Growing a healthy lawn requires plenty of effort and time. Fertilizer is one of the important things you need for your lawn. There are plenty of synthetic fertilizers available in the market now.
But the problem with these fertilizers is the toxic salts and chemical build-up that can harm your lawn and soil. This is why soil friendly, renewable, sustainable, and biodegradable organic fertilizers are preferred by many people now.
There are many more benefits in organic fertilizers that ensure your grass and soil grow strong and healthy. In this guide, you will know about the significant considerations regarding use of organic fertilizers and the best organic lawn fertilizer products available now with their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision.
Organic products are advocated by environmentalists and they also have very few or no side effects. Thus, choosing organic over synthetic is always preferable. Furthermore, there are several other benefits you get when it comes to lawn growth:
Organic fertilizers not only release nutrients needed for the soil they also enhance soil structure. They help to increase soil’s capability for holding nutrients and water when they break down.
Since the breakdown of organic fertilizer occurs very slowly, there is no risk of adding excessive amounts of fertilizers that can harm the plants.
The water holding ability enables better moisture level of the soil, which attracts earthworms. Earthworms are effective in improving aeration and proper water drainage. The waste materials secreted by earthworms are nutrient rich, which further help in keeping soil healthy.
Due to slow release of fertilizers, grass grows at a slow and even pace avoiding frequent mowing.
There is no hassle of dangerous chemical spills or clean-ups, which occur with synthetic fertilizer use.
With organic fertilizers, the grass roots are stronger discouraging growth of weeds. Thicker grass growth prevents spread of weeds as the restricted space prevents their growth. You will be spending less on treating the weeds and save the time spent on applying weed killers on the lawn.
Due to healthy thick and strong grass formation from organic fertilizers, the lawn stays resistant to disease and pests. This is because organic fertilizers provide the immunity needed for the plants to resist illness
The healthy lawns are also resistant to weather fluctuations. Weak grass tends to brown and burn in hot weather. It may also wither and die in drought conditions. With stronger grass, there is less impact of weather fluctuations. Due to stronger roots, more water is absorbed by the grass.
The absence of harsh synthetic products and chemicals in organic fertilizers makes them perfect for use in lawns. You will not have to worry about the safety of your pets and kids as with synthetic fertilizers where contact with harsh chemicals can cause health hazards. With organic fertilizers, you will not have to be concerned about your children and pets playing on the lawn.
Since fertilizers can enter into surrounding waterways through the soil, they can cause harm to wildlife and humans too. With organic fertilizer, you can ensure that no such chemicals affect water bodies around you. In fact, there are several regions that place strict regulations regarding use of chemicals in fertilizers.
Organic fertilizers are derived from natural sources, which are mostly biodegradable waste. Fish bones, poultry manure, vegetable waste, etc. are used as fertilizers thus turning them into a useful product.
Although organic and synthetic lawn fertilizers provide similar results there are certain differences present, which include the following:
Organic fertilizers are available in pellet form, which is easy to apply. Synthetic fertilizers which are made from chemicals are in liquid form mostly. Although the application is easy, over application can lead to brown spots due to burning of lawn.
When you apply fertilizers, you have to be very careful if you are using a synthetic fertilizer, as it causes build-up of nutrients, run off, leaching, improper ratio, and other issues resulting in destruction of your lawn.
While using natural lawn fertilizer brands, although you may see slow results, it will not harm your lawn in any way. And when you look at long term benefits the money spent on organic fertilizer is a good investment.
Organic products do not have measured or specific quantities of nutrients. Furthermore, they do not contain macronutrients. In synthetic fertilizers, specific quantities of important or essential nutrients are present, but do not contain macronutrients. Further these artificial fertilizers can accumulate in soil over the long term and also get washed away during watering or when it rains heavily.
With organic fertilizers, the release of nutrients is slow resulting in less overgrowth and fewer applications. For synthetic fertilizers, growth is rapid and this results in frequent mowing. Also, since the nutrients are released rapidly and run off during watering, more applications are necessary.
The natural bacteria and microorganisms in organic fertilizer helps in improved soil composition. The organic materials help create a healthy ecosystem required for good plant growth. Synthetic fertilizers on the other hand reduce fertility of soil over long term use.
Synthetic fertilizers are cheaper than their organic counterparts. However, the added expense is justified, as it saves you plenty of effort and time you would otherwise spend on frequent mowing, cleaning up spills and not to mention the loss of fertility to the soil.
Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) are considered as important macronutrients needed for plant growth. Other macro nutrients include magnesium, calcium, and sulfur. Micronutrients needed by plants include iron, zinc, manganese, boron, molybdenum, chlorine and nickel.
The macronutrients N, P, and K are considered as important nutrients as they help in optimal growth of plants. Based on the type of soil you have such as peat, clay or sand the amount of nutrients differ. Knowing the NPK content of your soil will help you to add the appropriate amounts needed for lawn growth.
Since NPK is present in low quantities in natural lawn fertilizer products, you may have to consider adding specific NPK supplements. However, adding synthetic fertilizers for their NPK content may actually harm your lawn in the long term due to the change in soil fertility and also produce short term effects such as over application or spills.
With organic fertilizers, the plants receive the nutrients slowly over a prolonged time span. Less application can reduce the cost of the organic fertilizers or you can consider the use of homemade lawn fertilizer. Whichever organic fertilizer you use it remains the best way to ensure a healthy and long-standing lawn.
For enhancing the top growth of your lawn, Milorganite 0636 fertilizer is a good choice to consider. The organic fertilizer improves the root system of grass. This is a reputed and best organic lawn fertilizer brand popular for nearly a century.
Milorganite organic lawn fertilizer has two main ingredients namely, 4% non-staining iron and microbes that are heat dried. The fertilizer is available as bags of 36pounds. The NPK formula in Milorganite is 5-2-0. Milorganite is one of the few brands that meet with the stringent quality standards of EPA.
However, the low NPK concentration means you are in no danger of burning your lawn. The nitrogen released slowly is non burning and works for a maximum period of 10 weeks.
The slow release feature ensures the applications can be spaced apart and other benefits include conservation of water and less frequent mowing. And the lack of salts in the ingredients makes it safer for use in places with limited water access. The product is an organic fertilizer that does not affect well water or groundwater.
Milorganite organic lawn fertilizer is used for lawns that are deep green. It is also beneficial for flowers, vegetables and trees. Golf courses have used Milorganite for their lawn care with success for many decades.
If you have an already established lawn and want to maintain it without any hassle, Safer Brand is a good choice to consider. The ingredients used act rapidly on the grass and ensure the nutrients in the soil are properly balanced. This results in adequate consumption of fungi and bacteria in the soil, which help in the production of necessary nutrients for a thriving lawn.
All ingredients used in this organic fertilizer for lawn are plant based and so you will not have to deal with odor of manures, bio solids or poultry litter. The ingredients work well on grasses of all types of seasons including cool and warm season types such as Bermuda, Perennial Rye and Kentucky Bluegrass.
The NPK ratio for this brand is 10-0-6. The formula II lawn restore has been introduced with a strong backing of research and development that spans over 25 years. The product focuses on lawn rejuvenation without any adverse impact on the ecosystem.
Safer Brand is available as 25-pound bags. The area covered is around 5000 square feet. The product can be applied once in eight weeks using pushcart or manual spreader. Application during spring, mid-summer and fall is sufficient to keep your lawn looking well cared and healthy.
A hassle-free application once in a season is a definite advantage to look for in a lawn fertilizer. Espoma EOLB30 is one such product that gives good results on your lawn grass and soil with once in a season application.
The ingredients used in this spring lawn booster include pasteurized poultry manure, gypsum and feather meal. The NPK ratio of this product is 8-0-0 for a bag of 30 pounds. A single bag is capable of feeding nearly 5000 square feet area. The nitrogen present in the fertilizer is released slowly resulting in consistent growth over a long span.
And the unique feature in this organic lawn food is the presence of nearly higher nitrogen levels (about 2.5 times higher) that are of slow release type. This slow release and more nitrogen level ensure uniform lawn growth.
Designed to use in spring the EOLB30 Espoma organic lawn fertilizer produces it maximum effect when it is applied on a freshly mowed lawn. This also ensure easier penetration of the fertilizer into the soil. Use of broad case spreader or drop spreader is recommended for best results.
An organic fertilizer that is free of offensive odor and promises lush green lawn is certainly one that you should try. Purely Organic lawn fertilizer is one such product that assures green and thick lawn.
The ingredients of this best organic lawn food are purely taken from plants and do not contain any added synthetic products or animal manure. Distiller grains and soy are the main ingredients in this fertilizer. The NPK formulation for this product is 10-0-2. The lack of animal manure and pure plant-based additions ensure that the product does not have an offensive odor.
Application is easier and quick too. Further you can use the lawn immediately after application. The ingredients work on the lawn grass and soil ensuring proper spread of nutrients. The application can be done as frequently as you require. The resulting grass is healthy and thick with no unsightly weeds seen.
Purely Organic Lawn Fertilizer is sustainable as it uses food waste that sits idly in landfills. The food wastes are refined and blended to from organic fertilizer that is affordable and produces best results on your lawn during any season. It also meets the Town & Municipality regulations for phosphate use.
If you are in search of organic lawn fertilizer brands that are entirely derived from plants without any worries about odor or efficacy, Andersons Innova Organic fertilizer is a good choice. The fertilizer has soybean as its main ingredient. It is rich in amino acids. The soybean provides all the necessary nutrients including phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium.
The NPK formulation in this brand is 7-1-2.The high nitrogen levels are of extended release type. This ensures soil is healthy and supplies the necessary energy for growth of beneficial microbes. Microbes need proper carbon and nitrogen ratio, which is present in this product. The 6: 1 carbon nitrogen ratio ensures fertile soil for the grass.
Andersons Innova organic fertilizer is available in 40-pound bags, which is capable of covering a very large area. For maintenance of a yard of 1000 square feet, 11 pounds is sufficient, while you need around 20 pounds for the same area for preparing seedbed.
This is one of the best organic fertilizer for lawn due to several reasons. The absence of manure, animal parts, composted waste, and bio solids ensure it is odor free. The fertilizer is in the form of granules that are homogenous in size and produce less dust when applying.
The homogenous granules ensure the fertilizer dissolves easily and over application of the product does not cause any harm to the lawn. The purely organic nature of the fertilizer ensures it does not cause any harm to water bodies in the vicinity such as ponds, waterways, wells, etc.
If you want to switch over to natural lawn fertilizer brands from synthetic brands that have harsh chemicals in them, a product like Scotts Natural is ideal. It is an all-season lawn food that works on grass of any type.
Scotts Natural fertilizer has an NPK formulation of 11-2-2. It is made of natural ingredients including meat, feather, bone, and blood meal. The fertilizer is available in packs of 19.6 pounds that cover an area of about 2,500 square feet. The natural ingredients make it safe for use around pets and children. With no waiting time needed after application, you can continue with your lawn activities immediately after application of the fertilizer.
The natural ingredients in this organic fertilizer for lawn work well on dried out or burnt grass and turn them into lush green grass after several application. Mowing the lawn for a minimum of two weeks is necessary for full effect of the lawn food. It is recommended that the product be applied on freshly mowed grass.
A pushcart will help in quicker and smoothly spread out application. Application is needed six weeks after the initial round.
Dr. Earth Super Natural Lawn Fertilizer can be a right choice for you, if you want an all-round improvement for your lawn. However just like other organic products in this lineup, you will have to wait for the results. And another thing to contend with here is the expensive price tag and meager quantity provided.
Dr. Earth is available in bags of 18 pounds that offer a nominal coverage of around 2000 square feet. The NPK formulation here is 9-3-5. The main organic source for this organic lawn food is fish meal and fishbone. Other ingredients present include seaweed extract, alfalfa meal, potassium sulfate, and a few other materials. The fertilizer is designed to penetrate deep into the soil strengthening the root system and the grass effectively.
The main advantage in using Dr. Earth lawn fertilizer is its effectiveness in dealing with thatch. This is a debris layer present between soil and vegetation. On removal of thatch, the fertilizer penetrated deep and helps in formation of a strong root system for the lawn.
Besides the ingredients mentioned above, the natural lawn fertilizer also has microbes that are good for soil growth, and three types of mycorrhizae, which is a fungus in soil that helps in strong root development. The presence of such organisms ensures the fertilizer penetrated deeply and works successfully in slow but steady way. You need to use this once in three months without any reapplication in between.
For a strong root system and lush green growth in your lawn, a natural lawn fertilizer like Shin Nong Pro is a good choice. The main ingredients in this organic fertilizer include castor meal, rice bran, and 17 minerals, which are extracted in a natural way from rocks.
The NPK formulation in Shin Nong Pro is 4.68-3.6-1.44. Due to the natural ingredients used the fertilizer does not affect microorganisms or worms in the soil. The health benefits of the ingredients not only make it ideal for grass growth, it boosts vigorous growth in plants too.
The product available in 22-pound bags is easy to sprinkle as it is in the form of granules. Once in a couple of months application is sufficient for this fertilizer. The product has PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine) certification.
If you are in search of a liquid lawn fertilizer, Simple Lawn solutions is a good choice. It consists of a high percentage of potassium and phosphorus, hence is ideal for lawns that need fortification with these minerals.
All ingredients including seaweed used in this organic lawn food are naturally derived. Simple Lawn solutions is a family enterprise with over two decades of experience in the field.
The NPK formulation for this organic fertilizer is 3-18-18. The high levels of P and K ensure grass is lush green with a robust root system. And the liquid form makes application a breeze. The fertilizer comes with dispenser that evenly sprays fertilizer. The 3 pound package can cover an area of around 3,200 square feet.
If you have a huge lawn area to take care of, a product like Super Juice is a good choice to consider. The All in One organic lawn fertilizer is a very efficient and effective product.
The package available in 13.6-pound packs can cover around 43,560 square feet area when applied in full strength and double the area can be covered when you use the fertilizer liquid in half strength. The full strength NPK formulation is 14-2-4.
Other advantages of this natural lawn fertilizer include absence of waste products, chemicals and toxins. The nutrients present in this organic fertilizer include copper, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, magnesium, and nitrogen.
The package is available in a resealable bag for easy use and storage. The fertilizer can be used as the main fertilizer or as a supplement for the granular fertilizer you use regularly on your lawn.
The information provided above would have met with your doubts regarding the benefits of using organic lawn fertilizer products and the pros and cons of our 10 top rated organic lawn fertilizer products can help you make a suitable choice. Here are a few frequently asked questions that will help you come to an informed decision on the best choice for your lawn.
Which type of natural lawn fertilizer is best for my lawn?
Plant based products are ideal for soil conditioning as they help dry soil types to hold more water. Animal based products are ideal for use during the initial part of your planting or the seed application stage. For good growth, using a mineral fertilizer that can bring about a balance in the soil pH is a good choice.
How to choose the best organic lawn fertilizer?
Not all organic fertilizers produce best results. Choose one that is sufficiently strong to work with well-balanced nutrients while being safe to use around pets and children. Reading organic lawn fertilizer reviews also helps you to choose better.
When should I apply the organic fertilizer?
The ingredients used in organic fertilizers cannot be used by plants directly. The fertilizers are actually feed for the microorganisms present in the soil. When soil is nurtured it helps in growth of the plants. So, you have to apply your fertilizer well before you plant, which is at least two to three weeks before you plant. Or, you can add fertilizer when fall season ends, so the soil is ready for the next season. The soil moisture content and weather also influence the application time.
Which form of fertilizer is easier to apply?
Liquid fertilizers are easier as you can apply them using your garden hose or your hand sprayer.
Will organic fertilizer give a beautiful looking lawn?
Since organic fertilizers help improve soil health your lawn will look healthy and attractive. Even if you have been using chemicals till now, switching to the organic lawn food will be successful. But it will take a couple of seasons for the organic materials to work their magic.
When you use top quality lawn fertilizer, you can expect outstanding results. However, every type of fertilizer has different working mechanism. Moreover, the results are influenced by the soil type, application frequency, weather and a few other factors. And with organic fertilizers, you can expect a totally different working mechanism than when you use synthetic fertilizers.
Of the various products mentioned in the above organic lawn fertilizer reviews, all of which are premium quality products, Purely Organic lawn food is an all-round winner with its effective results, economic cost and plant-based ingredients. If you are in search of a hassle free and affordable product this is a right choice. Milorganite and Espoma are also contenders with their long-standing reputation and good results. If you prefer liquid fertilizer, Simple lawn solutions is a good choice.