All living things need nutrition—including your lawn! A lot goes into researching and finding a great fertilizer for your lawn’s specific needs. A few factors to consider include:
How much fertilizer does your lawn need?
Which nutrients does it need the most of?
How often does your lawn need fertilization?
How do you apply fertilizer at the appropriate rate?
How much money should you budget for lawn fertilization?
Although selecting a fertilizer can seem daunting, finding the right one for your lawn and performing proper maintenance will ensure a green, lush landscape all year long. When fertilized correctly, your grass will also produce a dense root system that withstands external stressors such as disease damage, insect invasions, weeds or even damage related to weather.
The Most Important Step
One of the first things we typically recommend is collecting and submitting a soil analysis. This analysis will tell you exactly which nutrients are currently in your soil and which nutrients your grass needs.
Ultimately, it will give you an overall better understanding of which fertilizer you need to select and narrow your options during the purchasing process. Understanding N-P-K ratios and how to read a fertilizer label will also help you when you go to buy a fertilizer.
Here at Sod University, we love to use fertilizers that are earth friendly and efficient. Although nitrogen is an important macronutrient that plants require, it should be applied at the right amount so that it maintains an appropriate carbon-nitrogen ratio. This keeps the soils that plants grow in healthy. Take a look at some of our favorite fertilizers for home lawns and gardens below.
Perfect for newly planted sod, grass plugs or seed
Establishes a root system
Delivers carbon, amino acids and microbes for soil health
Liquid fertilizer box with three bottles of fertilizer that covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Features Catalyst Technology
25 lb. bag of granular fertilizer
Can be used during any of the active growing seasons
Features a slow-release mixture of nitrogen
Each bag covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Features Catalyst Technology
Feeds lawns the nutrients they need all year long
Contains the proper nutrient ratios as temperatures and soil conditions change
Contains three fertilizer boxes each filled with three different bottles of fertilizer
Can be purchased through the annual or monthly subscription and as individual boxes
Each bottles covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Features Catalyst Technology
Lawnifi’s New Lawn Starter Box
The first fertilizer in our list of favorites is Lawnifi’s New Lawn Starter Box. Designed to help newly sodded lawns establish, the New Lawn Starter Box deepens root growth and fortifies root zones.
Although the New Lawn Starter Box is a fertilizer for new sod, it can also be used on newly planted grass plugs or seed. Lawnifi’s New Lawn Starter Box contains three bottles of liquid fertilizer: two bottles of Grow and one bottle of Maintain. Each bottle of fertilizer should be applied at a specific time during the lawn’s establishment process.
The application schedule for the New Lawn Starter Box starts with the first bottle of Grow, which should be applied the day of installation/planting.
The second bottle of Grow can be applied two weeks later and the last bottle of Maintain should be applied after another two weeks, which is four weeks after the day of planting. Each bottle easily hooks up to the end of your garden hose for an even spray distribution and covers 5,000 sq. ft.
Grow has a N-P-K ratio (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) of 8-8-8. Grow is designed to promote healthy root growth on newly planted sod, grass plugs or seed. It also contains carbon, which is beneficial for the soil’s overall health.
When you have healthy soil, you have a healthy environment for plants to grow in it. Maintain, on the other hand, has a N-P-K ratio of 16-0-4 that is designed to enhance the color of your new lawn. It also contributes to healthy soil composition by delivering amino acids and microbes.
The Lawnifi New Lawn Starter Box is the best fertilizer for new sod. Learn more about fertilizing newly installed sod here.
Once the first 30 days after installation or planting have gone by, begin transitioning your lawn to a regular maintenance schedule with some of the seasonal boxes below. Temperatures and soil conditions change throughout the year as temperatures rise and drop. With changing temperatures and soil conditions, your established lawn’s needs will vary.
Lawnifi’s Spring Fertilizer Box
As one of the seasonal boxes from the annual or monthly subscription, the Lawnifi Spring Fertilizer Box can also be purchased separately as an individual box. The Spring Fertilizer Box is a sod fertilizer that contains three bottles of liquid fertilizer. Each bottle should be applied at a specific time throughout the spring season.
With a 16-0-4 N-P-K formulation, Maintain should be applied at the beginning of spring to promote healthy roots and the return of green leaf blades in your lawn after winter dormancy. It can also be applied to cool season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass or tall fescue that doesn’t go dormant during the winter.
The second bottle in the box, Boost, further deepens the green appearance of your lawn with a 30-0-0 N-P-K ratio and a time-release formula. Boost should be applied four weeks after the first application of Maintain.
The last bottle of the Spring Fertilizer Box, a second bottle of Maintain, should be applied another four weeks after the application of Boost. This last application of Maintain gives your lawn nutrients that prepare it for the stressful summer heat in the months ahead.
Lawnifi’s Summer Fertilizer Box
The Lawnifi Summer Fertilizer Box is also part of the annual or monthly subscription. Like the Spring Fertilizer Box, the Summer Fertilizer Box can also be purchased separately as its own individual box. Designed to help your lawn beat the summer heat, the Summer Fertilizer Box contains three bottles of liquid fertilizer that should be applied at specific times throughout the summer.
Once again, the first bottle of the Summer Fertilizer Box is Maintain, which should be applied anytime during the first few weeks of the summer. This first bottle of Maintain picks up right where the Spring Fertilizer Box left off with Boost. Maintain fortifies root zones to help it survive from heat during the summer.
In the mid-summer—four weeks after applying Maintain—apply Recover to help your lawn get through the dog day stress of summer. You will need to make a second application of Lawnifi Recover with the last bottle four weeks after your first application of Recover.
Recover’s 13-0-0 formulation contains important micronutrients like manganese, iron and sulfur. Learn more about the role of micronutrients in home lawns here.
Lawnifi’s Fall Fertilizer Box
The last fertilizer box in the annual or monthly subscription program is the Fall Fertilizer Box. The Fall Fertilizer Box can be purchased separately as its own individual box and contains one bottle of Boost, one bottle of Maintain and one bottle of Recover.
Each of the three different bottles should be applied at specific times during the fall. The Fall Fertilizer Box is designed primarily to revitalize your lawn after the summer heat and prepare it for winter temperatures.
Start with applying Boost in the first few weeks of the fall season to revitalize the green leaf blades after the stressful heat of the summer. The rapid green-up of your lawn will last from the time of application through the remainder of the growing season as a result of Boost’s time-release formulation.
In mid-fall, apply Maintain for well-balanced nutrition and in late fall, apply Recover to prepare your lawn for winter dormancy.
In comparison to the three liquid fertilizer boxes above, Lawnifi Foundation is a granular fertilizer that can be used throughout any of the active growing seasons.
With a 29-0-5 formulation, Lawnifi Foundation features a slow-release mixture of nitrogen that feeds your plants over a longer duration of time. Lawnifi Foundation’s application rate should be set on your spreader to apply 5 lbs. of fertilizer per 1,000 sq. ft. After applications have been made, be sure to water the product in to help with absorption. To learn more about Lawnifi Foundation, click here.
All Lawnifi products are powered by Catalyst TechnologyTM, which nano-sizes fertilizer nutrients to make the delivery process and breakdown of nutrients more efficient. Catalyst Technology reduces the amount of energy and time plants need to break down nutrients in the soil.
The nano-sized nutrients are readily available for plants at the time of application. Lawnifi’s granular and liquid fertilizer programs both use Catalyst Technology to help nutrients reach plants’ systems at a faster rate. Less product is used and more fertilizer is absorbed. Learn more about Lawnifi in Why Use Lawnifi Fertilizer?.
Lastly, if you aren’t sure of the differences between granular and liquid fertilizer, check out our Sod University article that explains the differences here.