2019 Best Fertilizers for Yards and Gardens

Spring is here which means it is the best time to start applying fertilizer to the lawn or adding it to your garden for the outdoor plants. But do you know how to choose the right fertilizer, and do you have any idea on what brands and types would be best for your yard?

In addition to water and sunlight, the fertilizer is the third most important component to consider for your plants and lawn. Did you know that the numbers on the fertilizer bag are actually telling you the proportions and amounts of each of the three primary nutrients that are included?

Best Fertilizer

These three nutrients include nitrogen to help the plants grow their leaves and stems and also helps make them green. Phosphorous helps with bloom, fruit, and root growth for the plant and potassium helps prepare your plants for stress or cooler weather.

A balanced fertilizer (one that reads 8-8-8, for example) is ideal for the trees and shrubs growing in the yard. For a more environmentally friendly option and one that won’t run off and cause waterway pollution is one that doesn’t contain the phosphorous.

It is also important to make sure you are feeding your lawn every six to eight weeks at a minimum to ensure it is receiving all the nutrients it needs to grow and thrive. However, the application time may vary depending on the type of fertilizer you choose.

Overview of the Different Types of Fertilizer

Once you understand how to read the numbers on the fertilizer bag labels, you are ready to discover the different types of fertilizer you can purchase.

Multi-Benefit. This fertilizer helps with crabgrass prevention and can kill harmful pests without hurting the lawn. The grass will become strengthened and will begin to grow in thicker while also keeping the weeds at bay.

Weed and Feed. This fertilizer helps to feed the lawn and provide the nutrients it needs while also killing those annoying weeds that threaten to take over. Weed and feed fertilizer should be applied when the grass is wet.

Feed Only. If you don’t need weed control, then feed only fertilizer will help thicken the grass and strengthen and protect it. You can use this kind of fertilizer on any grass type and during a2.30ny season.

The following are some of the best fertilizer options you can find for your lawn and garden this spring:

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food – Best Water Soluble Fertilizer

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food

Water soluble fertilizers can be used on vegetables, shrubs, trees, and houseplants and can easily be applied with a garden feeder or watering can. With this all-purpose fertilizer, it is recommended that you use it every one to two weeks to grow your garden. It also makes a great foundation for your plants.

Fertilizer Analysis: 24 – 8 -16

Pros:

  • Instructions are easy to follow
  • Great quality and functionality
  • Competitively priced
  • 1.5 pounds can feed approximately 600 square feet
  • Won’t burn your plants

Cons:

  • When purchasing this product on Amazon, you are getting a much smaller box than you would receive in the store. Always check the size and price before purchasing to make sure you receive what you were expecting.

Scott’s Turf Builder Weed and Feed – Best Fertilizer for Grass and Yards

scotts turf builder weed and feed

Often deemed the best fertilizer for grass growth and protection, this product guarantees that your grass will have deep roots and will ensure that your grass and shrubs are able to absorb nutrients and even more water, so they grow thick and strong. It also effectively helps prevent future problems from occurring.

Fertilizer Analysis: 28 – 0 – 3

Pros:

  • Effectively eliminates dandelions and other common lawn weeds
  • Helps prevent future weed growth
  • Aids in the absorption of water and nutrients
  • Prevents crabgrass all season long
  • Pet-friendly

Cons:

  • This particular fertilizer is not sold in Pinellas County, Florida. It is also not for use on St. Augustine grass, Floratam, Dichondra, Lippia, Carpetgrass, or Bentgrass lawns. It should also only be applied to a wet lawn for the best results.
  • Can’t be used more than two times per year and should only be applied in late spring when the weeds begin to actively grow.

Espoma All Season Lawn Food – Best Organic Fertilizer

Espoma All Season Lawn Food

This is an organic fertilizer option for your lawn. It will not burn the lawn or poison the water runoff, and it contains no phosphorous which makes it an eco-friendlier option. It is safe for children and pets as well, so you don’t have to ban them from playing in the yard when you are treating your lawn. It also provides up to four times the coverage of natural lawn foods.

Fertilizer Analysis: 18 – 0 – 3

Pros:

  • Safe around pets and children eco-friendly alternative
  • Provides long-lasting results
  • Use is not limited to any particular season
  • Helps the lawn dig deeper roots
  • Grows thick and lush grass

Cons:

  • It is organic material, so it may be a while before you see the results
  • More expensive option
  • Doesn’t help grow any new roots only helps dig deeper existing roots

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer – Amazon’s Choice Fertilizer

Milorganite Organic Nitrogen Fertilizer

Listed as one of Amazon’s choices, this fertilizer is responsible for lush lawns, abundant gardens, and has been a brand trusted by homeowners for over ninety years. The fertilizer is composed of primarily heat-dried microbes and is considered an all-purpose fertilizer. It is useful on lawns, shrubs, flowers, trees, and vegetables. It can also be used on golf courses and as a seed carrier.

Fertilizer Analysis: 5 – 2 – 0

Pros:

  • Safe for use around pets and children
  • Contains 4% iron for deep greening
  • Will not stain
  • Can be applied during any season
  • Suitable for any climate

Cons:

  • An expensive option when compared to other brands
  • Doesn’t have any root-growing elements in its formula

Ringer Lawn Restore, Lawn Fertilizer – Best Fertilizer to Improve Root Structure

Ringer Lawn Restore, Lawn Fertilizer

For healthier soil and an improved root system, this fertilizer delivers. It is a safe option that is safe for pets and children following application, and it will not burn or damage the lawn. If you have a thin lawn, it will help strengthen and thicken it while also helping with any stressful conditions that may be hindering the healthy growth of your lawn.

Fertilizer Analysis: 10 – 0 – 6

Pros:

  • Safe for pets and children
  • Great for all seasons
  • An organic brand that works fast
  • Plant-based formula with zero animal waste
  • No odor

Cons:

  • It is an expensive option
  • Doesn’t contain any phosphorous

Bottom Line for Choosing the Best Fertilizer for Your Needs

All of the options listed above are good if you are looking to strengthen and fortify an otherwise thinning and drab lawn. Each bag covers a wide expanse of the yard, and most of the formulas above can be used during any season and are safe for children and pets.

To determine which is the best for you and your lawn, you have to understand what is important to you. Do you care about an odor? Do you need something safe for children and pets? Maybe the cost is the only factor. No matter what you decide, always make sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label for proper application, care, and storage. 

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