How to Apply Nitrogen Fertilizer


Lawn fertilizers contain moderate to high amounts of nitrogen. Nitrogen promotes lush shoot growth in plants. When correctly applied to lawns, nitrogen will give you a lush and green turf that grows at a moderate pace. If too little is applied, your grass may turn a greenish-yellow and grow slow. If too much is applied, it may grow extremely fast and burn out. Applying fertilizer with a spreader is the best way to evenly distribute the correct amount of nitrogen fertilizer to your yard.

Step 1

Cut open the bag of fertilizer with a utility knife. Pour it into the hopper on your fertilizer spreader.

Step 2

Consult the bag of fertilizer to see what setting your spreader needs to be set at. Fertilizer bags will typically have a chart that lists each spreader and the corresponding setting the spreader should be set to.

Step 3

Set the dial on your spreader to the indicated setting. Push the spreader over to where you want to start applying the nitrogen fertilizer.

Step 4

Grasp the lever located on the handle of the spreader and press it against the spreader handle. Push the spreader across your lawn with the lever pressed to begin dispensing nitrogen fertilizer on your lawn.

Step 5

Walk back and forth across the length of your lawn to spread the fertilizer. Watch how far the fertilizer spreads out and space each pass so that the fertilizer overlaps by about 12 inches. This will ensure total and equal coverage of your yard.

Step 6

Release the lever to stop dispensing nitrogen fertilizer once the entire yard is covered. Push the spreader back to its storage location and pour any remaining fertilizer into an airtight storage container to store for future use.

Tips and Warnings

  • Ensure the spreader is set to the correct setting when applying fertilizer. If it is set too high, you may burn your grass. If set too low, your grass won't receive enough nitrogen fertilizer.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Broadcast spreader


  • University of California: How to Apply Fertilizer
  • Gardener's Network: Lawn Fertilizer
Keywords: apply nitrogen fertilizer, spreading fertilizer, fertilizing a lawn, using nitrogen fertilizer, broadcast spreader

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.