How to Compare Lawn Fertilizer


A multitude of lawn fertilizers are on the market, their packages strewn with various numbers representing their contents. Some fertilizers include weed control. Some include pesticides. Some have high amounts of nitrogen while others do not. For the consumer, purchasing lawn fertilizer can be a daunting task. But don't worry, with a bit of knowledge you'll find that the information conveyed on your bag of fertilizer is easily deciphered.

Step 1

Determine what you want your fertilizer to do. The choices consist of greening up the grass, controlling weeds, killing pests or, perhaps, all of the above.

Step 2

Understand what the numbers on the fertilizer mean. There will always be three numbers. Each represents the percentage of three major nutrients. The first number is nitrogen (N), the second is phosphorus (P) and the third is potassium (K). A bag of fertilizer that says 30-10-15 contains 30 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphorus and 15 percent potassium.

Step 3

Use a fertilizer with a high nitrogen percentage to green up your grass. Phosphorous and potassium strengthen your lawn and make it grow.

Step 4

Use slow-release fertilizer in the summer months to avoid burning the grass and promote uniform growth. Use fast-release fertilizer in the fall and winter months. Fertilizer packages will indicate the release rate.

Step 5

Apply fertilizer containing pesticides if your lawn is prone to chinch bugs, mole crickets or grubs.

Step 6

Apply fertilizer that contains weed control if your lawn has broadleaf weeds, dandelions, clover or other weeds. Often this type of fertilizer is called weed and feed.

Step 7

Use winterizer fertilizer, which is high in potassium, for late fall applications.


  • University of Illinois Extension: Understanding lawn fertilizers
Keywords: compare lawn fertilizer, weed and feed, broadleaf weeds

About this Author

Lisa Larsen has been a professional writer for 18 years. She has written radio advertisement copy, research papers, SEO articles, magazine articles for "BIKE," "USA Today" and "Dirt Rag," newspaper articles for "Florida Today," and short stories published in Glimmer Train and Lullwater Review, among others. She has a master's degree in education, and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.