The 5 Best Fertilizers 2023 Review (2023)

Best For Dandelion Control: Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

If you’re tired of seeing more dandelions and clovers in your yard than green grass, consider this two-in-one fertilizer. It contains a powerful weed and feed solution that supplies your lawn with nutrients while killing existing dandelions and clovers. More so, it keeps these invasive weeds out of your lawn for the entire season.

Key Features

Comes in a 14.29-pound bag Treats up to 5,000 square feet Fertilizes grass and kills dandelions and clovers

What Customers Are Saying

Although customers who left positive reviews emphasized that you must carefully follow the instructions to get good results with this fertilizer, they said that their lawn thrived and was free of dandelions and clovers only weeks after the initial application. Conversely, other customers experienced mixed results. They shared that the fertilizer either gave them healthy grass that was full of dandelions or killed dandelions at the expense of also killing grass.

Best For Organic Gardening: Burpee Bone Meal Fertilizer

A 6-8-0 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium helps promote strong roots for new plants in your garden. Any gardener who’s growing organic vegetables and other foods will find value in this three-pound bag of bone meal, as it’s versatile enough to support a wide variety of species.

Key Features

Comes in a three-pound bag Fertilizes plants Has an organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

The bag size and organic listing were highlights of this fertilizer in many positive reviews. Customers with small gardens found that the bag offered plenty of fertilizer for their plants. However, negative feedback for this fertilizer highlighted roaches and other unwanted insects being attracted to the mix’s bone meal. Other customers also found that the bag was difficult to reseal once it was opened.

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Best Liquid Fertilizer: Simple Lawn Solutions Lawn Energizer

Easy to attach to your garden hose, this grass fertilizer is perfect for homeowners with an already-healthy lawn that just needs an extra push for sustained growth. For thick, green grass, it provides iron, nitrogen, and micronutrients.

Key Features

Comes in a 32-ounce spray container Treats up to 3,200 square feet Fertilizes grass

What Customers Are Saying

After trying different lawn fertilizers, customers experienced fast and satisfactory results using this liquid option. They said that it was easy to apply to large gardens and that it brought out a deep and vibrant green grass color. However, other customers said that it stained their fences, rocks, and other areas of their yard.

Best For Flowers: Down To Earth Rose and Flower Fertilizer

Although this versatile organic mix is advertised to work especially well on newly planted flowers, it promotes healthy growth during nearly any stage of the life cycle. The five-pound box is compostable as well, so it’s perfect for those who are particularly eco-conscious.

Key Features

Comes in a five-pound box Fertilizes plants Has an organic formula

What Customers Are Saying

Most happy customers experienced fast and sustained growth using this organic fertilizer. Some also used it as a supplement to their compost. Unhappy customers reported issues with its strong odor and bug attraction.

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Best For Crabgrass Control: Scotts Turf Builder Crabgrass Preventer

This combination grass feed and crabgrass killer is a time-saving option for homeowners who have brown, weed-infested grass. With coverage for up to 10,000 square feet, these two bags offer plenty of fertilizer for larger lawns.

Key Features

Comes with two 13.35-pound bags Treats up to 5,000 square feet per bag Fertilizes grass and kills crabgrass

What Customers Are Saying

Overall, customers experienced a clear difference before and after applying this fertilizer and weed killer mixture. However, some users noticed a sharp decline in grass health and weed protection toward the end of the summer.

Buyer’s Guide

The appropriate fertilizer can position your lawn or garden for sustained growth. However, it’s imperative to choose the right mix based on what you’re growing. From soil composition to seasonality, consider the following information in our buying guide to make a confident and informed decision.

Soil Composition

Clay-based soil requires different nutrients than organic soil that contains tree bark, bone meal, straw, and other organic matter. To make your decision easier, most fertilizers are specifically designed for one type or the other.

Liquid vs. Solid

Some lawn and garden fertilizers are liquid, while others are granular pellets. As long as the ingredients are appropriate for what you’re growing, choosing a liquid or solid formula usually comes down to preference. However, there are disadvantages to each. For example, liquid fertilizers pose an environmental hazard if they get into the water supply, and pellets take more time to start working.

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NPK Rating

NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The NPK rating or ratio tells you how much of these elements a particular fertilizer has. Nitrogen is generally effective at keeping grass green, while phosphorus helps with root growth, and potassium guards against disease. For a lush and vibrant lawn, look for a fertilizer with more nitrogen. For a high garden yield, prioritize phosphorus. To keep dandelions and other invasive species at bay, choose a fertilizer that’s high in potassium.


Applying fertilizer at the wrong time of year could result in wasted nutrients. You should fertilize most perennials and vegetables in the spring and bulbs in the fall. You can fertilize trees and shrubs during both times of the year.


Feeding a small garden bed should require only a single bag or container of fertilizer. Conversely, you may need multiple bags of fertilizer if you have a large lawn. If you’re fertilizing grass as opposed to plants, the bag of fertilizer should say how many square feet it can cover.

Weed Control

Many grass fertilizers have built-in weed control. These formulas may target dandelions, clovers, crabgrass, and other unwanted growth in your lawn. While weed protection may be useful for large lawns, most herb and vegetable gardens don’t need it.

Fertilizer vs. Compost

The primary distinction between fertilizer and compost is that fertilizer provides the soil with nutrients, while compost provides nutrients to the plants that are rooted in the soil.In many cases, compost and fertilizer have synergistic effects. The organic matter in compost concentrates the fertilizer’s nutrients, delivering them to the plants more efficiently. So, while you can fertilize your plants without compost, it’s more effective to supplement plant growth via a combination of the two.

How To Apply Fertilizer

Here are a few basic tips on how to fertilize your lawn:

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Test the ground first to ensure that your fertilizer can provide the nutrients that your soil needs. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, avoid fertilizer mixes with bone meal or blood meal. These are by-products of the meat industry. Don’t apply fertilizer if it’s windy or rainy outside. Wet conditions wash away liquid fertilizer, and windy conditions blow away granular fertilizer. A high-concentration fertilizer isn’t necessarily better than a low-concentration one. Compare the release time to the concentration level to get a better understanding of a product’s overall efficacy.

How often do I need to apply fertilizer?

Apply fertilizer to clay soil every four to six weeks. For organic soil, fertilize it every three to four weeks.

When is the best time to apply fertilizer?

The type of grasses, herbs, vegetables, fruits, or flowers you’re maintaining and the climate you live in determine the best time of year to fertilize. Typically, fall is best for cool-season grasses, and early-to-mid spring is an ideal time to fertilize warm-season grasses and most plants.

Do I need a fertilizer spreader to distribute fertilizer?

While a fertilizer spreader isn’t necessary, it can make it easier to apply an even layer of fertilizer over large areas, especially lawns. You don’t need a fertilizer spreader to cover smaller areas, such as flower beds.

Is fertilizer toxic to humans?

Yes. Plant and lawn fertilizers can poison humans as well as pets if they’re accidentally ingested. Store your fertilizer away from food, children, and pets when it’s not in use. We also recommend wearing work gloves when you’re handling it.

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What brand of fertilizer works best? ›

Top 7 Lawn Fertilizers – Reviews
  1. Milorganite 0636 Nitrogen Fertilizer. Eco-Friendly Pick.
  2. Jonathan Green Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer. ...
  3. GreenView Lawn Food. ...
  4. Scotts Natural Lawn Food. ...
  5. GreenView Fairway Formula Spring Fertilizer + Crabgrass Preventer.
  6. Safer Brand Lawn Restore Fertilizer.
  7. Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Food.
Jan 10, 2023

What is 5 5 5 fertilizer good for? ›

SUNBurst 5-5-5 Fertilizer can be applied to all vegetables, fruit trees, nut trees, vines, flowering and ornamental trees, shrubs, flowers, containerized plants, and turf.

What is the best fertilizer for this time of year? ›

The best fertilizers to use are slow release. When you use slow release fertilizers, the grass will get green without growing too quickly. In the spring, mixtures of 20-5-10 (nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium) are suitable to use. You can also perform a soil pH test before you start the process.

What is the most recommended fertilizer? ›

A good all-purpose fertilizer would be a 10-10-10 NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium). This type of fertilizer will work well for most plants and soil types.

What months are best to fertilize lawn? ›

Timing: Apply early spring lawn fertilizer once between February and April, when your grass is starting to green up and begin to actively grow (around the time your lawn first needs to be mowed).

What fertilizer makes grass dark green? ›

The number one way to increase the green color in your lawn is with Nitrogen. Nitrogen is one of the big three macronutrients needed in the greatest quantities for healthy turf. It promotes top growth in the lawn by pushing the production of chlorophyll in the plant.

What is poor man's fertilizer? ›

An old wives tale says that snow is the poor man's fertilizer. This is true because snow contains the nutrient nitrogen. The snow lies as a blanket on the ground and slowly percolates through the soft spring soil, gradually releasing its fertilizer and moisture into the soil.

When should you not fertilize? ›

The worst time to fertilize plants is at the end of their growing season. Trees, for example, begin to wake up and grow in early spring, and typically are fertilized once in February or March. Most shrubs make active growth in the spring and early summer, so we tend to fertilize them once around March or April.

What fertilizer is better than Miracle-Gro? ›

Medina's HastaGro is an organic alternative for all Miracle-Gro products. This plant food promotes larger fruits and blooms without unnatural chemicals and toxins. HastaGro also prevents salt and chemical buildup in the soil, which is crucial for long-term gardening.

What fertilizer thickens grass? ›

When overseeding your lawn, a starter fertilizer such as Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4 helps promote vigorous root growth for the fast establishment of new grasses. For established lawns, Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 provides the nitrogen your lawn needs for thick, green grass.

What is the best lawn fertilizer company? ›

  • The 11 Best Lawn Care Service Companies of 2023.
  • Weed Man.
  • NaturaLawn of America.
  • Lawn Doctor.
  • Ryan Lawn & Tree.
  • Spring-Green.
  • Green Lawn Fertilizing.
  • TruGreen.
Sep 13, 2022

What fertilizer has the best nitrogen? ›

Primary forms of nitrogen fertilizer

Urea has the highest nitrogen content of all solid fertilizers at 46% N. UAN solutions, such as 28% and 32% liquid nitrogen, are made up of different forms of nitrogen.

What fertilizer do farmers use? ›

The three major types of commercial fertilizer used in the U.S. are nitrogen, phosphate, and potash. Nitrogen (N) is found primarily in an organic form in soils but can also occur as nitrate.

What fertilizer does TruGreen use? ›

In addition, natural minerals such as potash may be part of the formula. The TruGreen® TruNatural®Lawn Plan uses 100% natural fertilizer that encourages healthy grass growth. This all-natural way to care for your lawn does not use traditional weed control.

When should you not fertilize your lawn? ›

Best Time to Fertilize Lawn

Do not apply fertilizer on an abnormally hot day, not even in the morning. Wait until the weather cools back down to a normal temperature. You can mow anytime after fertilizing with a granular treatment. With a liquid treatment, wait a day or two.

How do I know if my lawn has too much nitrogen? ›

Signs That Your Lawn Has Too Much Nitrogen

If overfertilization is indeed the case, you'll most certainly know because the signs are unmistakable. Excess nitrogen burns the grass by scorching the plant tissue resulting in large dead patches in your lawn shortly after fertilizing.

How late should you fertilize your lawn? ›

The best time to apply your last fertilizer application is between August 15 and October 1. Ideally, your last lawn feeding should take place six to eight weeks before the average first frost in your area.

How do I make my lawn Super green? ›

  1. Test Your Soil. Roots depend on healthy, nutritious soil to grow green and lush grass. ...
  2. Fertilize Your Lawn. A big part of knowing how to make your lawn greener is choosing the right fertilizer. ...
  3. Kill Weeds and Unwanted Insects. ...
  4. Use Grass Seed. ...
  5. Water Your Lawn. ...
  6. Aerate Your Lawn. ...
  7. Replace Lawn Mower Blades.

What will make my grass green and thicker? ›

7 Pro Strategies for Thicker, Greener Grass
  1. Mow Your Lawn Correctly. ...
  2. Water Grass Properly. ...
  3. Fertilize Grass Adequately. ...
  4. The Importance of a Lawn Soil Test. ...
  5. Control Lawn Weeds, Insects, & Diseases. ...
  6. Aerate and Overseed Your Lawn When Needed. ...
  7. Deal With the Shady Spots in Your Lawn.

How can I make my dead grass green fast? ›

Here's how to make grass green fast.
  1. Apply an Iron Supplement. ...
  2. Create a Watering Schedule. ...
  3. Overseed. ...
  4. Set Up a Pet Potty Area. ...
  5. Consider Nitrogen-Rich Fertilizer. ...
  6. Eliminate Weeds and Pests. ...
  7. Mow Properly. ...
  8. Paint the Lawn With Grass Dye.
Apr 29, 2022

What is the most harmful fertilizer? ›

The most common yet most hazardous fertilizer is anhydrous ammonia. Anhydrous ammonia is applied as a liquid or gas and is kept in tanks at a very high pressure. It can cause severe burns and blindness, even in a few seconds. Other types of fertilizer that come in solid or pellet form can be toxic.

What is a good inexpensive fertilizer? ›

Urea is a low cost nitrogen fertilizer form. This is because of its high nitrogen composition and consequent low transport and storage costs. Urea may be the fertilizer of choice when only nitrogen is needed in a soil fertility program.

What are the big three fertilizers? ›

The Big 3—nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium—provide the foundational nutrients of today's commercial fertilizers.

What is the best fertilizer for poor soil? ›

Compost is my favorite amendment for improving any soil. It makes heavy soil lighter and improves drainage. In sandy soil, it helps retain moisture. And the best part, you can make compost at home for free.

What natural fertilizer has the most nitrogen? ›

If you're looking for a high nitrogen organic fertilizer, animal-based organic nitrogen fertilizers are your best choice. They include bi-products of the cattle industry (blood meal), poultry industry (feather meal), and fisheries (fish meal, crab meal, shrimp meal).

What is the best organic all-purpose fertilizer? ›

Our top pick for an all-around good organic fertilizer is Jobe's Organics All-Purpose Granular Plant Food. If you're looking to build your soil, consider picking up a bag of Wiggle Worm Soil Builder Earthworm Castings.

Is it better to fertilize at night or morning? ›

Fertilizing your lawn in the morning enables you to take advantage of cooler temperatures and morning dew to reduce the risk of burning the grass. As you spread the fertilizer and water it in, the nutrients will have the best chance of reaching the roots and being absorbed quickly.

How often do you use 20 20 20 fertilizer? ›

Apply at the rate of 1 quart per square foot or 100 gallons per 400 square feet. Repeat treatment every 1-3 weeks as needed. CONSTANT FEED:Fertilizer applications with every watering (3 or more times per week).

How many times a year should I fertilize? ›

If you fertilize fruit trees with formulations made specifically for them, do it once a year in spring. When fertilizing a natural grass lawn, apply the fertilizer twice a year -in April and again in September. (Some people even do it three times per year, adding fertilizer in mid-summer).

Does the brand of fertilizer matter? ›

Does the brand of fertilizer you use really matter? Short answer is yes, it does. There is a lot more than just N-P-K that makes up a bag of fertilizer. There are a few important things you should look for when selecting a brand of fertilizer.

What is the most effective lawn fertilizer? ›

The best overall fertilizer for grass is the Dr. Earth Super Natural Organic Fertilizer, because it includes the three main macronutrients your soil needs: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

What are the top 3 fertilizer companies in the US? ›

The North America Fertilizers Market is fairly consolidated, with the top five companies occupying 86.75%. The major players in this market are CF Industries Holdings, Inc., Nutrien Ltd., The Mosaic Co., Wilbur-Ellis Company LLC and Yara International ASA (sorted alphabetically).

How do I choose the right fertilizer? ›

For an established and healthy lawn, choose fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen but lower in phosphorous and potassium. Nitrogen is the least expensive nutrient of the bunch, and an established and healthy lawn doesn't need as much potassium or phosphorous.

Which is better liquid or powder fertilizer? ›

Liquid fertilizers also have less salt content, which is usually why liquid fertilizers are usually better for starter fertilizers. Granular fertilizers contain a lot more salt content, and roots tend to steer away from granular fertilizers for this reason—especially if there's a lot of nitrogen and potassium.

What is best fertilizer to thicken grass? ›

When overseeding your lawn, a starter fertilizer such as Pennington UltraGreen Starter Fertilizer 22-23-4 helps promote vigorous root growth for the fast establishment of new grasses. For established lawns, Pennington UltraGreen Lawn Fertilizer 30-0-4 provides the nitrogen your lawn needs for thick, green grass.

What fertilizer makes grass grow faster? ›

Nitrogen (N) promotes rapid growth and lush, green color. Phosphorous (P) helps develop healthy root systems. Starter lawn fertilizers have a high phosphorous count for this reason, while fertilizers for established lawns have a relatively low amount.

Who is the leader in the fertilizer industry? ›

As of July 2022, Nutrien was the largest fertilizer company worldwide based on market capitalization, at 42.13 billion U.S. dollars. Wesfarmers ranked second at the time, with a market capitalization of 35.86 billion dollars.

Why I dont use Miracle Grow? ›

The primary ingredients in synthetic fertilizers like Miracle-Gro are urea nitrogen and ammonium sulfate. When exposed to the air, these compounds create a toxic greenhouse gas that damages human lungs. Nitrogen can build up in the human body when it isn't detoxified fast enough by the liver.

Which is better Osmocote or Miracle-Gro? ›

Which one you choose is dependent on what soil your Waves are planted in, and how much attention they will get. Low-nutrient soil would benefit from the pre-plant Osmocote application, whereas rich-in-nutrients soil may not require it with an occasional feed with Miracle-Gro being enough.

When should you stop using Miracle-Gro? ›

Officially, the shelf life that Miracle-Gro offers is about three years, as long as it is kept in a cool, dry place. But, let's remember that this product is water-soluble and needs to be mixed with water before use.


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