9 Best Lawn Fertilizers of 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks
What’s the secret to a beautiful lush lawn that your neighbors will envy? While it would be nice if healthy green lawns just happened on their own, in reality, the secret is figuring out which fertilizer is best for your yard and knowing when to apply it for optimal results. Finding the correct fertilizer means taking many factors into account, including where you live geographically, the type of grass growing in your lawn, and your household needs. Families with young children and pet owners may want to seek out products that are deemed safe and labeled organic.
We’ve compiled a list of nine fertilizers available in 2020 that along with detailed reviews, includes quick-to-read pros and cons lists. As you read the reviews, make sure to consider cost, type of grass, and whether buying organic is a priority for you.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Milorganite 0636||
|Best Value||Scotts 22305||
|Premium Choice||Simple Lawn Solutions||
The 9 Best Lawn Fertilizers 2020
1. Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer – Best Overall
Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer ranks the best overall for helping to nourish a lush, green lawn that lasts. Used and trusted on golf courses for 80 years, trying out this organic fertilizer on your lawn is a must. Based on our research, a positive change in lawn appearance can be seen within a week or two.
This environmentally friendly product is made from an organic composition that uses a slow-release formula. While you may have to wait several days to begin to see results, the soil beneath your grass is constantly receiving enrichment, which in turn, benefits the grass from the roots upward.
This fertilizer does come with a higher price point. But once you’ve adequately treated your lawn and enhanced the soil beneath, you’ll reap benefits for a longer period of time. Plus, you can cut costs with less watering and less time required for mowing.
2. Scotts 22305 Turf Lawn Food – Best Value
Second on our list, Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food is the best fertilizer for the money. You’ll most likely notice a difference after your first application. Scotts’ exclusive All-in-One Particle technology provides a complete formula for all types of grass.
The Turf Builder lives up to its name, as it strengthens your lawn at the roots. Newly fortified roots grow thick and deep, allowing them to better absorb water and nutrients. You’ll notice within days of treatment plush, green grass with less room for weeds. Also, it’s kid- and pet-friendly.
We do warn that some users have reported burn spots. Be sure to follow all specifications for the time of year when using this product and the exact amount to be applied to your lawn.
3. Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Liquid Fertilizer – Premium Choice
High-quality natural and organic feed-grade ingredients make Simple Lawn Solutions our premium choice. This concentrated turf fertilizer contains key macronutrients, plus seaweed and fish, for improving your soil’s health. The complete and balanced formula targets both grass and soil, resulting in a noticeably healthier lawn, from the blades to the roots.
Mix 2.5 gallons of water with Simple Lawn Solutions to cover an area of up to 32,000 square feet. A refillable sprayer bottle is included with the purchase and can be used with a hose or pump-up. In our research, we did find that the spray bottle didn’t always work as intended.
Recommended for a variety of grasses, we found that Simple Lawn solutions did perform well with most of the types listed. For example, this fertilizer was not as effective with Bermuda grass.
4. Miracle-Gro 1001834 Soluble Lawn Food
If you’re looking for quick results to turn your dull lawn into a thick, green expanse of grass, then Miracle-Gro Lawn Food may be your solution. It supplements every type of grass and covers up to 4,000 square feet per box.
Easy to apply, the Miracle-Gro Garden Feeder attaches to a hose and provides adjustable spray patterns. Squeeze the handy trigger to begin spraying and release it to stop. While this method does make application convenient, be sure to apply the spray evenly. Too much or too little can cause green patches intermixed with yellow dead spots across your lawn.
5. LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer
The LawnStar fertilizer supplies a balanced liquid lawn food to help your lawn get greener quicker and stay healthier longer. This fertilizer supplements your grass with a blend of macronutrients, including nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, as well as seaweed extract. The fast- and slow-release nitrogen sources work quickly and provide longevity.
Listed as ideal for all grass types, we found that lawn owners with Bermuda grass had especially positive results. But we also discovered several lawn owners who saw little to no change in their lawn’s appearance.
LawnStar fertilizer comes in a ready-to-use bottle with a hose end attachment. We learned that the included bottle may not function properly, and it’s not refillable, which is both costly and wasteful.
6. Safer Brand SA9333 Lawn Restore Fertilizer
If you’d like to use organic fertilizer but don’t care for the possibly offensive odor, Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer has solved that issue by not including manures, poultry litter, or bio-solids in its mix. Only plant-based nutrients work to restore your lawn to a healthier, greener state within three to five days. It feeds your soil what it needs in order to produce nutrients that strengthen your grass and reduce weeds.
Lawn Restore works best on a variety of grass types, including Kentucky Bluegrass, Perennial Ryegrass, St. Augustine Grass, Bermuda Grass, Centipede Grass, and Tall Fescue. Our research revealed mixed reviews for the effectiveness of this fertilizer. Some lawn owners saw dramatic positive results, while others had little improvement or worse, burned patches.
7. GreenView 2131253 Fall Lawn Food
Formulated to be applied in the fall, GreenView Fall Lawn Food supplements your lawn with exactly what it needs before heading into the winter months. Once spring comes, you’ll notice that your lawn greens up more quickly compared to past seasons.
The no-phosphate formula boosts root development, which improves nutrient and water absorption. This long-lasting fertilizer continues to feed your lawn for up to eight weeks.
We found that the effectiveness of this fertilizer wasn’t consistent from lawn to lawn. While you may see results in the spring, there’s an equally likely chance you won’t see any results at all. In a few instances, this product killed the entire lawn, though it couldn’t be determined if this fertilizer was used properly.
8. Super Juice Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
As the name states, the All in One formula is a complete and balanced fertilizer. Used on its own or as a supplement to a granular fertilizer, Super Juice works within five to 12 days after application.
If you own or plan to buy a hose end sprayer, you’ll be able to easily add the dry mix and apply this fertilizer to your lawn. For convenience, it comes in a resealable foil-lined bag that has an easy-open tear strip.
The dry mix gives you option of using it at half strength, which enlarges the area you can treat. Full strength covers an acre, while half-strength can stretch over two acres. We found that the amount of supplement, even at full strength, may not be strong enough to create a difference in the appearance of your lawn.
9. Espoma EOFW30 Fall Fertilizer
This organic fertilizer makes our list for its environmentally friendly, organic formula. This chemical-free fertilizer is safe for pets and children.
Apply in the fall and see immediate results in the spring. The slow-release nitrogen enhances the health of your lawn through the winter months.
Consisting of feather meal poultry manure and sulfate of potash, the odor and the use of animals to produce this product may be problematic if you are particularly sensitive to either issue. Also, while it does have a high level of success in order to be effective on most lawns, it does come at a higher cost than other similar fertilizers.
We’ve covered a variety of different lawn fertilizers in our reviews. In this buyer’s guide, we’ll go in-depth about the differences between fertilizers and how that can impact what works for your lawn. From organic to synthetic, spray application to granule, and season to season, we’ll go over what you need to know in order to restore and maintain a plush, green lawn.
Organic vs. Inorganic Fertilizer
When between choosing between an organic product and one that’s manufactured with chemicals, consider three main points. First, if being environmentally friendly is important to you, consider purchasing an organic fertilizer. You’ll be adding only natural products to your lawn that not only are child- and pet-friendly but also protect local water sources from run-off contamination. Plus, the methods to produce synthetic materials for inorganic fertilizers require the use of fossil fuels and the release of greenhouse gases.
The second consideration may seem to give preference to inorganic products, but not necessarily. It’s true that with chemical-based fertilizers, you’ll see fast, vibrant results. However, you need to make sure the fertilizer has been formulated to enrich the soil and strengthen your grass at the root level. Your positive results will be short-lived if you treat only the blades of the grass and neglect their foundation. Organic products enrich the soil for long-lasting results.
Finally, you may be tempted by the much lower price for an inorganic fertilizer. Keep in mind that the price you pay up front can be a worthy investment if your lawn can remain healthy for a longer amount of time. Plus, over time, you may find that your organically treated lawn requires less watering and mowing.
Spray Application vs. Granule
When deciding how to apply your fertilizer to your lawn, you will encounter two methods. In most cases, personal preference and the equipment you have on hand will determine whether you spray the product or spread granules.
Spray methods are sold as either a condensed liquid or dry mix. Using either a pump bottle or a hose attachment to mix the appropriate amount of water, these fertilizers can be easily applied over a large expanse of lawn or as long as your hose can reach.
Granules require you to toss them around by the handful or distribute them using a spreader, if you happen to own one. It may take you longer to cover a large lawn using this method, but it is helpful for fertilizing specific sections of your lawn.
One important note has to do with even distribution. Burn spots, as well as patches with little to no improvement, can occur when the fertilizer has not been applied in equal amounts. When in doubt, especially when using synthetic or chemically manufactured ingredients, use less than recommended. Overapplication when spraying or spreading leads to dead grass.
Season to Season
Be sure to consider which season you intend to apply your lawn fertilizer. A few of the products we reviewed are intended to be used in the fall to ensure a quick green to return in the spring. These products should be applied six weeks before the first frost. As the year progresses, be sure to adapt your fertilizer to meet your lawn’s changing needs throughout peak growing months
Know Your Grass Type
Finally, choosing the best lawn fertilizer for your lawn can greatly vary by where you live geographically. Certain types of grass are only found warmer regions, while different varieties tend to be more common in colder climates. Be sure to check if the fertilizer you’re buying matches the grass growing in your lawn. If you’re not sure, look for fertilizers that claim they work on all grass types. We recommend cross-checking with reviews like those in this list. In some cases, “all grass types” may actually have exceptions.
The best overall fertilizer for a lush, green lawn that lasts, Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer has an environmentally friendly organic composition and a slow-release formula for continuing results. Although you’ll pay more and need to wait one to two weeks to see a difference in your lawn, you’ll save by mowing and watering less.
Our choice for the best value for your money, Scotts 22305 Turf Builder Lawn Food does as its name states and rebuilds your lawn back to health by strengthening the roots. The complete formula works quickly on all types of grass and is child- and pet-friendly. However, burn spots can occur.
Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Food Natural Liquid Fertilizer is our premium choice due to its high-quality natural and organic ingredients, in addition to its complete and balanced formula. This fertilizer treats both grass blades and roots while enriching the soil. The poorly functioning spray bottle is its main drawback, dropping this product to our third position. Also, we found reports that it’s not as effective with Bermuda grass.
We hope that our reviews and our buyer’s guide have helped you make an informed decision when buying fertilizer for your grass. With the right product, you can enjoy a plush, green lawn from early spring to late fall.
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 9 Best Lawn Fertilizers 2020
- 1. Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer – Best Overall
- 2. Scotts 22305 Turf Lawn Food – Best Value
- 3. Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Liquid Fertilizer – Premium Choice
- 4. Miracle-Gro 1001834 Soluble Lawn Food
- 5. LawnStar 16-4-8 NPK Fertilizer
- 6. Safer Brand SA9333 Lawn Restore Fertilizer
- 7. GreenView 2131253 Fall Lawn Food
- 8. Super Juice Soluble Lawn Fertilizer
- 9. Espoma EOFW30 Fall Fertilizer
- Buyer’s Guide