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7 Best Lawn Fertilizers to Grow & Maintain Healthy Grass

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Fertilizers are essential for maintaining a luscious and uniform lawn, but there are so many types out there that it feels like you need a degree from an agricultural college to make the right call.

People have been using fertilizers ever since we started farming thousands of years ago because fertilizers promote the plants we want to grow. When it comes to lawns, fertilizing is an especially important part of the process because most types of grass need a lot of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to grow. And those are exactly the ingredients that make up the majority of lawn fertilizers.

Depending on the type of lawn you’re going for and where you’re located, you should also consider the other options on our list of the best lawn fertilizers.

Read on to check them all out.

Key Takeaways

I’ve leaned on my years and years of obsessive attention to my lawn to guide you towards finding the best lawn fertilizers. I also went through hundreds of product pages and customer reviews to find the 7  outstanding options on this list. Overall, Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action tops the list of the best lawn fertilizers because of how much it gets done at once. It not only fertilizes your lawn, but also both kills weeds and protects your lawn from new ones.

Each of the additional products I’ve recommended has its own niche that might be relevant to some buyers. The Ironite Mineral Supplement/Fertilizer can help bring a deeper green to your lawn, and the Jonathan Green Organic Grass Fertilizer is the best lawn fertilizer for eco-conscious homeowners.

applying the sunday green machine liquid fertilizer to the lawn

getsunday / Instagram

Best Overall: Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action, Weed Killer and Preventer Plus Lawn Fertilizer

Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action, Weed Killer and Preventer Plus Lawn Fertilizer

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Why this is a quality choice: Scotts is one of the biggest names in lawn care for a reason: they make great quality products. Their Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action is my overall top pick among the best lawn fertilizers simply because of how much it helps you with one spreading. In addition to a nitrogen-rich fertilizer, the blend contains powerful weed killers and helps prevent crabgrass.

Who is this for: This product is great for people who want a great-looking lawn but don’t want to go through the trouble of applying lots of coats of fertilizer and other products. All you need is in one blend.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Although this product is great at preventing crabgrass, Scotts makes it clear that it won’t kill crabgrass that’s already established.

Coverage area: 4,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 4 months | Fertilizer type: Slow-release | N–P–K: 16–0–1 | Package size: 20.3 lbs.

Best Budget: Espoma Lawn Food for All Seasons

Espoma Lawn Food for All Seasons

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Why this is a quality choice: This Lawn Food for All Seasons from Espoma delivers great value for your money, coming in a huge 40-pound bag that provides coverage of up to 12,000 sq. ft.  With a slow release formula that’s rich in nitrogen, this lawn food helps you keep your grass fed for a long time. I also love that, on top of all the value, it’s made from organic materials.

Who is this for: Homeowners with large lawns who don’t want to break the bank should consider Espoma Lawn Food for All Seasons.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Some users of the product have complained about the smell immediately after application, but any odors subside quickly.

Coverage area: 12,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 8 weeks | Fertilizer type: Slow-release granules, organic | N–P–K: 15–0–5 | Package size: 40 lbs.

Best Organic Fertilizer: Jonathan Green Organic Grass Fertilizer

Jonathan Green Organic Grass Fertilizer

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Why this is a quality choice: Jonathan Green offers an eco-friendly way to promote lawn health with their Organic Grass Fertilizer. The product uses all-natural ingredients and is effective on both newly seeded and established lawns. This means it’s great to use in the spring, summer, and fall. It also contains a hefty dose of iron to help achieve that deep green color we’re all after.

Who is this for: If you want an effective product that’s also good for the environment, this is a great choice for you.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: As an organic product, this fertilizer is pesticide-free and won’t provide any help in dealing with unwanted weeds.

Coverage area: 5,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 8–10 weeks | Fertilizer type: Organic granules | N–P–K: 10–0–1 | Package size: 17 lbs.

Best Fall Fertilizer: Sunday Green Machine Fertilizer

Sunday Green Machine Fertilizer

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Why this is a quality choice: I’ve always used a fall fertilizer once the days start to cool off and shorten. They’re a great way to keep your lawn looking green a lot longer than your neighbor’s. The Sunday Green Machine Fertilizer is an easy-to-apply liquid lawn fertilizer that you can use in the fall to extend the active life of your lawn.

Who is this for: Those living in colder climates can definitely use the custom blend to extend the life of their lawn.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: The formula doesn’t work for colonial or creeping bentgrass but does help most other types to grow.

Coverage area: (2x) 5,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 4–6 weeks | Fertilizer type: Liquid | N–P–K: 22–0–3 | Package size: (2x) 43.2 ounces .

Best Liquid Fertilizer: Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16-4-8

Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16-4-8

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Why this is a quality choice: Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16–4–8 is a balanced liquid fertilizer that’s great for any species of residential grass. A hose connector is built right into the packaging, making application a simple and easy process. And, the relatively small amount of phosphorus means that you can likely help your grass get established while respecting local laws about fertilizer use.

Who is this for: Sometimes a soil test will reveal that a lawn needs a boost to all the necessary nutrients, which is when you should use a balanced option like this one.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This product might stress lawns in the height of summer because of its phosphorus content. As a result, I’d recommend starting with this fertilizer and then transitioning to a different option later in the season.

Coverage area: Not specified. | Effective period: 8 weeks | Fertilizer type: Liquid | N–P–K: 16–4–8 | Package size: 32 ounce

Best High-Phosphorus Fertilizer: The Andersons Premium New Lawn Starter

The Andersons Premium New Lawn Starter

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Why this is a quality choice: The Andersons Premium New Lawn Starter is a powerful fertilizer that you can use to help establish new grass. The nitrogen and phosphorus rich blend is ideal for promoting strong root growth in the early stages of a lawn’s life.

Who is this for: If you’re looking to jump start a new lawn’s growth, this product can be a huge help.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: Using this product requires some extra work, since the manufacturer recommends keeping newly seeded areas wet until germination. Those living in areas that control phosphorus use also won’t be able to use this product.

Coverage area: 5,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 6 weeks | Fertilizer type: Granules | N–P–K: 20–27–5 | Package size: 18 lbs.

Best Fertilizer for Greener Grass: Ironite Mineral Supplement/Fertilizer

Ironite Mineral Supplement/Fertilizer

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Why this is a quality choice: The Ironite Mineral Supplement/Fertilizer is specifically designed to improve lawn color using a high-iron formula. Although this lawn fertilizer contains a small amount of nitrogen to help promote growth, it is a very small amount. I think of this product as a great way to deliver iron to your lawn in conjunction with another fertilizer.

Who is this for: Those living in a hot and dry environment can use this product to improve grass color without stressing lawns by promoting growth during hot weather.

Flaws but not deal-breakers: This isn’t really a standalone product, so it should be combined with a different fertilizer (especially during the early growing season).

Coverage area: 5,000 sq. ft. | Effective period: 8 weeks | Fertilizer type: Liquid, slow-release, organic | N–P–K: 9–0–2 | Package size: 20 lbs.

woman holding a bag of ironite mineral supplement

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Buying Considerations for The Best Lawn Fertilizers

Fertilizer Type

The type of fertilizer (i.e. the mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) is the most important consideration when you’re looking for the best lawn fertilizers for your needs.

First off, the type of grass you’re growing and where you’re living will dictate what lawn fertilizer you should use. Research the needs of the specific grass species you’re using. You can also consider performing a soil test to identify the baseline levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in the ground.

It’s also important that you check the local environmental regulations that govern what concentration of the different compounds you can use on your lawn. In New York state, it’s illegal to use fertilizers that contain any phosphorus whatsoever. But, practically next door, New Hampshire limits the amount of nitrogen you’re allowed to use.

(If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your lawn, check out this article for our thoughts on ecological yards).

Effective Period

How long your fertilizer is going to effectively support lawn health is another important consideration. In general, granule fertilizers will have the longest effective period. Liquid fertilizers won’t last as long. But, that does mean that liquid fertilizers release their nutrients in a more controllable manner. If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on your lawn this year, you might want to consider doing a number of applications of liquid fertilizer instead of just a couple granule applications.

Coverage Area

The final buying consideration we’ll go over is the coverage area of the fertilizer you’re considering. Unless you want to run out halfway through your lawn, it’s important that you buy enough fertilizer to get the job done. I’d actually recommend buying twice as much lawn fertilizer as you need in order to allow for a reapplication after a couple months. That saves you from having to make another purchase in just a few weeks.

How I Choose These Products

Putting together a list of the best lawn fertilizers isn’t particularly easy, since there are tons of considerations at play. For that reason, I’ve tried to include fertilizers that fit into a large number of different niches. To do so, I had to rely on my experience of gardening in different environments and also talk to a few friends in different areas of the country. Brand reputation and user reviews helped me fill in some of the blanks. I hope this approach has helped you find a lawn fertilizer that works for your specific goals for your lawn this season.

a bag of scotts turf builder triple action and a gallon of ortho weed clear

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Final Verdict

When it comes to picking a single product that’s the best lawn fertilizer, I had to go with Scotts Turf Builder Triple Action, Weed Killer and Preventer Plus Lawn Fertilizer. It has everything most lawns need to flourish as well as elements to help control weeds. And, if your lawn is one of the exceptions, then you’ll surely find a great alternative among the other options.

Good luck on your lawn this year!


What is the best fertilizer to make your lawn green?

On this list, I settled on Ironite Mineral Supplement/Fertilizer as the best fertilizer for improving lawn color. That’s because it contains both nitrogen and iron, which are the two elements that are essential for promoting a deep green color. If your soil already has lots of iron in it, you can probably get away with just using a high-nitrogen fertilizer on its own.

What is the most effective fertilizer?

The most effective fertilizer depends on exactly what species of grass you’re trying to grow and the base levels of nutrients in your soil. Although I picked Scott’s Turf Builder Triple Action, Weed Killer and Preventer Plus Lawn Fertilizer as the best lawn fertilizer, that doesn’t mean it will be equally effective everywhere. I’d recommend doing a soil test to determine what fertilizer will be best for your lawn.

What nutrients should I add to my lawn?

In general, the three nutrients that lawns need to stay healthy are nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. This is different from many other types of plants, which is why fertilizers for indoor plants have different nutrient mixes. As a result, those usually are the most important nutrients to add to your lawn. It’s important that you perform a soil test to identify your baseline levels of nutrients so you know what’s most important to add.

Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank the manufacturer/distributor for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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