Toasted Green: Tips For Selecting Your Lawn Fertilizer


With things warming up the buzz of lawn mowers, weed eaters and fertilizer spreaders have become or will become a more common weekend happening.

Recently on a trip to the local garden center the bags of fertilizers were stacked up waiting for the local garden and landscape hero to load up the car or SUV with their next home improvement project – caring for the lawn!

Let’s give you a hand with lawn fertilizer for your lawn along with some other links to resources.

The 3 numbers you find on the fertilizer bag are the major elements – Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus. There are of course also minor elements like iron, magnesium, etc. but for our today we’ll look at the big three.

The first number is Nitrogen – that is the element which will give your lawn a deep green color, build a sturdy, dense carpet with deep strong roots. Nitrogen when applied in too heavy a dose can toast a lawn from fertilizer burn. A healthy lawn can fight of disease, pests and handle drought conditions much easier than a lawn fighting for survival.

The second number on the fertilizer bag is Potassium. Potassium is nitrogen’s buddy as they work side by side to strengthen roots and toughen up foliage. Just like a healthy lawn strong grass leaves can handle traffic, disease, cold nights and drought much easier.

Last but not least is Phosphorus, which does more under the surface work to help produce a strong root system.

Applying Lawn Fertilizer: Video


Buying The Fertilizer

So the time has come to buy that bag of fertilizer!

When you walk into your garden center you’ll see a variety of fertilizers with a range of numbers. That 3 number blend makes the fertilizer suited for a special need.

For example in the spring you want to promote growth so a higher nitrogen number for growth is a good selection. Going into the fall a fertilizer with a higher number in potassium is better suited for preparing grass for the long winter.

Before you look at any pricing, numbers or whatever make sure you know the type of grass you want to fertilize to get the right fertilizer to meet the growth needs.

The time of year plays a part, the overall health of the lawn and yard maturity. The more information you have at your disposal the better position you’ll be in to make a buying decision.

You’ll find fertilizer in usually few different forms and Types.


Granular (slow and fast-release) – My personal favorite. It provides good long-term feeding for months and months.
Liquid – Good for quick greening but short term – Learn more at Tips On Applying Liquid Lawn Fertilizer


Synthetic – These are water-soluble and can be used by the plant almost immediately. Applying too much synthetic type fertilizer can “burn” foliage and damage your plants.
Organic – usually bulky and smelly – ok in the garden where it gets buried!