing more accurate, which can prevent brown spots and burning.
However, the bottle is not very well designed. It is an excellent idea to attach a sprayer attachment to the bottle permanently, but it doesn’t work very well in reality. The bottle is not refillable. And, if the sprayer doesn’t work for whatever reason, you cannot easily use any of the fertilizer inside.
7. Pennington 100536576 UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer
Like most lawn fertilizers, the Pennington 100536576 UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer is designed to be used on all grasses. It is advertised to strengthen your grass against the heat, which can often kill many yards. It greens your grass quickly and may be used to improve the overall color as well – even if you don’t need your grass to grow more. It has a slow nitrogen release, so you don’t have to fertilize your yard as often. It can feed your grass for up to 3 months.
However, how long it works depends on how much rain you get in your area. If it rains a lot, the fertilizer will likely be washed away. The packaging is quite lovely and resealable.
This fertilizer is only designed to be used for a few months in the summer. It is not versatile in the least, which is one reason we rated it so low. It is a one-and-done formula. You aren’t going to be using it multiple times in a year. It can cover up to 5000 square feet per package, which is about average.
8. GreenView Fall Lawn Food
While most lawn foods out there are complete, the GreenView Fall Lawn Food isn’t. It does not contain phosphate, which is a nutrient in most fertilizers. However, it may be useful for particular circumstances. It does make your yard decently green quickly because of the other nutrients in it. It is designed to be applied in the fall, specifically, when the grass is actively growing.
It is explicitly designed to increase root growth, which will help the grass survive periods of drought and reach more nutrients. This also helps your lawn retain water and helps with drainage. One pack covers up to 5,000 square feet. Its price is about average. We did like that it was protected by a satisfaction guarantee.
You do have to be careful about when to apply this fertilizer. It needs to remain above 60 degrees for your grass to use the nutrients provided. This may be in the fall for some people, but it may be late summer for others, it just depends. This makes it much less versatile. There is likely only one specific week when you can apply this fertilizer. It also sticks, which is a bit unusual.
9. Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Lawn Fertilizer
Firstly, the Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer is a bit expensive. However, a little bit goes a long way, and you do get a lot. This pack may be most suited for larger yards because of this. If you have a smaller yard, you’ll probably have to sit on it for a while and use it next year as well. It is a bit expensive, but if you are sure you’re going to use it, you may save some money in the long run.
Some people found that this fertilizer works excellent on their yard, while others found that it didn’t help at all. It may depend on the specific grass in your yard and the climate. However, this fertilizer doesn’t seem to work very reliably. This is a significant reason we rated it so low.
Plus, because this fertilizer is so expensive and likely far too much for the average user, we recommend spending your money elsewhere. It isn’t that this fertilizer is the worst on the market. It just isn’t as useful as some of the other options.
- Related read: Organic vs Inorganic Fertilizer
10. Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Lawn Fertilizer
Even for a 30-pound bag, Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer is extremely expensive. It feeds up to 5,000 square feet, which is about average. However, it costs way more than most other options on the market. For its high price, there isn’t much extra benefit to using it, however.
It is made from feather meal poultry manure, which makes it relatively high in nitrogen. Despite this seemingly high-quality ingredient, this fertilizer doesn’t significantly affect grass, especially compared to other fertilizers.
This formula is specifically designed for the winter months. It should not be used in the summer. Instead, it is made to promote early greening in a brown, wintery yard. However, depending on where you live and what other fertilizers you use, your yard might not need to green early. Instead, it may stay green all winter.
In the end, we just didn’t find this fertilizer especially helpful for most users. It is also quite expensive, so you’re likely better off purchasing something else.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Lawn Fertilizer
On the outside, most fertilizers look very similar. They have similar packaging, and the fertilizer itself probably looks pretty similar. You cannot tell fertilizer apart merely by looking at it. Instead, you need to pay attention to the number of nutrients in each fertilizer and when each fertilizer is designed to be used.
Choosing the correct fertilizer for your yard requires a bit of know-how. You need to have a good idea of how much nitrogen your yard needs, or you may end up buying the wrong fertilizer. No product is excellent for all yards, seasons, and situations – no matter what the advertisements say.
For that reason, you need to arm yourself with a bit of background knowledge. This section will help you do just that. We’ll take a look at everything you need to know before purchasing fertilizer.
There are three primary nutrients found in fertilizer: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. All of these are important for your grass health. However, they each do something different. If you need your grass to become green, you need a different nutrient than if you want to promote root growth.
Here is a basic overview of which each nutrient does:
While you can just purchase whichever nutrients you think your soil needs, this is not the best course of action. Instead, we recommend purchasing a soil test. These can be done at home and are quite simple. They will tell you what your soil is lacking, however. This can help you select the best fertilizer for your grass.
Types of fertilizers
There are a few different ways you can class fertilizers. Firstly, you can consider solid vs. liquid fertilizers. These are applied to your yard in different ways.
Liquid fertilizer usually lasts for only a short time, but the plants quickly take up the nutrients. This is because it doesn’t have to dissolve into the ground or anything of that sort. The plants can use it almost as soon as you apply it. This does make burning your yard much more likely, though.
Most liquid fertilizers are concentrated, so they need to be watered down. This requires a bit of prep and can be difficult without the correct tools.
With that said, whether you choose quick-release or slow-release fertilizer tends to be more critical. Quick-release fertilizer is water-soluble so that it can be used by your plants right away. It generally lasts for a short time – only about 4 weeks at most. This does depend on the temperature and rainfall, though.
Slow-release fertilizers do not dissolve in water. Instead, they are usually sulfur-coated or polymer-coated. The polymer-coated varieties are the longest-lasting and also release the nutrients much more slowly. These fertilizers mean you won’t have to fertilize your yard as often, but you may not notice a massive difference in your grass right away.
Slow-release fertilizers have a low chance of burning your yard as well, while quick-release fertilizers absolutely can.
Plant food spikes are another common fertilizer type. However, they are not suitable for whole yards. Instead, they provide targeted nutrients to trees, shrubs, and similar plants. These spikes dissolve over time, releasing the nutrients into the soil. They aren’t made to be used on your whole yard.
There are quite a few fertilizers for your lawn available on the market. However, not all of them are made equal. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the best fertilizer for your yard. Instead, you need to make an educated decision based on the nutrients in each fertilizer.
For most people, we recommend our pick for the best lawn fertilizer, the Andersons PGF Complete 16-4-8 Fertilizer. This fertilizer is the most versatile and will be suitable for most yards. It works in all seasons and on all types of grasses. It does not contain a considerable amount of nitrogen, so you don’t have to worry about yard burns as much.
If you’re looking for something more budget-friendly, Scotts 22305 Turf Lawn Food is another suitable option. It also works in all seasons and all types of grass, so it is an easier option. The only downside is that it does contain a decent amount of nitrogen, which means it can burn your yard.
We hope that our reviews, combined with the guide, helped you choose the perfect fertilizer for your needs.