The Best Fertilizer for Grass in 2023 (A Buyer’s Guide)

Find out what factors to consider when buying grass fertilizer, and take your pick from our top seven choices to achieve a lush, healthy, green lawn throughout the year.

Sean Stratton | Updated January 5, 2023

Grass gets its food by photosynthesis using the nutrients from the soil. But soil becomes infertile with time, affecting grasses’ growth.

So, how can you maintain a lush and healthy lawn throughout the year? By choosing the best fertilizer for grass.

Grass requires specific macronutrients to create essential enzymes. Fertilizers develop grass’s immune system, protecting them from insects and diseases.

7 Best Fertilizers for Grass Reviews

hand touching the grass

Fertilizers provide vital nutrients to the grasses. When the grasses become yellowed, dead, or sparse, you need to apply specific fertilizers to make them greener and healthier. Check out the seven best fertilizers recommended by the experts to get a green lawn without affecting the environment.

1. Overall Best Fertilizer for Grass – Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble Lawn Food

Our top fertilizer pick for grass is Miracle-Gro Water-soluble Lawn Food. It’s an irresistible synthetic fertilizer used to make the grass greener. As it is a quick-release fertilizer, this one works immediately after application.

You will get a 5-pound (2.27 kg) container to feed approximately 4000 sq. ft. As it is a water-soluble fertilizer, it quickly gets absorbed by the grassroots. So, you will see significant results in growing roots, stems, and leaves.

The Miracle-Gro lawn food has an NPK ratio of 24-8-16. The main element of this fertilizer is nitrogen-rich urea. Moreover, it comprises adequate amounts of urea, potassium chloride, sodium molybdate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, chlorine, boric acid, manganese EDTA, and ferric sodium EDTA.

Gardeners use this product to get lush and green lawns quickly. You can apply this fertilizer easily, and it is inexpensive as well.

2. Best Fertilizer to Thicken Grass – Scotts Green Max Lawn Fertilizer Plus Iron Supplement

Scotts Green Max Lawn Food works like a charm. Comprising 5% iron, it enhances the beauty of your lawn in a short time. Moreover, it has a dual-action formula that facilitates the greening process within three days.

Again, it seems to be the best fertilizer to thicken grass. Regular feeding helps overcome the stress of weeds, drought, heat, and other activities. Each bag contains 16.67 lb (7.56 kg) of food and covers 5,000 sq. ft (0.05 ha) areas.

Each granule of this lawn food contains 100% nutrition. Thus, it ensures that your lawn gets whole food. Apply to any grass and any season of the year. Each bag delivers 33-0-2, which is good enough to get the result quickly. However, you must apply regularly to get the best result.

Be aware that it can stain concrete and sidewalks when it gets in contact with water. So, keep it on the grass and sweep any sidewalks and concrete areas.

3. Best Fertilizer for Green Grass – Milorganite 62036-MW Organic Fertilizer

Milorganite 62036-MW Organic Fertilizer is a slow-release fertilizer. This is an eco-friendly fertilizer with a 100 % organic composition. People have been using this fertilizer on golf courses for decades and maintaining a constant healthier lawn throughout the year. This one is regarded as the perfect fertilizer for green grass.

The bag’s weight is 32 pounds (ca. 15 kg) and can feed approximately 2500 sq. ft. After opening the bag, you will get an intense smell, but it won’t spread after watering.

The NPK ratio of the 62036-MW fertilizer is 5-2-0. So, these fertilizers do not contain potassium at all. Avoid using it in the dry region. Also, you need to apply it after the grass is already established.

The primary ingredient of this fertilizer is nitrogen. The 4% iron composition is necessary to get deep green grass. You can apply this fertilizer at any time of the year. As it is an organic product, this fertilizer is safe for children and pets.

4. Best Fertilizer for Grass in Summer – Scotts Turf Builder Summerguard Lawn Food

Scotts Turf Builder SummerGuard Lawn Food with Insect Control is a commonly used fertilizer to protect grass from bugs. A good gardener applies this food to strengthen the lawn and prevent heat and drought. According to a survey, this quality fertilizer works great for grasses in the summer season.

Though it is a synthetic fertilizer, it won’t burn the lawn while killing the listed bugs, including armyworms. Water the lawn when needed to get the best results.

A 13.35lb bag covers approximately 5,000 sq. ft. The NPK ratio of Scotts turf builder lawn food is 32-0-4. The primary ingredient of this fertilizer is nitrogen, which helps get a quick result.

Again, this fertilizer is the best choice for the grander to strengthen the grass root. It reduces the necessary watering and revives the damaged grasses quickly. Moreover, this is an eco-friendly fertilizer.

5. Best Professional Lawn Fertilizer – Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16-4-8 Balanced NPK Lawn Food

The Simple Lawn Solutions16-4-8 Balanced NPK is a complete liquid fertilizer with a perfect blend of necessary nutrients. The perfect NPK combination strengthens the grassroots by providing enough energy. The seaweed and fish of this fertilizer help get a green lawn without burning the grasses.

The high-quality feed-grade ingredients have made it the top professional lawn fertilizer. You can easily apply this fertilizer with the help of a sprayer. The exclusive formula of nitrogen, phosphates, and potash provides every vital element for lush lawns.

Moreover, these fertilizers are compatible with all grass types. The 16 % nitrogen is crucial in reviving the grasses to look green again. Again, the 4% phosphorous composing develops the root of the grass. So, the grasses get every essential nutrient at a very early stage.

You will get a 2.94-pound (1.33 kg) bag, which can cover approximately 300 sq. ft. People apply this fertilizer to get a beautiful lawn for extended periods. And, it has been working well regardless of the type of grass and season.

6. Best to Prevent Weed Growth – Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed is a specialized fertilizer that prevents weed growth. The WeedGrip Technology grips up to 2X more potent clover and dandelion control. Gardeners love this fertilizer for thickening the lawn and making it green and healthy.

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed is an excellent fertilizer for crowding out weeds. Also, it helps grow deeper and stronger roots and makes the grass healthier.

You can apply this fertilizer for various pests and weeds, including Bull Thistle, Mustard, Carpetweed, Plantain, Chickweed, etc. You can use this fertilizer for lawns like Bahia, Zoysia, Centipedegrass, and Bermudagrass. But do not apply this product for Floratam, Lippia, St. Augustinegrass, Carpetgrass, and Bentgrass.

The NPK value of Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed is 28-0-3. To apply this fertilizer, you should first wet the grass. Apply twice per year to get the best result.

7. Best Fertilizer for Winter Season – Jonathan Green & Sons Inc (12414) Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer

The Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer of Jonathan Green & Sons Inc is the best lawn fertilizer for winter. This is an entirely organic lawn food of homogenous granules used to get a healthy, green lawn. You can apply this fertilizer to both established and newly seeded kinds of grass.

The 45.2 pounds (ca. 21 kg) bag with an NPK ratio of 10-0-20 is essential to keep your lawn greener throughout the year. A single bag of this food can cover approximately, 15000 square feet (ca. 14 a). The company provides a well-balanced formula that is essential for your lawn.

The Winter Survival Fall Fertilizer is essential to control weed organically. This lawn food provides high-energy manures to improve the soil structure. Thus, the water-holding capacity of the soil increases and the grasses look greener.

This fertilizer is ideal for fall seeding in preparation for winter. You can apply this fertilizer four times a year to get an unchanging green lawn. The application process for this fertilizer is relatively easy. And, the iron composition is enough to get a deep green lawn.

What to Consider when Buying the Best Fertilizer for Grass?

Are you searching for the best fertilizers for your grass? There is plenty of plant food available in the industry. Nevertheless, all of them are not eligible for your lawn. Consider the following aspects before purchasing fertilizer.

Get your soil tested:

The first thing you have to do is analyze the lawn’s soil to determine the nutrients that your soil is lacking. By studying the soil test result, you can find a suitable fertilizer for your lawn.

Know the NPK ratio:

NPK ratio denotes the three most essential nutrients that the fertilizer contains. In an NPK ratio, N stands for Nitrogen, P for Phosphorus, and K for potassium. The result will tell you the best NPK ratio to look for in the fertilizers when you analyze the soil.

The 10-10-10 fertilizer for lawns contains an equal percentage of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. However, the best lawn fertilizer ratio for most lawns is either 3:1:3 or 4:1:2. You can determine the best combination for your soil by analyzing the soil test report.

Learn about the different types of fertilizers:

You will find different types of fertilizers in the market. If you have in-depth knowledge about these types, it will help you buy the best one. Don’t worry! We have provided a deep discussion on the types of fertilizers in the latter part of the article.

Know the types of grass on your lawn:

It’s essential to know the type of grass on your lawn, so you can choose the best fertilizer for your needs. Also, you should plan a perfect lawn fertilizer schedule considering the grass and soil type.

Find out the coverage area:

You have to find out the lawn area so you can buy the correct amount of fertilizer.

Vital Elements in Grass Fertilizer

NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the primary elements in fertilizers. These macronutrients play a vital role in getting a green lawn.

  • Nitrogen (N): Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants, including grasses. Nitrogen is necessary for fast growth and a deep green color. Lack of nitrogen can cause yellowing.
  • Phosphorous (P): Phosphorous is necessary for the root development process.
  • Potassium (K): Potassium helps with disease and drought resistance.

Grasses also need micronutrients, but NPK plays a crucial role in healthy lawn growth.

Warm-Season Grass vs. Cold-Season Grass

The Warm-season grass grows in late spring and becomes inactive in early to mid-fall. Their green-up period starts in the late spring. It becomes dormant in the winter when temperatures fall below 65º F. Zoysia, St. Augustine, Bahiagrass, and centipede grass perform well in humid regions.

The growth period of the Cold-season grasses starts in mid-spring and becomes dormant in the late fall. Cold-season grasses are best suited for areas between 60º and 70º F. Bluegrasses, ryegrasses, and fescues are best suited for this region.

The Types of Lawn Fertilizers

Lawn fertilizer is essential for the health and appearance of your lawn. Here we will cover the various types of fertilizer.

Granular Fertilizers:

Granular fertilizer is a slow-release fertilizer, made up of tiny granules. It provides nutrition to your lawn over an extended period of time, so you don’t need to apply it as often. On the other hand, results take longer. Granular fertilizer easily dissolves into the water, so you can apply it in the dry and hot seasons. The soil’s pH can affect the fertilizer’s effectiveness.

Liquid Fertilizers:

Liquid fertilizers are available as a water-soluble powder or as a concentrated liquid solution. You will get quick results from the liquid fertilizers than the granular fertilizer. The application is also much more straightforward. However, liquid fertilizers are severe water polluters.

Synthetic Fertilizers:

Synthetic fertilizers are inorganic and created in laboratories by blending essential ingredients for quick results. You will get the exact ratio of nutrients at a cheap price, but overfertilizing can damage your lawn.

Organic Fertilizers:

Organic fertilizers include compost, organic manures, and biofertilizers. They improve the overall structure of the soil by supplying necessary nutrients. They are slow-release fertilizers and take longer to see results.

Starter Fertilizers:

Starter fertilizers are necessary for seedlings. Gardeners use these fertilizers to enhance root growth. You can also apply these fertilizers during winter to get a healthy lawn. Follow the instruction written in the packet to get the best result.

Slow-release Fertilizers:

Slow-release fertilizers impact soil slowly and provide uniform growth. You can use these fertilizers to get a greener lawn for a more extended period. Moreover, slow-release fertilizers won’t burn grass and provide consistent results.

Quick-release Fertilizers:

Quick-release fertilizers break down immediately after applying them to the lawn. These are good options if your lawn needs immediate attention. But these fertilizers can burn your grass. You need to apply the right amount to get the best output.

Answers to Common Questions

Why is fertilizer needed for grass?

Fertilizer is essential in maintaining the health and appearance of your lawn. When the grass cannot get adequate nutrients from the soil, you have to apply suitable fertilizers to replace these nutrients.

What are the primary elements in grass fertilizers?

NPK or nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the primary elements in fertilizers. These macronutrients play a vital role in getting a green lawn.

Written by Sean Stratton

Sean Stratton

Hi, I'm Sean, the senior editor here at Fertilizer Pick. I grew up on a farm in North Carolina and have grown fruits, vegetables, and trees since childhood. While I no longer live on a farm today, I still enjoy spending time on my garden and sharing my knowledge with friends and fellow garden enthusiasts.