When it comes to keeping your lawn looking healthy and green, one of the most important things you can do is to use a good quality organic fertilizer. Not only will this help your lawn to look great, but it will also be good for the environment.
What kind of fertilizer should you use for your lawn? If you’re like most people, you probably don’t give it much thought. But the truth is, there are many different types of organic fertilizers available, each with its own set of pros and cons. But before making any purchase it is important to do some research into what type of organic fertilizer would work best for your needs – don’t just buy one at random!
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at six of the best organic fertilizers currently on the market, as well as a buying guide to help you choose the best organic fertilizer for your lawn. So, whether you’re a homeowner who’s looking to switch to an organic fertilizer or you’re just curious about what’s out there, read on for our top recommendations!
What is Fertilizer?
A fertilizer includes any substance, whether natural or manufactured, that is added to the soil or plant tissue in order for it to deliver nutrients to the plants. The most effective fertilizers will provide your grass and garden with essential minerals in order to create thriving plants. There are many types of fertilizer available, and they are used in a variety of ways.
Fertilizers have typically consisted of organic components such as manure, both animal and human, as well as compost, mined minerals, and crop rotations. Synthetic fertilizers have been used for the past few centuries, and they focus on providing the nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
How Does Fertilizer Work?
Fertilizers operate by promoting plant growth. They can accomplish this via two methods. The first approach is to give plants the nutrients they need, and can absorb, in order to develop healthier and faster.
Fertilizers are made up mainly of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Each of these three macronutrients has a distinct function.
- Nitrogen: to promote leaf growth
- Phosphorus: to aid and develop roots, flowers, fruit, and seeds
- Potassium: to help the stems grow, as well as flowering and fruiting, and to promote the water movement within the plant
Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are the three most prevalent secondary macronutrients. Copper, iron, manganese, zinc, and boron are some of the micronutrients present.
Another function of some fertilizers is to improve the soil’s capacity to retain moisture and support aeration. However, this is not very frequent, and it has little significance in comparison to the nutrients added by fertilizers.
The Different Types of Fertilizer
There are many different types of fertilizers you can choose from. What’s the difference? And what makes one better than another, or more appropriate for your specific lawn and situation?
Whether you’re looking to feed your soil with slow-release or quick release nutrients, or liquid or granular fertilizer, there are plenty of options available on the market
Liquid vs. Granules vs. Spikes
If you’re considering granules, liquids, or spikes as a means of fertilizing your yard this season, it’s vital to understand how each one works differently. Organic and inorganic fertilizers are available for every type.
Gardeners either add fertilizer granules to the soil when planting or “top dress” them on afterward. Simply put, top dressing entails sprinkling the granules over the root zones of the plant, and the surrounding soil. Granular fertilizers must be applied by hand or via a spreader, but they have a longer lifespan than liquid types and don’t need to be reapplied every few weeks.
Liquid fertilizers, on the other hand, are comprised of dry granules and liquid concentrates that must be blended. You use this fertilizer by spraying the leaves of young plants or other vegetation and flora. Over-watering newly planted seeds can cause them to wilt and die. Liquid fertilizer applied to the leaves of plants in many cases may be more successful than watering the roots.
Water-soluble fertilizers are frequently diluted with water before being applied to soil in order to prevent harmful runoff when not utilized appropriately.
Fertilizer spikes, if correctly applied, function like slow-release fertilizers and release a steady supply of nutrients over time. The spikes, which are small and low-profile, are the most efficient approach to feed your plants’ roots. When the plants are watered with rain or with a hose, the nutrients are released and they are automatically fertilized. It’s a simple procedure that anyone can follow – you plant them beside a living plant once a year, and you’re done.
Fertilizer spikes, which run along the roots where they’re needed, can be used on most landscape types, and can be manufactured from either organic or inorganic resources. Calculate the number of spikes required for a plant-based plant based on its size and the manufacturer’s recommendations. Place the spikes around the plant’s root zone and push them into the dirt.
Slow-Release and Quick-Release
You can get fertilizers that are slow-release and those that are quick release. These two types of fertilizer function differently, so you’ll need to make a choice based on your requirements.
Granular fertilizers can be either slow or quick releasing. Slow-release granular fertilizers, often known as “monthly feedings,” provide nutrients in a slow, steady flow over time. Quick-release granular fertilizers, often known as “weekly applications,” provide nutrients in a faster, more concentrated form. Liquid fertilizer is typically of the quick-release sort.
We suggest utilizing a granular fertilizer if you need something that takes time to release nutrients into the soil or a liquid fertilizer if you want quick outcomes.
Nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium (N-P-K) ratios are one of the most crucial variables to consider when selecting fertilizer, as these macronutrients are required for plant development. Your goal should be to discover a proportion that corresponds to what your grass and garden demands based on its species type’s demands.
It’s generally a good idea to do a soil test including pH levels before applying fertilizer in order to determine your garden soil’s natural fertility. You can contact a local greenhouse or garden center to obtain a soil sample for analysis. The information will show you which components your soil may need, so you can then apply them as fertilizer.
Fertilizer bags frequently contain the NPK components in a ratio format, such as 10-10-10 or 4-3-4. The numbers are always listed in the order N, P, K. Therefore, a 10-2-4 ratio means that fertilizer has 10% nitrogen content, 2% phosphorus, and 4% potassium.
As stated above, nitrogen is a critical element for leaf growth, phosphorus is essential to develop the roots, flowers, seeds, and fruit of a plant, and potassium is required for the plant’s stem, for water flow throughout the plant, and budding and fruiting.
Organic and Inorganic Fertilizers
Regardless of the kind of fertilizer you use, it will be one of organic vs. inorganic fertilizer. These two subsets of fertilizer have different components and ways in which nutrients are supplied to the plants.
The most popular form of inorganic fertilizer is synthetic or commercial; these are commonly known as manufactured fertilizers due to them being produced through chemical synthesis. However, they generally include nutrients derived from naturally occurring mineral deposits. Because these fertilizers are often so concentrated, they target only what the plants need and nothing more.
Inorganic fertilizers are primarily created through chemical nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compounds that have been produced in industrial processes. Then, in order to stimulate the growth of plants and encourage healthier blooming, these fertilizers concentrate on providing nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to them.
Organic fertilizers, such as compost, manures, blood meal, alfalfa, cottonseed, and kelp meal, and bone meal, are all made from plant and animal materials. The N, P, and K levels in these fertilizers are usually lower than those in inorganic fertilizers. However, vital organic matter is added to the soil to help with moisture movement and collaborate with living microorganisms in the dirt to feed plants.
When comparing various sorts of fertilizers, consider how they perform in wet situations. Depending on the substance, it might have a different rate of decomposition. Synthetic chemicals generally break down faster than organic ones do. If you have an area where water may pool after rainstorms and you don’t want the ground to get slippery, choose synthetic, fast-acting products.
Why Makes Organic Fertilizer Better?
Organic fertilizers will always be superior because they use natural ingredients like composted animal manure instead of chemicals which may harm your lawn or family’s health over time.
More time and effort are needed to apply organic fertilizer, it may be more expensive at the checkout, and its effect may take longer to become apparent. However, organic fertilizers help to build stronger soil as well as a greener yard in general. If you were to extend your lawn into a garden, some organics can assist you lay the groundwork for it, making future work much simpler.
Important Features to Consider
Here are some of the most important features of organic fertilizer to look for, so that you can purchase just the right type for your lawn and home.
One of the first things to consider when purchasing organic lawn fertilizer is how much lawn you have and what sort of coverage area you require from the fertilizer. It’s useless to buy a bag or bottle of fertilizer and then finding out you don’t have enough for your lawn, so this can be a significant problem.
Some organic lawn fertilizers have large coverage areas per bag, whereas some won’t cover your entire lawn in one go, so you’ll have to buy two.
Because organic lawn fertilizers are less concentrated on their NPK levels than comparable inorganic products, you need to be aware of how much nutrition you are giving your lawn. Be sure to choose an organic fertilizer with the correct NPK ratio.
The cost of natural lawn fertilizers varies considerably. There are a few budget, cheap alternatives available, but there are also more expensive variants that offer wider coverage areas or a broader variety of nutrients in the combination. The greatest organic lawn fertilizer brands cost more and usually give better results, but you don’t have to spend the most money.
Although organic fertilizers are less polluting than inorganic ones, they still contain chemical mixtures in potentially dangerous quantities for us and our pets when consumed. Always exercise caution, and always read the label before using anything so you know what to do in the case of an accident.
Make sure you don’t make any extra runoff by watering too much once you’ve applied your fertilizer, and double-check that the chemicals are allowed in your area. Sweep any stray fertilizer granules that may have fallen into the road or pavement into the grass.
The 6 Top Organic Lawn Fertilizers
#1. Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer
The Milorganite 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer is the greatest organic fertilizer available, and it’s easy to understand why. For nearly a century, Milorganite has been a well-known and reputable top brand, and golf courses and other business properties all around the world have relied on it to keep their grass healthy. This fertilizer is completely natural, so it doesn’t contain any man-made chemicals. Because of this, it is more likely to nourish the whole soil and lawn rather than just the grass and plants growing in it.
The 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer from Milorganite is a slow-release fertilizer that breaks down at the same rate as the grass around it absorbs nutrients. The plants, as a result, are fed with a balanced diet every day while this fertilizer is in use, including important minerals and micronutrients such as iron. The 6-4-0 NPK ratio encourages a thick and green grass lawn, regardless of what type of grass it is, while Milorganite fertilizer also necessitates less watering and fewer mowings.
This fertilizer comes in a 36 pound bag, and can cover up to 6,000 square feet of lush lawn and abundant garden.
#2. Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer
- 8-0-5 fertilizer analysis - 30 lb. bag
- All natural winterizer lawn fertilizer
- Extra potash for next year's spring greening
The Espoma EOFW30 Organic Fall Fertilizer is a chemical free, organic lawn fertilizer that is safe for use for homeowners with children or pets, or for anyone who wants their garden and lawn to grow healthy and full. Every product in the Espoma organic fertilizer line has a unique profile of benefits, and they are all specifically developed to enhance a lawn’s health while delivering 2.5 times more slow-release nitrogen than conventional lawn programs.
The Espoma EOFW30 is made of feather meal, poultry manure, and an extra amount of potassium in order to make the next spring’s growth greener and more plentiful. As a fall fertilizer, it is perfect to protect and strengthen your lawn throughout the winter and for early spring greening. This comes as a 30 pound bag that can feed up to 5,000 square feet.
It has an NPK ratio of 8-0-6, so it has a great amount of nitrogen and potassium, although it is missing any phosphorus. This is an all natural, environmentally friendly, non-burning and long lasting fertilizer. It will help you grow a greener lawn that has deep and healthy roots.
#3. Scotts Natural Lawn Food
The Scotts Natural Lawn Food organic fertilizer build a thick, green lawn with all natural sources and ingredients. With this fertilizer, there’s no waiting necessary – the lawn is safe to walk on immediately after you use it. Additionally, it has a variety of functions, and can be applied during any season, without planning ahead, and on any grass type. Because it is fully organic, it is safe to use around pets and children. Its levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are 11-2-2, which means it is a significant source of nitrogen and will help the blades of your lawn grass grow green and vibrant.
Scotts Natural Lawn Food is a granular fertilizer, so it can be used in any drop spreader or rotary spreader. Simply apply the granules through a spreader immediately after mowing, and then clean up any stray particles and sweep them back onto the lawn. This 29 pound bag doesn’t have any unpleasant odor and can be used to fertilize 4,000 square feet of lawn grass. With no salt-based or synthesized chemicals, this fertilizer will help your lawn and soil to naturally heal, grow, and thrive.
#4. Purely Organic Lawn Food
- Promotes Lush Green Turf Grass. Will Not Burn Your Lawn.
- Plant Based Formula with Distillers Grains & Soy. No Harsh Chemicals, No Manure & No Smelly Biosolids.
- Covers Up to 5,000 Square Feet. Feeds All Season Long.
Next on our list of the top 6 organic fertilizers is Purely Organic Lawn Food. This is a premium quality, all natural lawn fertilizer that promotes lush green turf grass. It comes in a 25 pound bag, and is formulated for all types of grass, which it can cover up to 5,000 square feet of. It is produced with a plant based formula, with distillers dried grains and soybean meal, and its NPK levels are 10-0-2, so the high nitrogen content will help your lawn look and feel the best you have seen it. There are no harsh chemicals, no biosolids and no manure, so you won’t smell any strong odors when your spreading it throughout your backyard, and it is family and pet friendly.
Purely Organic Lawn Food feeds up to 8 weeks, but there is no restrictions on re-entry time after applications. The granules can be spread either via broadcast spreader or drop spreader, and for best results apply this fertilizer 4 times a year, with the first application in early spring and the final in the late autumn. This fertilizer is good for plants and easy for gardeners as well.
#5. Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16-4-8 Spring & Summer Liquid Fertilizer
- Complete NPK Lawn Food: 16-4-8 is the perfect blend of key macronutrients. This lawn liquid food turf fertilizer also contains Seaweed & Fish.
- Contains High Quality Feed Grade Ingredients: Nourish your lawn with pure liquid Nutrients in a ready to use sprayer
- Easy To Use: Designed to be easily applied. This complete Nitrogen, Phosphate and Potash formula gives your grass greening & growth while providing nutrients for lush lawns
The Simple Lawn Solutions Advanced 16-4-8 Spring & Summer Liquid Fertilizer has the highest amount of macronutrients of any organic fertilizer on this list. This makes sense, as it is also the only liquid fertilizer on this list. It has an astoundingly high level of 16% nitrogen, so your lawn will go green like no other lawn around you, and it also has 4% phosphorus concentrate, promoting strong and connected root growth. Additionally, it has a huge 8% potassium concentrate, so you won’t need to water your grass nearly as often, because it will retain and move the water better within itself.
In addition to the extraordinary amount of macronutrients, this fertilizer also contains seaweed and fish emulsion, in order to provide your lawn with quality rich, organic matter for a more effective fertilizer and better nutrient absorption. This is a perfect organic fertilizer for you if you’re looking to enhance the green color of your lawn, if you’re trying to feed your lawn better and get it healthier, if you want to promote lateral and vertical growth in your grass, or if you just want your lawn to be overall better, nicer to look at, and easier to take care of.
#6. Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore Organic Fertilizer
- Plant-based nutrients - no poultry litter or bio-solids
- No Manures/No Odor
- Covers up to 5,000 sq.ft.
The final, but not at all the least, organic fertilizer on our list is the Safer Brand Ringer Lawn Restore Organic Fertilizer. This is the solution for a problem lawn, and it immediately goes to work ensuring that the ideal balance of natural elements exists in your soil. Safer Brand stands by their claims that they can make your lawn healthier and greener in just 3 to 5 days, and a lawn treated with this fertilizer is better equipped to survive droughts, disease and infestations, and other extreme conditions.
As an organic fertilizer, the Lawn Restore feeds and promotes healthy microorganisms in your soil, such as bacteria and fungi, which then in turn provide all of the nutrients and food your lawn needs to thrive. Additionally, it has a 10-0-6 NPK ratio, so it still provides plenty of nitrogen and potassium for full, thick, and green grass. It can be used on warm-season and cool-season grasses, and it helps grasses such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, Bermuda Grass, St. Augustine Grass, and Ryegrass thrive while also limiting the growth of any weeds in their midst.
It has no manure, and no poultry litter or biosolids, so there’s no odor as you work with it and distribute it around your yard. Start application of this organic fertilizer in the early spring, and then every 8 weeks throughout the growing season, until the final application late in the fall.
When it comes to doing the best thing for your lawn, nothing is more important than using the right fertilizer. Using the right fertilizer can help you grow a lush, green yard that is also healthy and environmentally safe. Not all fertilizers are created equal, though, so it’s important to do your research before you buy. In this blog post, we’ve taken a look at the six top organic fertilizers that you can use in your lawn.
All 6 fertilizers and brands presented above are great and will be effective, but our recommendation is again the 0636 Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer from Milorganite. It is a trusted, widely-used fertilizer that will be amazing for your lawn. However, once you’ve read through our list of organic fertilizers for your lawn in 2022, it should be easy to find one that fits most with what you need.
So whether you’re just getting started with organic gardening or you’re looking for an alternative to traditional fertilizers, we hope this article has provided you with some helpful tips and advice. Happy gardening!