Scotts' plethora of lawn fertilizers suggests that the company's core philosophy is that every lawn is unique. With a wide range of fertilizers for problem lawns as well as healthy ones, choosing a Scotts' fertilizer to use on your lawn is as easy (or as difficult) as deciding how you want to treat it. The truth of the matter is that a healthy lawn just needs a basic slow-release fertilizer applied every six to eight weeks during the growing season. But for homeowners who are very particular about their lawn fertilizer or for those with lawn problems, the first step to choosing a Scotts' fertilizer is to identify the type of lawn that you are dealing with.
Assess the overall health of your lawn. If your lawn is healthy and problem-free, any of Scotts' slow-release "Turf Builder" fertilizers are suitable. While it may be tempting to pre-emptively attack pest or weed problems, you may be unwittingly helping a small population of bugs or weeds develop resistance and multiply.
Choose fertilizer based on your climate and region. Southern lawns have to survive hotter, drier temperatures than other lawns. In response to that need, Scotts offers "Southern Turf Builder." Scotts claims that these fertilizers help southern lawns survive by strengthening their root system. "Southern Turf Builder" lawn fertilizers also come in weed- and ant-killing varieties. For those that live in cold climates, Scotts offers a "Winter Guard" fertilizer that it claims will strengthen your lawn in fall to help it better weather freezing winters.
Inspect your lawn for weed infestation. Scotts has two basic varieties of weed-killing fertilizer to offer. The first works with "Plus 2 Weed Control" and treats your lawn with a broad-spectrum fertilizer that kills dandelions and other common lawn weeds. However, this weed control fertilizer cannot be used on St. Augustine grass, Floratam, Dichondra, Lippa, Carpetgrass or bentgrass lawns. Scotts' alternative variety of weed-killing fertilizer substitutes iron for herbicide. The iron strengthens your lawn so that it can out compete any weeds that may take root.
Look for signs of insect problems. For infested lawns, Scotts offers fertilizers that include broad-spectrum insect killer or fire-ant killer.
Consider the age of your lawn. For recently seeded lawns, Scotts offers a specialized fertilizer with "Water Smart" technology. According to the company's website, this fertilizer helps germinating grass seed retain moisture and develop roots quickly. For over-seeded, sodded, plugged or sprigged lawns, Scotts boasts yet another variety designed to help new grass grow thick and quick.
Determine what kind of chemicals you do--or do not--want to use on your lawn.. Although all of Scotts' lawn fertilizers are described as being safe for kids and dogs, Scott offers an organic fertilizer for those who want to treat their lawn without using artificial additives.
Consider the size of your lawn. For lawns under 1,000 square feet in area, Scotts offers lawn fertilizers with built-in spreaders that let you shake the fertilizer over the lawn.